Full Title:Immunology
Module Code:PHAR S7Z01
Credits: 7.5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Description:To provide students with a good understanding of the integrated action of the multi-component immune system. To gain skills in immunological laboratory techniques. To be able to apply immunological concepts to their own research.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Recognise the levels of defense of the body (i.e. physical & chemical barriers/innate system/adaptive system).
  2. Summarise the role of the different organs and cell types of the immune system.
  3. Grasp and apply the principles and applications of a range of immunological practical techniques.
  4. Examine the role of antibodies in the immune system and also in diagnostic approaches.
  5. Differentiate the characteristics and activation processes of the cell types involved in the humoral and cell-mediated immune responses.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Immunology Systems
Overview of the mechanical, chemical and physical barriers, The innate system and the adaptive system.
Biology / biochemistry of immune reactions
Immune cells (NK cells, B cells, Th cells, Tc cells, neutrophils, monocytes, granulocytes). Lymphoid organs (thymus, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, Peyer’s patches). Cell migration and chemotaxis. Intracellular signalling pathways. Antigen recognition, processing and presentation. Complement system.
Receptors of the innate immune system
Pre-formed receptors, e.g. Pattern Recognition receptors, Toll like receptors, Fc receptors, complement receptors etc.
Biochemistry of antibodies
Immunity overview (incl. specific / non-specific and innate / adaptive immune system). Antibody structure, function, diversity (type) and mode of action (hapten / epitope). Antigen-antibody interaction (agglutination). Monoclonal / polyclonal antibodies will be covered in detail considering their current role as biopharmaceuticals. Effector functions of antibodies will also be covered in detail.
Biological / Medical application
Transplantation and transfusion. Vaccination and immunotherapy. Allergies and autoimmunity. Immune diseases / tumour immunology / immunodeficiency (incl. AIDS). Immunity to bacteria, viruses and fungi. Hypersensitivity (I, II, III, IV, V). Antibody response levels. Antibody labelling (radio-labelling / fluorescent labelling). Binding assays (qualitative / quantitative methods / Scatchard plots). Blood-grouping (ABO / Rhesus).
Other Immunology Processes
Engulfment by phagocytosis/macropinocytosis; Antigen display on Major Histocompatibility Complexes. The role of T cell receptors, cytokines and the humoral system in response to antigen detection. Gene rearrangement in B cells.
Immunology Methodological theory
ELISA, Immunohistochemistry, western blotting, Flow cytometry, controls, etc. will all be discussed in detail. Antibody labelling (radio-labelling / fluorescent labelling). Binding assays (qualitative / quantitative methods / Scatchard plots). Blood-grouping (ABO / Rhesus).
Experimental work and practicals:
Immunology practicals will be selected from the following subjects (to align with theoretical subjects covered):1.Visualisation (histochemical staining) / counting of immune cells 2.Lymphocyte isolation / purification 3.Proliferation of lymphocytes 4.Fractionation of serum proteins (e.g. ammonium sulphate precipitation) 5.Immuno-diffusion tests (e.g. gel diffusion precipitation) 6.Characterisation of purified antibody by SDS-PAGE 7.Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) 8.Serial dilution, preparation & analysis (e.g. ELISA) of immunological samples 9.Qualitative / quantitative agglutination / ELISA tests 10.Complement fixation test 11.Blood-grouping (ABO / Rhesus) 12.Affinity chromatography
Format of Lecture Series
Lecture delivery will comprise a range of methodology including on-line movie animations, visual demonstrations, large diagrams for illustration purposes as well as information and slide handouts. Novel methods using Classroom Response Systems (CRS) will also be utilised. Course material and revision quizzes will be made readily available on a virtual learning environment (VLE) for student access. The combination of these methods will facilitate in re-enforcing the student’s understanding of some of the technical and mechanistic processes involved. Various aligned classroom assessment techniques will also be employed. These will include the background knowledge probe, the one minute paper, small group interaction and discussion, question & answer sessions, team presentations to class colleagues, pop-quizzes and open ended questioning. Access to course textbooks will be provided through the DkIT eBrary service (access to more than 50,000 multidisciplinary e-books), which will allow students 24/7 access to suitable reading material. A range of self-assessment, self-reflection and peer learning exercises will be built in to deliveries of both lectures and practical sessions.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
All lecture notes will be provided to the students through a VLE. This VLE will also be used for access to helpful YouTube video clips and peer reviewed publications of interest to the course. Students will have 24/7 access to the VLE allowing them to download and study at their own pace and in their own time. Screencast and Podcast tutorials will also be made available to the students to download and listen to in their own time. This will facilitate learning and understanding for all students, but in particular the international students who may not possess fluent English.
Formative Assessments
Throughout the semester, students will be provided with formative assessments both in lectures and in laboratory environments. These are designed to facilitate group work in problem solving situations. These assessments are built in to the lecture and practical components.
Keeping up-to-date with the life science industry
Breakthroughs in the life science will be sent to the students on a regular basis. This will involve novel developments in the field in addition to postings on jobs/careers in the industry. This concept facilitates the students in preparing for life after college in the life science industry.
Practical lab assessment
Practicals will be used to reinforce key concepts and theories in immunology and to encourage students to reflect and explore individual topics in more detail. Active student participation will be encouraged to ensure a learner centred approach. Methods of teaching will utilise lectures, problem solving and experimental analysis. In addition, laboratory skill tests will be performed throughout the term. Students will work on an interactive lab manual which will contain in-class exercises for review. Group (Peer-assisted learning) work will be encouraged. Technology use will also be encouraged throughout (for example using excel for graphing / trend line generation etc.). The requirement to submit regular laboratory reports is intended to act as serious encouragement for students to focus on the laboratory work. Marks for these reports will be based on students’ ability to record primary data, calculate derivatives from these, display these data, comment on their meaning in the context of the actual experiment and associated theory, and discuss limitations to the experiment and the results obtained.
Assessment Breakdown%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%

Full Time

No Course Work
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Practical/Skills Evaluation Students will participate in weekly laboratory-based practical sessions in which formative assessments will be performed in interactive group settings (e.g. problem based learning, quizzes, protocol review exercises, worksheet completion etc.). Summative practical laboratory reports will be submitted during the module for grading. Further details are presented in the indicative content section of this document. 2,3,4 40.00 0 0 n/a 0
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4,5 60.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 3 x 1 hour lectures 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Practical 1 x 3 hour lab session 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Directed Reading Notes / Paper / Textbook reading 2.00 Every Week 2.00
Independent Study Self / group study 5.00 Every Week 5.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 13.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 6.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Delves, P.J., Martin, S.J., Burton, D.R., Roitt, I.M. 2011, Roitt's essential immunology, 12 Ed., Wiley-Blackwell (available on DkIT eBrary and other editions available in print)
  • Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, Barry T. Rouse, David L. Sacks (edts) 2011, The immune response to infection, Washington, DC : ASM Press (available on DkIT's eBrary service)
  • Ivan Roitt, Arthur Rabson & Peter J. Delves 2005, Really essential medical immunology, 2nd Ed., Oxford : Blackwell Science
  • Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer. 2007, Biochemistry, 6th Ed., New York : W.H. Freeman
  • Harvey Lodish, Arnold Berk, Chris A. Kaiser, Monty Krieger, Matthew P. Scott, Anthony Bretscher, Hidde Ploegh, Paul Matsudaira 2007, Molecular Cell Biology, W. H. Freeman
  • Sztefko, Krystyna. 2011, Immunodiagnostics and patient safety, Berlin : De Gruyter (available on DkIT's ebrary service)
  • Male, D.K., Brostoff, J., Roth, D. and Roitt, I. 2007, Immunology, 7th Ed., Elsevier
  • Tizard, I.R. 2009, Veterinary Immunology: An Introduction, 8th Ed., Saunders Elsevier (available on DkIT eBrary and in print)
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Charles A. Janeway, Jr., Paul Travers. 1997, Immunobiology : the immune system in health and disease, 3 Ed., Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone
  • Parham, P. 2009, The Immune System, 3rd Ed., Garland Science
  • Kuby; Goldsby, Kindt, Osborne 2007, Immunology, 6 Ed., WH Freeman
  • P.M. Lydyard, A. Whelan And M.W. Fanger 2003, Instant notes in Immunology, Bios Scientific Publishers Ltd (available on DkIT - dawsonera online collection)
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources
  • Textbook collection online with DkIT: 'Access online textbooks through DkIT's dawsonera and eBrary collection (go to DkiT library site to begin)'
  • Up to date science breakthrough website: 'www.breebio.com'
  • Online publication databases: www.sciencedirect.com ; www.pubmed.com
  • Website: Irish Society for Immunology - http://www.irishimmunology.ie
  • Website: British Society for Immunology: http://www.immunology.org
  • Website: Nature Immunology Journal Collection: http://www.nature.com/immuno/index.html
  • Website: Nature Reviews in Immunology: http://www.nature.com/nri/index.html
  • Website: The Journal of Immunology: http://www.jimmunol.org
  • Link: Library Catalogue
  • Link: Library Catalogue

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SAPBI_7 Bachelor of Science in Applied Bioscience 5 Elective
DK_SPHAR_7 Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science 5 Mandatory