Module Overview

Molecular Immunology

Module Description:

This module builds on concepts that have been presented and discussed in the general microbiology/ immunology module of stage 1. The student will develop an understanding of the structure and function of key molecules involved in the activation of the immune response including, Toll-like receptors, adhesion molecules, complement, MHC molecules and antibodies. The mechanisms of antigen processing and presentation will be discussed. An ability to discuss central concepts in immunology using appropriate terminology will be acquired and diagnostic immunological techniques are introduced.

Module aim:

The aim of this module is to expand the students understanding of the immune response to pathogens with particular emphasis on the structure and role of key molecules involved in its activation and to familiarise students with immunological terminology.

Module Code

BIOL 2502

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


• Introduction and review of stage 1 material.• Toll-like receptors• Complement, pathways of activation including the classical and alternative pathways. Adhesion molecules, their structure and function in the inflammatory response.• The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules – structure, function and polymorphism.• Antigen processing and presentation including endocytic and cytosolic pathways.• B cells, antibodies, their structure related to function, effector functions associated with the various antibody classes. Application of antibodies in the diagnostic laboratory.


Practicals will be drawn from the following;• Landmark papers, histology I and histology II• Cell enrichment techniques and cell staining• Adhesion molecule paper, histology and case study• Agglutination assay• Complement assay• Serum protein electrophoresis (SPE) and case study

To include: lectures (22 hours), tutorials (2 hours), laboratory practical classes (24 hours).

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40