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Specialised Topics in Infection & Immunity - BIO00081H

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Pegine Walrad
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Module summary

This module will examine specific examples of bespoke immunological contexts, infection with pathogens and host:pathogen dynamics. Example bacterial, parasitic and viral infections will be discussed including the implications of HIV-induced immune suppression upon coinfections and finish with a review how comparative genomics have been instrumental in the targeted diagnosis and treatment of pathogen infections.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module will examine overarching principles in pathogens and immunobiology addressing evolutionary, molecular, cellular biology underpinning the fascinating interactions between host and pathogen. We will address how the immune system performs its essential role - to protect the host from infectious agents whilst maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing undesired inflammation and pathogenesis. We will evaluate how pathogens infect and survive in hosts deploying sophisticated immune evasion strategies. We will discuss current genomic strategies to diagnose pathogens, track inflammation and improve treatment and vaccine design.

Module learning outcomes

1. Explain key terminology in infection and immunity and illustrate fundamental concepts with examples.

2. Discuss the interactions between the host and infectious agents, and how this can lead to disease or protection.

3. Critique different pathogen survival strategies.

4. Evaluate molecular, cellular and organismal regulation of pathogen survival and host immunity in health and disease.

5. Analyze, review and explain challenges in our fight against infectious diseases.

6. Comprehend and critically assess experimental data and approaches in immunology and infection research


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Specialised Topics in Infection & Immunity
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Specialised Topics in Infection & Immunity
N/A 100

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.


During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students