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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Immunology (BIME11107)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course aims to provide the foundational understanding of the immune response to infection and the role of innate and adaptive immunity. The course provides the foundational understanding for the subsequent courses on pathogen biology
Course description Indicative course content:

Section 1.
An Introduction to immunity - Cells and tissues of the immune system.
Exercise in critical reflection in preparation for final summative exercise

Section 2.
Innate immune responses to infection.
Topics to be covered include:
Pathogen detection,
Complement and
Interferon responses

Section 3:
T lymphocyte responses to infection
Topics to be covered include:
Antigen presentation to T cells
The development and functions of T cell subsets

Section 4:
Antibody responses to infection
Topics to be covered include:
Antigen presentation to B cells
Class switching
Somatic hypermutation
Mechanism of action: Neutralisation, ADCC, complement activation

Section 5:
An introduction to vaccination
Topics to be covered include:
Types of vaccine
Herd Immunity
Antivirals versus vaccines
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Printing own course materials
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 53 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Online activities include asynchronus discussion 15h; guided study (formative blogging) 10h
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The coursework assignment requires participants to consider, in greater depth through further enquiry and engagement with relevant literature how viruses, bacteria, fungi etc. exploit, subvert or manipulate the host immune response. This assignment will be completed within a blog.

Written critical reflection (submitted as a blog entry) on impact of course on professional practice: 30%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain the cellular and molecular components of the immune system, and the significance of primary immunodeficiency in the context of infection.
  2. Describe key features of the innate and adaptive immune responses, specifically in the context of clinically relevant infections, vaccine development, and management of immune-compromised patients.
  3. Critique and discuss opposing views/models on how the immune system functions.
  4. Define the features of vaccine types, formulation and types of immune response induced, and discuss factors (including societal) that can influence the success of a specific vaccine.
  5. Produce written work which involves critical appraisal of research papers, clinical case-studies and, where possible, professional experience.
Learning Resources
Indicative resources (examples of key texts and other resources)
Reference Text book: Janeway's Immunobiology, Mims' Medical Microbiology (or equivalent)
Extensive use of expert lectures from world leaders: Henry Stewart Collection of Talks
British Society for Immunology 'Bitesized Immunology' resources
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding:
- Demonstrate and/or work with knowledge related to and integrating most, if not all, of the main areas related to the immune response to infection - including features, boundaries, terminology and conventions.

- Describe, discuss and critique the fundamental theories, concepts and principles underlying immunity to infection in their own professional context.

- Describe, discuss and critically reflect on specialised theories, concepts and principles related to infection-related immunity in their own professional context.

- Independently develop an extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in one or more topics in immunity informed by research of 'cutting edge' developments in the field as part of this course.

- Discuss and debate current issues related to immunity to infection.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding:
- To plan and execute a significant project of research or investigation in an area of infection and immunity.
- To demonstrate originality, creativity and reflective thinking in the application of immunity-related material to professional practice.
- To practise in a wide and often unpredictable variety of professional level contexts related to infection and immunity.

General Cognitive Skills
- Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to current issues, or issues that are informed by current developments in infection and immunity.
- Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues.
- Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues.
- Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in a subject/discipline/sector.
- Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.

Communication and Numeracy
- Communicate fundamental aspects of infection-related immunity to a range of audiences including peers more senior colleagues and specialists with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
- Undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data related to infection-related immune responses.
Special Arrangements This is an online course delivered within the virtual learning environment, Learn.
KeywordsCMID1Intro,Immunology,pathogenesis,basic biology
Course organiserDr Kevin Robertson
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 3289
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