BSc Microbiology / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Immunology

Unit code BIOL21242
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

Immunology is the study of the body's immune system. This unit will introduce you to the main features of the immune system, the innate immune system and the specific immune system. You will learn about recognition of microbes by the specific immune system and how the immune system protects against different pathogens. You will also learn how the immune system can itself cause disease, for example in allergy or autoimmune diseases, and how its function can be compromised by AIDS or immunosuppressant drugs.

Aims

  • To understand the components and functioning of the immune system

Learning outcomes

Students should understand:

  • The role of the immune system, innate immunity and the specific immune system, recognition of microbes by the specific immune system and how the immune system protects against different pathogens. They should also have an appreciation of some aspects of immunopathology: allergy, autoimmunity, transplantation and AIDS.
  • The concepts that enable the immune system to function properly and the consequences of it going wrong.

Syllabus

Lectures will cover the main role of the immune system in providing defence against infection caused by bacteria, viruses, yeasts and parasites. They will describe the two main arms of the immune system, the innate immune system and the specific immune system. The different anatomical, cellular and molecular components of the two systems will be covered and how these systems detect the presence of infectious pathogens will be an important part of the unit. How the immune system actually deals with infectious organisms will also be described as well as some of the challenges to the immune system such as in HIV/AIDS. Finally the unit will cover some of the problems that arise when the immune system ‘gets it wrong’; this will include allergy and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

e-Learning Activity

Mini-exam (Contributing 10% of the final mark)

Employability skills

Innovation/creativity
Scope for students to read outside the core lectures and develop their knowledge.
Research
Additional text is provided so that students can research the topics in more detail.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 90%

1.5 hour examination (90%) consisting of short note answers including drawing diagrams.

Feedback methods

Feedback on spotter test.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 76.7

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sheena Cruickshank Unit coordinator

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