Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Frank Alderuccio and Dr Kim Murphy


The immune system has a central role in many aspects of health and disease in both humans and animals. While the immune system is critical for protecting us from pathogens, it also has an important role in cancer surveillance and is the reason why tissue transplantation is difficult to achieve. Many debilitating conditions such as allergy and autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are caused by the immune system. This unit progresses from IMM2011 which focused on the development and structure of the immune system and immune response to now examine the broad role of the immune system in a range of disease and health states. By selecting a range of real life examples, we can not only examine the nature of how the immune system is active but also broaden our understanding of social and ethical implications and the role that medical research has towards improving outcomes. This unit will give students the opportunity to learn how immunology is important in many aspects of our society while developing and reinforcing a range of academic skills through defined teaching and assessment tasks.


At the completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Define the basic structural features of bacterial, viral and parasitic microbes;
  2. Describe the immune response most effective against microbial pathogens;
  3. Discuss the role of the immune system in immune mediated diseases such as allergies, autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency;
  4. Address the relevance of treating immune associated conditions, incorporating social and ethical considerations;
  5. Describe examples of how the role of the immune system can be harnessed or controlled in situations such as in autoimmunity, allergy, cancer therapy, transplantation tolerance, or vaccinations;
  6. Locate, analyse, and present data from a range of resources including current research and present this in both written and oral form;
  7. Demonstrate the ability to work in small groups.


Tutorial assessment: 25%
Written assessment: 15%
Online quizzes: 10%
Final examination: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Frank Alderuccio

Contact hours

Two hours of lectures and three hours of tutorials/workshops per week


IMM2011* or BMS2052

* Note that only IMM2011 taken from 2012 onwards can be counted as a prerequisite unit - any previous versions have overlapping content and are prohibitions.


IMM2011 if taken prior to 2012