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Unit information: Infection and Immunity in 2021/22

Unit name Infection and Immunity
Unit code PANM22041
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Matthews
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Pathogenesis of infectious diseases; the nature of host immune responses; the mechanisms of viral and bacterial immune evasion; the strategies of chemotherapy and vaccination used to treat and prevent human infection.

The unit provides coverage of the immune system and immune responses to bacteria, viruses, protozoa and worms, as well as host-parasite interactions. It covers aspects of pathogenesis and how vaccination is used to prevent human infection. It provides practical experience of immunological and microbiological experimental techniques. The unit is delivered using a series of integrated lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Unit aims:

To provide students with information about:

  1. the immune system
  2. host-parasite interactions
  3. immune responses to bacteria, viruses and the classical parasites, protozoa and worms
  4. mechanisms of bacterial, viral and parasite immune-evasion
  5. infection-induced pathogenesis
  6. vaccination strategies
  7. emerging infectious agents

To teach students skills including:

  1. safe execution of immunological and microbiological experimental techniques
  2. data interpretation and problem solving
  3. essay writing based on literature database searches
  4. oral presentation of complex scientific issues

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. discuss the components of the immune system,
  2. explain host-parasite interactions,
  3. describe immune responses to bacteria, viruses and the classical parasites, protozoa and worms,
  4. summarise mechanisms of bacterial, viral and parasite immune-evasion,
  5. describe examples of infection-induced pathogenesis,
  6. discuss vaccination strategies,
  7. describe how new infectious agents emerge
  8. understand and describe how to carry out immunological and microbiological experimental techniques,
  9. describe these experimental techniques,
  10. interpret data and solve problems,
  11. write essays based on literature database searches,
  12. present scientific information and complex arguments in written and oral form,
  13. undertake the further study of infection and immunity at Level 6.

Teaching Information

Online delivery of lectures and exercises


Practicals and/or online practicals supported by eBiolabs

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

Essay (20%)

Oral presentation (10%)

eBiolabs pre-lab quizzes and post-lab assignments (10%)

Examination (January) (60%)

The exams will cover learning outcomes 1-7, 9,10,12

The laboratory write-ups will assess learning outcomes 8-10, 12.

The essay and oral presentation will cover learning outcome 12 and any from 1-7.

Formative assessment:

For formative purposes students will receive feedback as follows:

  • The essay will be marked and returned with written feedback.
  • Electronic feedback will be provided for the pre-lab and post-lab work via eBiolabs.
  • Oral presentations will be marked and subject to verbal feedback during the tutorial and a written feedback sheet provided.
  • Feedback during practical classes will be provided by staff and demonstrators.
  • A breakdown of marks for the exam will be provided and additional feedback will be provided by the Unit Director on request.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PANM22041).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.