Introduction

Designed to develop your knowledge and experience of immunology and the cutting edge field of immunotherapy, the MSc in Immunology & Immunotherapy will foster the development of your practical and analytical research skills and enhance your employability and career prospects.

This programme is studied on campus.

This MSc in Immunology & Immunotherapy will lead you through a wide ranging curriculum illustrating the relevance of immunology to the maintenance of health and the development of the latest immunotherapies for diseases such as cancer. It includes courses on basic and advanced immunology and immunotherapy, genes and immunity, biologic therapies, applied statistics, bioinformatics and host-pathogen interactions in infection. The programme will provide you with:

  • An understanding of the general principles of immunology
  • Experience and understanding of current and future immunotherapies in cancer and autoimmune disease
  • An ability to apply knowledge in academic and health contexts
  • Opportunities to learn from world renowned researchers

The MSc is ideal for students and scientists who want to improve their career prospects, fill skills gaps and further their hands-on immunology research experience in an era of rapidly increasing immunotherapeutic options.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Basic Skills - Induction (MT5010)

This course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for your MSc. The course will revise basic laboratory skills and techniques and advance these to a level required to undertake graduate practical classes and projects by developing hands-on experience, competence and confidence in key laboratory skills.

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Introductory Immunology (MB5023) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides information on the basic immune system, how it functions in health and disease, and how we can enhance its activity using novel therapies for autoimmune disease, infection, allergy and most notably cancer. All aspects of both the innate and the adaptive immune system are covered to provide a very good background understanding of the immune system and how it can be used to maintain health.

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Applied Statistics (PU5017) - 15 Credit Points

This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.

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Bioinformatics (MB5021) - 15 Credit Points

A course containing a series of lectures describing 'latest-methods and discoveries' in areas of bioinformatics and functional genomics including transcriptomics, proteomics, and DNA sequence analysis

Contains an extended research practical; you carry out computer analysis of transcriptome datasets to understand how cells respond to starvation stress, and write up in research paper format.

Contains a series of in-depth workshops that teach the principles and practice of DNA and protein sequence analysis.

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Study Skills for Life (GS50M2)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop the transferable skills required to both complete their degree programme and progress in their future career. The course provides guides and workshops on a variety of skills, including literature appraisal, academic integrity, writing, presentations, note taking and time management. It provides online resources for developing IT and numeracy skills, and acts as a resource for advertising development opportunities both within and outside the university.

The course strongly relies on self-reflection and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course itself is compulsory the majority of the course sessions offered are optional, and support is given to the students to help them identify what they most need to work on. Completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.

This course is the first of two courses relating to cross-discipline skills development that is compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

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Optional Courses

Molecular Genetics (MB5025) - 15 Credit Points

Series of lectures covering fundamental topics such as RNA (coding, non-coding transcription), DNA –protein interactions (e.g. chromatin, transcription factors), 3D structure of chromosomes and regulation of gene activity) as well as on genome structure/genetic mapping and advanced analytical methods such as CRISPR and genome editing technology. Lectures are complemented by tutorials and workshops covering related topics.

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Introduction to Microbiology (MC5008) - 15 Credit Points

This course will provide students with microbiology knowledge for further advanced studies and will provide training in microbiological laboratory techniques. At the end of this course students will have an understanding of microbes associated with health and disease (including bacteria, fungi and viruses), practical and academic understanding of laboratory techniques required for the culture, identification and characterisation of microbes, and increased confidence in reading and critiquing primary research literature.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Host - Pathogen Interactions (MB5516) - 15 Credit Points

Why do some microorganisms cause disease, yet others don’t? This course explores host-pathogen interactions from bacterial, fungal, parasite, viral and host perspectives in a lecture series, examining virulence factors, host defences and immune responses. Students develop a detailed knowledge of one specific host-pathogen interaction through self-directed study and review of a specific disease selected by the student. In addition, workshops discuss experimental design for analysis of host-pathogen interactions, virulence and novel drug treatments. The material on the course will enable students to develop and refine their understanding of the roles of host and pathogen in infectious disease.

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Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509) - 15 Credit Points

Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.

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Research Tutorials (MB5518) - 15 Credit Points

A course that leads you through research-level study of your subject through study of a range of areas of the science literature

An introduction to the subject of your summer research project through the writing of an extended essay on the subject of your forthcoming research project.

The course provides an opportunity to study advanced science concepts led by an experienced member of academic staff.

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Beyond Your Degree (GS55M2)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to progress in their degree programme and beyond into their chosen career. It focuses on the job application process, the support available from the university both during and after their degree, and the skills that apply to undertaking projects. Sessions include an introduction to the careers service, CV, cover letter and interview skills, workplace professionalism and managing projects. Online resources are provided to support transferable skill development.

The course strongly relies on self-assessment and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course is compulsory, most of the course sessions offered are optional, and completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.

This course is the second of two courses relating to generic skills that are compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

The research project is an important component of the MSc training, undertaken in Semester 3.

Compulsory Courses

Masters Research Project (MB5902) - 60 Credit Points

The topic of the project will be subject and supervisor dependant.

View detailed information about this course

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The programme is taught through a flexible mix of lectures and small group tutorials, practical classes, computer workshops and research tutorials.

To enhance presentation skills, students are asked to prepare a topic focused research poster in the workshop components of Profiles of Immunology and Genes and Immunity.

There is also an expectation of self-learning, where you will engage with current research literature to enhance your knowledge gained and discussed in taught sessions.

All lecture material is available on MyAberdeen, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. The programme also involves an extended, hands-on laboratory-based research project, supervised by experienced and research-active academic staff.

Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and students are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in their own time.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Taught courses are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and examinations. Continuous assessment comprises of written assignments, workshop reports and oral presentations. All students undertake a research project which is submitted for assessment in the form of a short research thesis. Students also present a short oral presentation on their project.

Why Study Immunology & Immunotherapy?

  • You will be taught by world leading immunology and bioscience researchers and have an opportunity to contribute to cutting edge research during your project.
  • The programme is designed to provide you with a strong grounding in immunology to offer insight and experience into how immunotherapy can be used to treat a range of diseases including cancer and autoimmune disease.
  • Embedded within an active and dynamic research culture, you will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to enhance your employability and further your career as an immunologist.
  • Hands-on experience with modern technologies including state-of-the-art confocal microscopy, electron microscopy and Imagestream flow cytometry is available as part of the research project Hands on training in Flow Cytometry analysis is provided as part of the research project component.
  • You will benefit from skills training to help with scientific writing, analytical skills, CV writing, interview skills and reading scientific literature.
  • Our small class sizes give you the opportunity to participate in class discussions and to have good access to the teaching staff.
  • The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes a large teaching hospital, Medical School and the Institute of Medical Sciences, all on one campus.
  • Teaching on the course is delivered by world renowned researchers including staff from the a prestigious MRC Centre for Medical Mycology.
  • Several immunotherapy based spin-out companies have developed from the University of Aberdeen, including NovaBiotics Ltd., 4D Pharma PLC, Scotia Biologics and Aperio Pharma Ltd.
  • The University is ranked 9th in the World and 5th in Europe for its international research collaboration in Biomedical and Health Sciences (Leiden Ranking 2015).
  • The University of Aberdeen is a World Top 170 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020)
  • The University of Aberdeen is a Top 30 UK University, Complete University Guide 2020

What Our Students Say

Travis Kerr United States of America

Travis Kerr <small><i>United States of America</i></small>

Travis Kerr United States of America

The University of Aberdeen’s program gave me the opportunity to study immunology in more depth than I had in undergrad, perform research as part of the degree, and to live in Europe and experience another culture.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A second class Honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent qualification in Immunology or other biological science degree is required for entry onto this programme.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £23,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

The MSc Immunology and Immunotherapy Programme will provide you with the academic, analytical and practical research skills to assist you in many careers.

Many of our graduates choose to continue in research careers and begin PhDs or become research scientists (research assistants or technicians). Our scientists have obtained posts in Universities, industry, biotechnology and hospital diagnostic and pathology laboratories.

More generally, immunologists can use their training in education, working in schools, colleges of further education and in Universities. Further opportunities are available to apply immunology and immunotherapy training in scientific publishing, patent offices working on biological patents, in science outreach and contributing to the public understanding of health issues.

Leading the way in cutting edge immunotherapy

The University of Aberdeen is at the forefront of the immunotherapy revolution with four spin out companies developing targeted therapies for cancer and autoimmune disease.

What our Alumni Say

Rahul Khanolkar

Rahul Khanolkar

Rahul Khanolkar

Job Details
Senior Scientist
Graduated 2010

The cutting-edge research being undertaken by the various immunology research groups convinced me to join the University of Aberdeen. The approachability of the lecturers/scientists made the experience very enjoyable.

Our Experts

The programme will be delivered by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of internationally renowned experts in immunology and immunotherapy.

Other Experts
Dr Donna MacCallum
Professor Ian Stansfield
Dr Gordon Prescott
Dr Shona Fielding
Prof. Gordon Brown
Professor Robert Barker
Dr Isabel Crane
Dr Heather Wilson
Programme Coordinator
Dr Frank Ward

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for The Institute of Medical Sciences
The Institute of Medical Sciences

The Institute of Medical Sciences

Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.

Image for Library facilities
Library facilities

Library facilities

A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX