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The Immune System - BIO00050I

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. James Hewitson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module will examine the mammalian immune system, starting with the development of immune cells, then moving onto the function of mature innate and adaptive immune cells, and how they work together to recognise and eliminate pathogens.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

In this module we will explore how the mammalian immune system works. Students will be introduced to immune cell development (haematopoiesis), important cells and molecules of the innate and adaptive immune responses, and how distinct responses protect us from the diverse range of pathogens that can infect us (viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms). We will learn how immune cells recognise pathogens, become activated, and enact anti-pathogen effector responses. We will discuss how we can train the immune responses to our benefit (vaccines), but also how the immune system can cause diseases such as allergy and autoimmunity. Students will learn immunological techniques and data analysis skills. This module provides a foundation for the Stage 3 module: Haematology & Immunology in Health and Disease.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Describe how immune cells differentiate through haematopoiesis and the structural and functional attributes of the primary and secondary lymphoid organs

Explain the cellular and molecular constituents of the innate and adaptive immune systems, their distinct abilities to recognise pathogens, and how they work together to coordinate anti-pathogen immunity

Work independently and in groups to understand experimental design, techniques, data analysis, and critically evaluate immunological scientific literatureSummarise the cellular and molecular constituents of the innate and adaptive immune systems, and their unique abilities to recognise microbes

Solve problems relating to experimental immunology


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam: The Immune System
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Online exam: The Immune System
6 hours 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

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.