BSc Immunology / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Immunology RSM

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL20952
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


During this Unit you will apply commonly used immune-based techniques in research-based scenarios to investigate immune responses in different situations of infection and disease. The content of the unit is designed to reinforce and stimulate interrogation of material in the co-requisite lecture unit BIOL21242 Immunology.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Parasitology BIOL21252 Co-Requisite Recommended
Immunology BIOL21242 Co-Requisite Compulsory


  • To expose students to the theory and practice of a selection of immune-based techniques commonly used in broad research and clinical laboratory settings
  • To apply these techniques in experimental settings that illustrate core immune principles
  • To develop practical, organisational and team working skills within a research environment
  • To enhance ability in experimental design, critical interpretation, presentation of data and reporting of experimental findings


Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to;
• follow instruction to work safely and effectively with others in a research laboratory setting
• apply knowledge of principles underlying the experimental methods used to obtain and record meaningful data
• document experiments in a counter-signed lab book
• critically consider the appropriateness of controls used and the validity and presentation of results generated to inform on the research question being asked
• draw on knowledge from other areas of your learning to interpret your results to inform on the nature of the immune response in different infection and disease scenarios
• identify key features of antibody three dimensional structure and comment on linear antibody sequence in relation to antibody binding functions
• appreciate other situations in which the research techniques experienced could be informative
• interpret similar data provided in the form of archived data or in research publications


Teaching and learning methods

• Practical work will be performed in small groups for collaborative planning and experimental management.
• Online support material will be provided through Blackboard.
• Problem-based learning and assessment will be provided as open book exercises.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 44%
Report 50%
Portfolio 6%

Written report
Full write-up (6 pages) of an assigned practical investigation in the style of journal paper (worth 50% of the unit mark).

Short answer and data interpretation problems performed within the scheduled session (worth 44% of the unit mark)


Lab book (worth 6% of the unit mark): recording of experimental method and data acquisition in a dated lab book with page numbering and indexing to be signed off by demonstrators at the end of relevant experimental periods.

Feedback methods

• In class verbal feedback throughout

• Online ’Community Learning Forum’ on Blackboard, incorporating anonymous submission and discussion

• Written feedback for summative short answer and data interpretation assignments

• Written feedback for the summative full write-up report

RSM Attendance guidelines: Students must attend all scheduled RSM sessions on time (N.B. Health and safety information is often delivered at the start of practical sessions, and consequently students who are not present at the start may be asked to leave the lab). Students who arrive late will be marked as absent for that session. Failure to attend a session (an unauthorised absence) will result in a 10% (i.e. 10 mark) penalty being applied to the overall RSM mark (i.e. a student obtaining a mark of 65% overall will instead receive a mark of 55%). Furthermore, any students who miss a practical session will not receive a mark for any associated post-lab assessment (N.B. this mark will be removed before calculating the average post-lab mark to avoid a student being penalised twice).Further absences will result in further penalties (i.e. 2 absences = a penalty of 20% (as described above)).

Recommended reading

Compulsory - Review BIOL21242 lecture material; in particular lectures on recognition of antigen by B cells and antibodies, the genetics of antigen receptors, generation of antibodies and monoclonal antibodies

Recommended: Janeway’s Immunobiology (9th edition, 2017), written by Kenneth Murphy and Casey Weaver (Garland Science).

Recommended: Roitt’s Essential Immunology (13th edition, 2017), written by Delves, Martin, Burton and Roitt (Wiley-Blackwell). Available as an ebook through the University of Manchester library.

Reference: Hurst RJ and Else KJ (2013). Trichuris muris research revisited: a journey through time. Parasitology, 140(11):1325-39



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 72
Independent study hours
Independent study 28

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Kathleen Nolan Unit coordinator

Return to course details