Enhance your undergraduate degree with a year's placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment.
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At a Glance
On Campus Learning
This degree will offer you the opportunity to explore how our body defends itself as well as the role the immune system plays in the debilitating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, the growing incidence of asthma and allergy and the development of cancer. We look at how the immune system can be exploited for novel therapies including vaccines and how it is important in transplant survival and blood transfusion.
You will gain a broad, in depth, understanding of Immunology at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. Our research-led approach, which covers the latest advances in Immunology, provides you with the skills and knowledge for a wide range of careers in Immunology and more generally in medical science.
In your fourth year you will undertake a year's industrial placement and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Placements vary considerably but, in general terms, you will have the opportunity to do a placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment where you will be able to develop a breadth of practical experience to complement your degree programme and enhance your employability.
What You'll Study
A degree in Immunology is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.
Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.
Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.
This course covers the foundations of chemistry that underpin the life sciences at a molecular level and is suitable for students with different backgrounds including little or no previous study of chemistry. The basic concepts of quantitative chemistry will be covered, along with the different types of organic molecules, acids and bases, and the principles of kinetics and thermodynamics. The relevance of the course materials to life science is emphasised throughout.
Laboratory classes introduce important practical techniques, with experiments that reinforce and complement the taught material.
The course will allow students to continue with other chemistry courses as part of their enhanced study by providing discipline breadth.
Chemistry plays a vital role in the life sciences, explaining the properties of biomolecules and how biological processes work at a molecular level. Organic reaction mechanisms give insight into how different types of molecules can be synthesised and methods of chemical analysis introduce other important topics linking the chemical and life sciences. The relationship between energy, entropy and equilibrium in driving reactions will be covered and the course concludes with a survey of the molecules of life – proteins, enzymes and sugars.
Laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.
• Cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science.• This course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies.• All practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology.• Employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive enterprise session and our online mini course.
Year 2 courses introduce Immunity, Infectious Diseases, Bacteria and Parasites and Cell Biology. The year 2 curriculum includes two courses devoted to development of Foundation and Research Skills in the Life Sciences.
this course will provide a comprehensive understanding of how genetic information is stored, how it is accessed by the cell to form functional proteins and how the release of this information is controlled to produce a healthy human child;
understanding this process is essential to understanding the basis of human disease and the course will examine how genetic differences affect disease susceptibility;
this popular, comprehensive and cutting edge course will equip students with the essential knowledge, skills and confidence in molecular biology required to progress on all courses undertaken in the School of Medical Sciences
course cultivates literature research skills, building confidence in
team-working and communication through scientific writing and seminar
encourages student-led learning and organisation in researching a topic on
human health or disease of your own choice, with tutors providing guidance;
will learn to use online and library resources to search for information
from primary research articles and relay that information in the form of a
written report and a Powerpoint presentation to peers and academic tutors;
are all fundamental skills for scientific researchers, but are also
transferrable talents for many other career pathways
Year 3 covers the fundamentals of Immunology, including Immune Regulation, Tolerance and an introduction to new ideas and advances in our understanding of the immune system. The latest technologies available for immunological analysis both in clinical and research settings will also be covered
A pre-requisite for all students intending to apply for a year’s industrial placement.
This course covers the skills necessary to complete placement applications by exploring CV preparation, writing covering letters, completing application forms, identification of your skill sets and good interview technique.
The course will prepare you for the workplace by making you aware of general employability skills and by helping you identify your own transferable skills.
This course will give you a broad understanding of the immune system, the way it works and its role in health and disease;
you will cover the core concepts which are essential for advanced study in Immunology;
practical classes will extend your knowledge and abilities in both generic laboratory techniques and those more specifically related to Immunology;
you will gain wider transferrable skills including team-working, improved ability to present and interpret data and write reports, and improved numerical skills all of which are key requirements for employers
explores Immunology in the context of human disease, discussing the mechanisms the human immune system uses to protect against pathogens and also how its dysfunction may lead to problems such as autoimmune disease, allergy and cancer. Therapeutic approaches are considered;
prepares you for further study in Immunology and other aspects of medical science;
practical classes will give you the opportunity to investigate some of the topics considered in the lectures as well as reinforcing general laboratory skills;
you will gain wider transferrable skills of value to employers including report writing, presentation of a topic and team working
The variety of infections and pathologies seems almost limitless, and although some of the commonest infections have been studied intensely, it's fair to say that the biological and environmental processes relating to infections are often poorly-understood. We are also living through a time when some deadly diseases are on the increase – this is for a host of reasons including overuse of antibiotics or misinformation about common therapies such as vaccination. Infectious disease isn’t going away.
an industrial placement allows students to experience workplace culture and makes them more effective employees following graduation;
placements vary considerably but in general terms, students are placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where they obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme;
students are employed by their host company and can expect to work a normal 40 hour week, possibly on a number of projects, over a full calendar year;
tutorial assistance from a member of the University academic staff is available via email and / or telephone throughout the year
The Honours year extends and explores molecular and cellular aspects of Immunology. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.
students will extend from their "textbook" knowledge in basic Immunology to frontline research into areas such as the specific mechanisms that successfully eliminate different types of infectious agent, and the cells and molecules that prevent autoimmune diseases;
students will understand how pathogens are able to evade our immune system and the current strategies and challenges in immunotherapeutic and vaccine development for these pathogens;
research tutorials help students to acquire further knowledge in a specialist subject in Immunology and develop their reading, writing, numeracy, communication and critical analysis skills that are attractive to employers in academia and industry.
understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in our immunity will lead to vast treatment improvements for a range of diseases, especially in the areas of autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infection;
a deeper understanding of our immune system has already been exploited in so many ways – immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease, in kits that aid early diagnosis of disease, as prognostic markers of disease activity, in the development of novel vaccination strategies;
this course which focuses on recent advances in molecular Immunology will start you on the path to further, higher studies of the immune system
You will be taught using a variety of methods and styles and we continually seek to make the teaching engaging, exciting and responsive to the latest research in your subject area. The research we carry out in the School directly informs and guides our teaching, particularly in the final Honours year. Our commitment to teaching is recognised by the range of University of Aberdeen Student-led Teaching Awards given to staff from our School.
As a student, your learning is supported by MyAberdeen, our virtual learning environment from which you can access the lecture Powerpoint slides, online practice tests, links to related reading, and tutorial support material.
We make innovative use of 'educational voting' handsets in class, remote control 'clickers' that allow each and every student to electronically respond in class by anonymous vote to questions posed by the lecturer.
Your academic development is supported from year 1 through to year 5 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
Why Study Immunology?
You will spend the fourth year of your degree in paid employment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc.
Our teaching is underpinned by world leading research groups particularly in immunohematology and the immunology of Fungal Infection.
This is a wide-ranging programme that includes training in both specialist and generic employment-related skills
Modern teaching facilities and labs which will enhance your learning and provide you with an opportunity to experience working in a research focussed laboratory environment.
Immunology research here has led to major improvements in treatment for the debilitating autoimmune eye disease uveitis.
The Wellcome Trust medical research foundation has funded a £5.1 million Strategic award in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology to members of the University’s Aberdeen Fungal Group. It represents the single largest award in the mycology-immunology field.
SQA Highers- AAAB* A Levels- ABB* IB- 34 points, 6 at HL* ILC- 5H with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3, with H2 and H3 from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject, OR AAABB including AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject. The grading within band B must be B2 or above.*
*Including AB in two Science or Mathematics subjects.
Applicants who achieve AAAB or better over S4 and S5 are likely to be made an offer of admission. This may be unconditional or it may be conditional, dependent upon academic profile. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers may be required.
Highers at AB from two Science or Maths subjects required.
A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.
A levels at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
A minimum of 34 points. 6 points at HL from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Five subjects at Higher, with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3. H2 from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate 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:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
EU / International students
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Scholarships and Funding
Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.
Many of our graduates follow their undergraduate degree with a postgraduate programme or with PhD research in a wide range of research laboratories. Others move directly into positions in hospital research, diagnostic laboratories and research institutes. Other major employers of Immunology graduates include the scientific civil service, pharmaceutical, food, fermentation and biotechnology industries.
An Immunology degree is also a starting point for a career outside science in management, intellectual property, publishing, teaching or a wide range of other professions.
Our degree programmes are built to enhance your employability and three flagship options give our degrees a distinctively different flavour from many others. All our degrees offer:
A 10-week full time research project in the final year which will provide you with valuable experience of working in a medical science research environment
Highly relevant and sought after experience in bio-business aimed at giving you an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas and an opportunity to learn about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
We have close links with the British Society of Immunology who provide funding for the Aberdeen Immunology Group enabling bi-weekly talks in term time from Immunologists across the UK and further afield as well as an annual symposium.
We have close teaching and research ties with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
The Immunology-associated companies that have been spun-off from the University provide links that are valuable both for teaching and student research projects.
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.
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.
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.
Science Teaching Hub
Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub provides students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.
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