Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module MSE-4041:
Human Immunology & Disease

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr David Pryce

Overall aims and purpose

This module is designed to provide in-depth subject specific knowledge and understanding of human molecular and cellular immunology and the application of immunology in the clinic and in medical research. The module builds on the strong understanding of key concepts of human molecular genetics and stem cell biology delivered in semester 1 modules. It also prepares students for laboratry practical modules involving immunoassays and research projects requiring a strong background in human immunology

Course content

Topics included in the lecture and tutorial series

The module discusses three key areas of the human immune system and the roles of immunology in human disease and research:

  • The development of the human immune system and the nature of human immune responses
  • The development and nature of Autoimmunity and Autoimmune Diseases, with specific focus on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
  • The roles of the human immune system in cancer development and current anti-cancer Immunotherapies

Lectures and tutorials will present summaries of core chapters of the module reference text books and selected cutting edge research papers, research and review papers.

  • Innate Immunity: The First Line of Defense and innate induced Responses
  • Antigen Recognition by B-cell and T-cell receptors
  • The Generation of B-cell and T-cell receptors, 'education' of adaptive Lymphocytes and the nature of self-Tolerance
  • Antigen Presentation to T Lymphocytes
  • Signaling Through Immune System Receptors
  • T Cell-Mediated Immunity
  • B Cell-Mediated Immunity
  • The Dynamics of Adaptive Immune responses
  • Failures in immunity, Autoimmunity and Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer and the human immune system, immunotherapy

This module is available to International exchange students of The College of Human Sciences

To enhance learning and understanding, lectures, tutorials and practical demonstrations are recorded for revision using the Panopto system

Assessment Criteria


Distinction (A- to A**) (range 70-100%)

Primary criteria

Excellent students demonstrate comprehensive knowledge & detailed understanding of the subject area. Clear evidence of extensive background study & original thinking. Highly focussed answers and well structured. Arguments are logically presented and defended with evidence and examples. No factual/computational errors. Original interpretation of the information with clear evidence of wider reading. New links between topics are developed and new approaches to a problem are presented. Excellent presentation skills with very accurate communication.

Secondary Criteria

A* Outstanding

  • Exceeds expectations for most primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject and other relevant areas
  • Ideas/arguments are highly original

A+ Excellent

  • Exceeds expectations for some primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject
  • Ideas/arguments are highly original

A Good

  • Meets all primary criteria
  • Command of subject but with minor gaps in knowledge areas
  • Ideas/arguments are mostly original

A- Meets requirements of Class

  • Meets most but not all primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject but with some gaps in knowledge
  • Ideas/arguments are mostly original


Pass (C- to C+) (range 50-59%)

Primary criteria

A threshold student demonstrates knowledge of key areas & principles, and understands the main elements of the subject area, although gaps and weaknesses in the argument are evident. No evidence of background study and wider reading. Answer focussed on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure & argument. Answers have several factual/computational errors. No original interpretation. No links between topics are described. Limited problem solving skills. Some weaknesses in presentation accuracy & delivery.

Secondary Criteria

C+ Good within the class

  • Exceeds expectations for some primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited but are well presented

C Mid-level

  • Matches all primary criteria
  • Moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited presented with weaknesses in logic/presentation

C- Meets requirements of class

  • Matches most but not all primary criteria
  • Moderate factual knowledge with several weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited presented with weaknesses in logic/presentation


Merit (B- to B+) (range 60-69%)

Primary criteria

Good students demonstrate strong knowledge & understanding of most but not all of the subject area. Limited evidence of background study. The answer is focussed with good structure. Arguments are presented coherently, mostly free of factual/computational errors. Some limited original interpretation. Well know links between topics are described. Problems are addressed by existing methods/approaches. Good presentation with accurate communication

Secondary Criteria

B+ Good

  • Exceeds expectations for most primary criteria
  • Command of subject but with gaps in knowledge
  • Some ideas/arguments original

B Mid-level

  • Meets all primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge and understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are well presented by few are original

B- Meets requirements of class

  • Meets most but not all primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge with minor weaknesses in understanding
  • Most but not all ideas/arguments are well presented and few are original

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of immunology in medical research.

  2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the development of the human immune system

  3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the roles of the human immune system, in Autoimmune disease and Cancer

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Essay Examination
  • The examination will be undertaken within the end of semester 2 examination period
  • The examination format will be to attempt 2 essay answers from a choice of questions provided
  • Each essay answer should not exceed 1500 words
  • All questions have equal assessment weighting (30% of the final module grade)
  • Past example questions for the examination can be accessed via the University Library, search for MSE-4040.
  • It is estimated that 30 hours of notional effort is required for the essay examination assessment
  • Individual presentations will be held on a presentation day, scheduled to take place during the end of semester 2 examination period.
  • Presentations will be Panopto recorded to allow for assessment verification review and student feedback
  • Students must choose a recent peer-reviewed primary research paper on an area of Human Immunology.
  • Students will then create a PowerPoint presentation, based on the chosen paper, for presentation in the format of a public 'Ph.D. viva'.
  • The Presentation should be as concise as possible and in a style accessible to a broad scientific audience with no more than seven figures and/or tables.
  • It should include an introduction section, critically summaries of key results and findings and proposals for further work.
  • Each presentation assessment will take approximately 20 minutes, including time for questions
  • It is estimated approximately 20 hours of notional effort time will be required for preparing and undertaking of the presentation assessment

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Self-directed study to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding.


A series of 2hr lectures, one per week, for 8 weeks


Students will engage in a series of student led seminars

  • Each student will choose 4 key areas, from the module lecture areas, to revise and self-research in further detail.
  • Students will indicate the reasons for their key area choices and this information will be used to collate lists of speakers for a series of 4 seminars.
  • Each seminar will consist of 4 - 10 minute seminar presentations with audience engagement in formative feedback, questions and key area discussions
  • Each student will deliver a maximum of 2 seminars within the seminar series

1 x 1hr tutorial in first week of semester 2.

  • This tutorial will deliver information on the structure and organisation of the module and deliver a 'pop' quiz to gauge levels of subject specific knowledge and understanding of human immunology

6 x 1hr tutorials, 2 per week for 3 weeks.

  • These tutorials will take place after delivery of the module lecture material and before the start of the student led seminar series.
  • Students will supply topics for discussion and review. Topics discussed can be from any area of the module, including revision, assessments, seminars and/or self-researched outside reading.

Please note for 2020/21 this module will be delivered according to Bangor University COVID-19 regulations

  • Mode 3. On-campus, timetabled delivery. This is a teaching method you will be familiar with. The difference compared to the past is that social distancing and Safe Operating Protocols (SOP) will apply in all these sessions. The SOPs will be specific to each session and specified in the outlines that we’ll supply you before each session via the module Blackboard Ultra web pages. Mode 3 sessions may include all taught modules, including research-led laboratory practicals, small-group seminars and tutorials and computer sessions that use specialist software packages and laboratory work for the research project module.
  • Mode 2. Synchronous timetabled online delivery. This will be online, live sessions of the on-campus sessions and you will be required to ‘attend online’. Additional teaching to timetabled sessions may include additional lectures, mini catch-up lectures, problem-solving exercises, large-class or small-class group work, drop-in sessions and discussions. They can also contain other learning material that has been previously released onto the module website.
  • Mode 1. Asynchronous online pre-recorded delivery. Usually, this teaching material is made available a few days before the relevant mode 2 or 3 sessions and could comprise lecture-style video recordings (often shorter than the usual 50 to 100-minute lecture format), problem tasks to consider, some short reading passages from online library textbooks or key research papers etc. These do not require you to be in a certain place at a certain time, so will not appear in your timetable. Instead, the module website will have information about when to expect these recordings or other material will be released.

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others