MSc Clinical Immunology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

Our MSc in Clinical Immunology will give you an advanced understanding of the principles and mechanisms of the immune system and immune responses in the context of infection, malignancy and immunological disorders.

You will also gain insight into a specialist area of laboratory medicine from clinical leaders and researchers at the forefront of immunology.

This course comprises six course units taught in blocks spanning the field of clinical immunology. Teaching is delivered on both campus and hospital sites by more than 40 individual contributors.

Course content includes:

  • basic and advanced immunology;
  • immune deficiency;
  • immunotherapy;
  • hypersensitivity and allergy;
  • cancer immunology and haematological malignancy;
  • autoimmunity.

The course will also enable you to develop critical and experimental research skills relevant to the field through practical research masterclasses, a focused research proposal and a research project.

You will learn about assays and techniques employed in research and clinical laboratories to develop your technical understanding and clinical interpretation of results.

If you have an interest in this highly diverse and ever changing field and you wish to expand your knowledge at the interface of clinical and academic immunology, this master's course is ideal for you.

Aims

This course aims to give you:

  • an advanced understanding and applied knowledge in the theory and practice of clinical immunology;
  • a critical understanding of how immunological investigations are employed to develop a clinical diagnosis;
  • the necessary transferable and research skills to promote lifelong learning and career development.

Special features

Inter-professional learning

You will learn alongside students from a range of backgrounds who are studying on related health science courses. This diversity of educational and professional input from both speakers and students provides a fantastic opportunity for collaborative learning and networking.

Research skills

You will develop a broad range of research skills through a combination of supervised laboratory masterclasses, preparation of a research proposal and undertaking a 10-week full-time research project within one of the research groups at The University of Manchester.

Patient and public involvement and engagement

You will develop a variety of communication skills by working with patient contributors throughout the course. This includes Q&A sessions, clinic observations and patient feedback. This element of the course was highly commended at the University's Making A Difference Awards 2018.

Flexible part-time option

If you have other commitments, our part-time option allows you to study each unit in two-week blocks spread over two years, giving you the flexibility you need.

CPD units available

Individual units from this MSc can be taken as standalone courses for continuing professional development .

Teaching and learning

Academic teaching is delivered by specialist immunologists from the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation and the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research .

Clinical teaching is delivered by experts from across the UK, including University Hospital South Manchester Allergy Centre, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals Trust, Cambridge Immunology Network, Institute of Child Health UCL and the CRUK Manchester Institute.

We aim to provide a range of teaching and learning methodologies including lectures, tutorials, workshops, problem-based learning exercises and hands on practical sessions. There are also opportunities to observe patient consultations and interact with patient representatives throughout the course.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Key academic staff (Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health):

Key clinical staff:

  • Dr Ross Sadler - Clinical Lead (Consultant Clinical Scientist, Oxford University Hospitals)
  • Dr Susana Marinho - Unit Co-Lead for Hypersensitivity & Allergy (Honorary Senior Lecturer/Consultant Allergist, Allergy Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust).
  • Dr Peter Arkwright - Programme Committee Member (Senior Lecturer/Consultant Paediatric Allergist & Immunologist, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust)

Coursework and assessment

We will assess your progress using a range of formative and summative assessments. These will include multiple choice, short answer and essay questions, written or creative assignments, laboratory reports and oral presentations.

The assessments will be constructed to assess your knowledge and understanding while at the same time refining and expanding your intellectual and transferable skills.

Course unit details

To obtain a PGDip, you will be required to complete 120 credits (90 credits of taught units and a 30-credit research proposal):

  • Introduction to Clinical Immunology (15 credits)
  • Immune Responses (15 credits)
  • Immunodeficiency & Immunotherapy (15 credits)
  • Advanced Clinical Immunology - Hypersensitivity & Allergy, Haematological Malignancy, Autoimmunity (30 credits)
  • Research Skills Masterclasses (15 credits)
  • Research Proposal (30 credits)

In addition, to obtain an MSc, you must combine the units above with a 60-credit research project and dissertation:

  • Research Project and Dissertation (60 credits)

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Project 1 (Clinical Immunology) MEDN60302 30 Mandatory
Research Project 2 (Clinical Immunology) MEDN60402 60 Mandatory
Immune Responses MEDN61020 15 Mandatory
Immunodeficiency & Immunotherapy MEDN61030 15 Mandatory
Advanced Clinical Immunology MEDN63320 30 Mandatory
Introduction to Immunology MEDN67111 15 Mandatory
Research Skills Masterclass (Immunology) MEDN68100 15 Mandatory
Research Methods MEDN69910 15 Mandatory

What our students say

'The Clinical Immunology MSc has been a fantastic experience. The course is well structured around interesting immunology topics, and taught by scientists at the forefront of their field. As a medical student, I have really enjoyed the clinical focus of the course - relating the science back to disease and patient experience.

The course directors and coordinators are so invested in our learning experience, doing everything they can to ensure we all get the most out of the course. It has been a fun and friendly atmosphere and I have learnt a huge amount about writing, presenting, scientific research, and immunology!'' Hilary Warrens, Intercalating Medical Student, 2017/18.

'The MSc in Clinical Immunology has allowed me to pursue my interest in immunology and learn in detail about areas that I am interested in.  I have had numerous opportunities to learn from leading immunologists from around the UK and the teaching I have received has been varied and engaging.

My favourite part of the MSc has been conducting my own extended laboratory research project in the field of cancer immunotherapy. This 10-week project has allowed me to explore the ways in which the immune system may be manipulated to kill cancerous cells. This experience gave me skills in performing flow cytometry and in critically analysing and presenting my results. 

The varied opportunities I have had on the MSc have developed my analytical and communication skills which have made me an employable and well-rounded scientist, helping me to secure a graduate job within the pharmaceutical industry.'  Charlotte Fleming, MSc Clinical Immunology, 2017/18.

Facilities

Flow cytometry class
Develop your practical skills by learning from experts in our modern facilities.

You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.

You will undertake your academic learning on the main University campus and at Wythenshawe Hospital in South Manchester.

Your research project may be carried out in a laboratory within the University or at teaching hospitals in Greater Manchester, both of which benefit from the excellent research and core facilities here at the University of Manchester, including state of the art flow cytometry , imaging and sequencing facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

Individual taught units can be taken for continuing professional development (CPD) as standalone courses. See the Clinical Immunology CPD units page for more information.