Combating Disease (C7140)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

You'll cover the basic concepts that are essential for a first understanding of contemporary aspects of cellular and molecular immunology at the same time expanding on the modes of action of a range of common therapeutic agents, in terms of their modes of action, receptor/drug targets and associated physiological responses.

You'll discuss the role of innate and adaptive immunity in defense mechanisms, and learn how the innate immunity is able to recognise non-self-antigens and the meaning of inflammation.

Emphasis will be given to how the structures of the antibody classes are related to their function and how antibody diversity and T-cell receptor diversity are generated.

The structure and function of T-cells receptor and major histocompatibility complex will be reviewed. In order to understand T-cell activation, antigens processing and presentation and the function of cytokines networks will be covered. Particular emphasis will be given to how cell mediated and humoral immune responses are coordinated.

You'll also cover:

  • antibiotics and their mode of action
  • adrenergic transmission and the use of sympathomimetic agonist and antagonists
  • the cardiovascular system and the regulation of blood pressure by the renin angiotensin-aldosterone system.


81%: Lecture (Lecture, Post-lab)
19%: Practical (Laboratory)


30%: Coursework (Report)
70%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 120 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.