Advanced Topics in Immunology - BIO00003H

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Marika Kullberg
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module will build on the second-year Immunology module (BIO00002I), introducing students to more in-depth knowledge of a variety of topics related to our immune system. We will cover various aspects of leukocyte cell biology, including the roles of macrophages and dendritic cells, B cells, the diversity of T helper lymphocyte subsets, immune tolerance, and trafficking of immune cells around the body. We will also examine what happens when things go wrong in the immune system, identifying mechanisms of inflammation and autoimmunity. Throughout the module, students will be expected to critically evaluate selected research papers associated with the topics covered in lectures and present their conclusions in open discussion in class.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics and roles of macrophages and dendritic cells in the innate immune system, and how they participate in the initiation of the acquired immune response as part of our host defence.
  • Explain how T cells provide specific immune recognition, responding to stimulation by proliferation, differentiation, and subsequently orchestrating different types of immune effector responses.
  • Outline the role of B-cell subsets and the molecular and cellular interactions required for an effective B-cell response.
  • Explain the concepts of breakdown in peripheral tolerance that lead to autoimmunity and chronic inflammatory conditions, and discuss biological therapeutic approaches to tackle these conditions.
  • Identify and explain in vivo and ex-vivo experimental approaches to address key immunological concepts and questions.
  • Apply knowledge of immunology to interpret and critically evaluate and discuss data from primary research papers.


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Advanced Topics in Immunology
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Advanced Topics in Immunology
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on your progress is important to your learning process and we return all first and second year work to you after marking for feedback purposes via Biology Student Services in week 9 or 10 of the spring and summer terms. You will be notified by e-mail when your work is ready for collection.

Module marks are made available to both you and your supervisor via your eVision account as soon as the marks are available, by week 6 of the spring term and week 8 of the summer term. You are expected to discuss your performance and progress with your supervisor in your mid-spring term and end of summer term supervisory meetings.

A histogram of all module marks is produced and posted on the examinations notice board outside Biology Student Services.

Specimen answers are posted on the web: by comparing the specimen answers with your own, you should obtain a clear idea of what was expected of you. For each module the markers will also give general feedback on how well the questions were answered and point out any standard errors that students may have made.

Indicative reading

Reading associated with this module will come from published research papers. Reference lists will be provided for each lecture and key publications will be uploaded on the VLE site for the module. Moreover, for revision purposes, we recommend Janeway's Immunobiology (8th edition from 2012 or 9th edition from 2017).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.