Module Overview

Fundamental Immunology

This module introduces the student to the components and functions of the human immune system. This, in turn, develops a knowledge and basic understanding of the role of the immune system in infection. Topics receiving detailed coverage will include: (1) the morphology, functions and interactions of the cells of the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system, (2) the processes of phagocytosis, opsonisation, T cell restriction and antigen presentation, (3) the complement, MHC and antibody (Ab) molecules and (4) humoral and cell-mediated immunity to bacteria and viruses.

Module Code

BIOL 2503

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Lecture programme:

Comparison of the innate and adaptive immune system.

Components of the immune system: morphology and their roles in defence against infection.

Phagocytosis and opsonisation.

MHC restriction of T lymphocytes and antigen presentation.

Introduction to antibody structure and function.

Introduction to T cell receptor structure and function.

Introduction to vaccination.

Laboratory programme:

Examination of histological sections from primary and secondary lymphoid organs.

Blood smear and peripheral blood mononuclear cell isolation

Slides demonstrating the effect of opsonins on phagocytosis

Immunohistochemistry and SPE demonstration

Computer simulation of intracellular pathogen detection using immunofluorescence

Agglutination assays

Cases studies



The module will be delivered using lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory work, multimedia resources, problem solving exercises and student presentations.

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