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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Immunology

Undergraduate Course: Molecular Immunology (IMMU10003)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will introduce the structure and function of the families of molecules employed by the immune system to recognize and initiate a responses to antigen. It will provide an essential grounding for the understanding of the complex cellular interactions of the immune response.

We will initially look at receptors involved in the recognition of antigens during the early phases of immunity. In particular we will examine Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), components of the complement system, and receptors expressed on natural killer (NK) cells. In mammals, once an immune response is initiated, more complex families of molecules are used to deal with individual pathogens. A major focus of this course will be the molecules encoded by the MHC. Examination of the structure, polymorphism and intra-cellular trafficking of this family is essential to appreciate their role in 'presenting' antigenic peptides to activate the acquired immune response. MHC presentation of peptide antigens leads to activation T cells via the T cell receptor (TCR). This receptors ability to recognize an almost unlimited range of antigenic peptides associated with MHC molecules will be studied. B cells also recognize antigens via a specialized receptor (BCR). The structure of this receptor as well as the generation of a repertoire of capable of recognizing differing antigens will be examined.

This course will conclude by looking at the molecules that transduce signals from antigen receptors. This will include both intracellular pathways, leading to cell activation, as well as the expression of accessory molecules. These include membrane-bound co-stimulation molecules and secreted molecules capable of relaying signals to other cells either locally (cytokines) or further away (chemokines).
Course description This course will introduce the structure and function of the families of molecules employed by the immune system to recognize and initiate a responses to antigen.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Immunology 3 (BILG09007) AND ( Clinical Immunology & Haematology 3B (MSBM09004) OR Medical Microbiology 3 (BIME09002) OR Molecular Genetics 3 (BILG09002) OR Parasite Biology 3 (BILG09003))
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Clinical Immunology & Haematology 3B (MSBM09004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 30, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 63 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Exam: December exam diet
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the molecular aspects of Immunology.
  2. Apply that knowledge in a range of settings, including examinations, discussions and presentations.
  3. Demonstrate advanced skills in reading and understanding the primary literature
  4. Demonstrate their development of scientific problem-solving skills.
  5. Demonstrate autonomy and initiative by the development of effective oral presentation skills.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)50 5459
Course secretaryMr Tim MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 7296
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