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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biology

Undergraduate Course: Immunology 3 (BILG09007)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA course in cellular and molecular immunology presented in the context of human disease: cells and tissues of the immune system; antibodies, T cell receptors and immune recognition; the regulation of immune responses; defects of the immune system; AIDS; immunity to pathogens and vaccines. Laboratory work illustrates the lectures and gives some practice in experimental applications.
Course description This course cannot be combined with Clinical Immunology and Haematology 3A but can be combined with Clinical Immunology and Haematology 3B]

This is a course on the biology of the immune system, building on the background acquired in Micro-organisms, Infection and Immunity 2. Lectures, supported by tutorials and practical classes, which reinforce the key concepts from the lectures, give a sound introduction to modern cellular and molecular immunology, with an emphasis on the experimental systems used to study the immune system.

The first half of the lecture course describes basic concepts in immunology, including description of the innate and adaptive immune systems, the anatomy of the immune system and an overview of the recognition mechanisms by which foreign antigens are detected. There is an emphasis here on the genetic mechanisms that contribute to the generation of antigen receptor diversity, and the ways in which antigens are handled by antigen-presenting cells. The lectures then move on to look at lymphocyte development and activation, as well as the specific effector functions of the cellular and humoral arms of the adaptive immune system. The regulation of responses by 'helper' T cells and cytokines, and the principles of immunological memory are discussed in some depth. Understanding how the immune system tolerates self-antigens and harmless foreign antigen is discussed, providing a basis for understanding autoimmune diseases. Expanding on the introduction to effector mechanisms, the specific pathways that control infection with bacteria, protozoa, helminths and viruses will be covered. Finally, the immune system will be discussed in the context of evolutionary biology. Some of these topics are considered also in Medical Microbiology 3 in the second Semester.

Both theoretical and practical aspects of the course will be assessed. At least a good C pass in Immunology 3 is recommended for entry into Immunology Honours. The course provides useful background recommended for students with interests in Honours in a number of other subject areas (e.g. Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Infectious Diseases, Biomedical Sciences).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Microorganisms, Infection and Immunity 2 (BIME08012) OR Genes and Gene Action 2 (BILG08003)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed The Dynamic Cell 2 (BILG08009)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements We suggest Microorganisms, Infection and Immunity 2 in preference to Genes and Gene Action 2, but will accept students who only have Genes and Gene Action 2.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesEquivalent of the courses listed above
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 23, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 23, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 138 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 55 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Three items of in-course assessment: 45%
Mid-semester learn quiz [5%]
Course Essay [25%]
Practical Test [15%]

Degree examination: in December [55%].
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge of the cells which comprise the mammalian immune system, including their distinguishing features, recognition mechanisms, tissue distribution and interactions.
  2. Knowledge of the ways in which immune responses are initiated by experimental antigens (and some pathogens); understanding of the molecular processes involved, and of the regulation of immune responses at the cellular level.
  3. Knowledge of the functions of the immune system in selected diseases, especially infectious diseases.
  4. The ability to perform practical procedures with care, to produce accurate results, to understand the theoretical basis of the techniques employed, and to maintain a full and accurate record of your results and conclusions.
  5. The ability to research and review an immunological topic in the current scientific literature and, by means of a course essay, to communicate the results of the literature research in writing, clearly, concisely, and in a well-structured manner.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information To facilitate practicals, the School of Biology has been given permission to vary the timetable of class sessions: note that most lectures start at 13.30. Laboratory practicals and/or tutorials normally follow the lectures.
Course organiserDr Jenny Regan
Tel: (0131 6)51 3630
Course secretaryMr Tim MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 7296
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