Module code: MMIM023

Module Overview

This module is designed to introduce the concepts of immunology and how the immune system functions, before integrating these to more fully explore the pathogenesis of a range of aberrant immune responses and some introductory pathogens.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BODMAN-SMITH Kikki (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 2

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 7

Practical/Performance Hours: 9

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content


  • Cells and tissues of the immune system

  • Innate immunity

  • Immunogens, immunogenicity and structures which recognise antigen

  • Antigen presentation

  • Humoral and cellular adaptive immune responses

  • Tolerance, hypersensitivity and autoimmunity

  • Immunity to infection


  • Cell identification assay

  • Innate immune mediator measurement

  • Adaptive cell-mediated immunity functional assay

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test MCQ 15
Coursework Essay 15
Practical based assessment Practical Write Up 15
Examination 90 Minute Exam 55

Alternative Assessment

If practical components require re-assessment analysis of a data set will be undertaken to assess the underlying principles of the appropriate learning outcomes. This will reflect the material covered in the original assessment.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • Incremental assimilation and understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune response involved in protection against infection and damage via formative activity-based tutorials, a summative MCQ/SAQ test, practical report and a short ‘summary’ essay

  • The integration of theory with practice in the form of 3 of laboratory experiments based on immune responses to infectious diseases and through the completion of 1 of these as a practical write-up

  • Understanding of the use of basic statistics applied to class laboratory experiment results

  • The ability to reflect on immunology theory and to synthesise experimental  approaches to test a theoretical scenario in the laboratory through guided groupwork in a self-design practical

  • The ability to work cooperatively as pairs or in groups

  • Assimilation and understanding of the overall molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune system and immunopathogenesis of a variety of infectious diseases by the completion of 1 extended examination essay

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Coursework (45%)

  • 1 Multiple Choice/Short Answer Question test on first 1/3 of the module (week 3)

  • 1 practical report on Innate immune mediator measurement (3 sides A4,  week 5)

  • 1 x 500 word essay 1/3 of module (week 7)

Examination (55%)

  • 1.5 hours, 1 short essay from 3  and 1 extended essay from 3

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative activity-based  tutorials during immunology lectures (weeks 1-6)

  • Coursework feedback on MCQ/SAQ test and essay is formative for exams

  • Formative feedback/discussion of results of practicals 1 and 3 at end of session

  • Formative tutorial for data collation and analysis of practical 2 results

  • Guided tutorial/session with discussion for Self-design practical 3

  • Class discussion of past exam papers during revision tutorial is formative for examination technique

Module aims

  • Provide the student with a thorough grounding in the science of immunology, allowing an incremental assimilation in understanding of the cellular and biochemical mechanisms involved in protecting the host from infectious diseases
  • Relate theory to practice in terms of relevant practical techniques to investigate the immunopathogenesis of microbial pathogens

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss specific immunological processes using appropriate terminology KT
002 Discuss the key characteristics of the cells involved in the immune response KT
003 Discuss the interaction between antibodies and antigens KT
004 Compare and contrast how specific and innate immune responses are generated KT
005 Discuss the implications of dysregulation of the immune system in terms of hypersensitivity and autoimmunity KT
006 Have gained experience in immunological techniques representative of the methodology used to investigate host immune system : pathogen interactions KCPT
007 Discuss the interaction between pathogen and host during an immune response KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Deliver a thorough grounding in molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune system in an incremental fashion.  This is as a result of the need to ‘build’ the subject and ensure understanding throughout the topics, hence 3 pieces of sequential coursework have been set: a MCQ/SAQ test in week 3, a practical write-up due in  week 5 and a short summary style essay due in week 7.

  • Relate theory to practice by providing relevant practical techniques to investigate the immunopathogenesis of microbial pathogens

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Deliver the content of the lecture topics through a variety of lecturers who are experts in their field

  • Formative activity-based immunology tutorials

  • 3 Practical sessions relating theory to practise

  • Exam revision tutorial to enable students to highlight areas of course material that require further explanation or clarification

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MMIM023

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Medical Microbiology (EuroMasters) MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Medical Microbiology MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.