BIOU6AI: Applied Immunology

CO-ORDINATOR: Dr Simon McKenzie

Module Description

Immunology is a key area in biomedical sciences and has significant ramifications across the biomedical and animal health sector. More specifically the application of immunology and associated methods aims to mitigate disease by developing diagnostic and prophylactic methods coupled to treatment strategies. The range of techniques in modern immunology is diverse and is mainly fed from the –omics disciplines including proteomics, molecular biology and cell biology. This module will expand the already acquired foundation of knowledge of immunology and will allow students to appreciate the speed of development both methodological and theoretical in this area. A specific focus will be to explore the regulatory molecular and cellular networks that underpin the immune response in vertebrates including humans and application of this knowledge to translational activity in human and animal sciences. The module will contain both theoretical classes (18) and five, 3 hour, practical laboratory sessions. Theoretical classes will be given in three main areas: infection, inflammation and cancer. Laboratory sessions will integrate across time and provide training on standard techniques including cell preparation from tissue samples, cell culture, phenotyping and phagocytosis, cell signaling assays and downstream indicator analyses. The content of the module aims to expand upon the fundamental range of techniques and knowledge previously acquired and provide criteria in skills used by the health sector both human and animal. This is in line with the skills for science agenda. The Applied Immunology module provides opportunities for students to demonstrate:

1. Skills in experimental design, analysis and interpretation.

2. Synthesis of core concepts from taught material.

3. Critical skills for technique evaluation.

4. Generic skills (e.g. information skills/oral and written communication skills/ numeracy/ team working/ personal organisational skills).

The AL module aims for students to develop the ability to:

  • Understand and appreciate the impact of immunology and associated technologies in modern medicine medicine both human and animal.
  • Understand the basis of diagnosis and treatment of disease including technical and analytical challenges.

Develop a critical opinion of current and future developments in this field.

Module Objectives

Module aims/objectives

The main purposes of the Applied Immunology module are to:

  • Provide a detailed understanding of the immune response at the molecular and cellular network scale.
  • Develop knowledge of current techniques including the-omics disciplines used in translational immunology.
  • Foster an appreciation of the pace of the development in this field, with a view to enhancing lifelong learning skills.
  • Appreciate the integrative nature of immunology and its application to diagnostic and treatment applications.
  • Develop a critical opinion on the use of immunotechnologies in human and animal medicine.

Core Learning Outcomes

Specific knowledge and understanding of current developments in the subject.

  • Infection, inflammation and cancer.
  • Regulatory control at the molecular and cellular level of the immune response.
  • identifying, targeting and modulating specific response networks and their outcome including inflammatory and anti-tumour therapies.
  • Measuring cellular phenotypes, Cell-cell interactions and cell populations for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Advances in immune-technologies and the contribution of -omics technologies.
  • Understanding diagnosis, quality control and operational basis in the laboratory.


Total Study Time 200 hours
Scheduled Learning & Teaching 40 hours: lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, external visits, scheduled on-line discussions or similar
Guided Independent Study 160 hours: both directed learning undertaken in student's own time, and their own self-directed study for assessment
Placements 0 hours


Coursework 20%
Examination 60%
Practical 20%
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