Module code: BMS3103

Module Overview

The central premise of this module is for students to learn how to integrate their exercise physiology knowledge from previous modules with the biology (i.e., immune function) that determines, in some part, the benefits of exercise. The module will explore how the immune system is involved in the health and adaptation of both sports people and individuals with varying health conditions. This module is a culmination of students learning and will require applying knowledge from topics such as physiology (BMS1032 and 2063) and pathology (BMS2052).

Students will enter the module with a good understanding of the principles of exercise physiology and underlying biology (gained in L4 and L5 modules BMS1044 and BMS2063, respectively) along with the pathophysiology of prevalent chronic diseases (grained from L5 module BMS2052). Students will examine the evidence regarding the components and the role of the immune system in relation to exercise-based modalities in health and disease.

Through a series of physiology and immunological-based laboratories, students will apply this knowledge to assess the immune system in relation to fitness and acute exercise. Upon completing this module, students will have gained valuable hands-on employability skills related to the effects of exercise on the immune system.  

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

BARTLETT David (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 54

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 15

Practical/Performance Hours: 28

Guided Learning: 15

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS2052 - Pathology: A Metabolic Perspective BMS2063 - Exercise Physiology & Biochemistry

Module content

Indicative content includes:

· Health & Immunity : How can we boost health with exercise & physical activity

· The Anatomy of the Human Immune System

· Functions of the Adaptive Immune System

· Functions of the Innate Immune System

· Effects of acute and chronic exercise on innate immunity

· Effects of acute and chronic exercise on adaptive immunity

· Immune responses to intensified periods of training

· Exercise and the prevention of chronic diseases

· Exercise, infection risk, immune function, and inflammation in special populations

· How to assess immune function during exercise

· Introduction to using flow cytometry and ELISA?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation JOURNAL CRITIQUE 20
Coursework WRITTEN REPORT (2000 WORDS) 30

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that the students have a detailed knowledge of the principles of exercise immunology, how these relate to different populations of people, different modes of exercise, and how to assess the immune system.

Thus, the summative assessment of this module consists of:

· A written case study (2500 words) based on a case study on the students own choosing.

· A presentation of a relevant journal article, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the study.

· An examination in which the students write 1 extended essay from a choice.


Formative assessment and feedback:

·Weekly MCQ (10 questions) during tutorials from Week 2 onwards that cover the previous weeks content and to ensure weekly learning goals are being achieved.

· Weekly tutorials with group discussions, journal critiques, presentations and verbal feedback on the lecture and practical content

· Practical sessions that will assess immune components in the Institute for Health biomedical teaching laboratories in response to exercise.

Verbal feedback from academics or demonstrators will be provided during practicals


 Formative feedback on examination style essay structure and content includes a class discussion of past examination questions during revision week · Feedback to specific queries via the discussion boards on SurreyLearn with responses being made available to all via SurreyLearn or during tutorials as appropriate generic class feedback to practical reports

Module aims

  • Provide students with more in-depth knowledge of the applicability and principles of immunology in relation to sport, exercise, and health.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the underlying immunological causes of health conditions and how exercise/physical activity can alleviate the pathology
  • Evaluate the specific exercise-induced functional changes to the immune system
  • To advance practical laboratory skills for assessment of physiological and immune function during exercise
  • Provide an introduction to the molecular mechanisms by which exercise acts on functions of the immune system

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the main components and functions of the immune system K
002 Understand the principles of exercise immunology K
003 Gather scientific information to address a formulated research question CKP
004 Critically analyse and evaluate information to support conclusions/recommendation CK
005 Communicate effectively orally and in written work CKP
006 Assess and analyse immune function tests C
007 Have the ability to discuss how different exercise protocols can be designed and used to assess immune function in different populations CKPT
008 Understand the tools required to assess immunity in relation to exercise CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy are designed to ensure that students achieve the modules learning outcomes and develop competencies in the complementary aspects of the curriculum framework (employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, sustainability, resourcefulness and resilience).

Students will have lectures and tutorials to provide them with a further understanding of the concepts underlying the immunological effects of exercise in a variety of populations. This knowledge will be integrated into practical classes designed to further their understanding of the topic and provide them with the practical and professional skills required to work in an exercise immunology setting.

Throughout the module, SurreyLearn will extensively be used to inform students and disseminate specific content such as lecture hand-outs, useful links and additional literature. SurreyLearn will also be used to communicate between academics and students to answer questions that are of relevance to all students effectively

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: BMS3103

Other information

This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:¿


Employability. Multi-skilled individuals who understand and can apply the biological basis of exercise adaptation are in high demand for non-academic, health services and academic positions. Students will not only learn key teamwork, presentation and communication skills. Still, they will also gain valuable hands-on experience and knowledge that allows them to transition easier into a role that involves a more detailed understanding of exercise biology.


Resourcefulness & Resilience. Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop their resourcefulness through literature searching to understand methods used by other researchers and provide an appropriate critique. Resilience will be developed by placing students in an academic situation they are unlikely to have experienced before. Specifically, the practicals are designed to test immune function responses to acute exercise. As such, planning and time management are essential to such experiments – this practical will develop their project management skills.

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 2025/6 academic year.