Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2013 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

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This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered byDepartment of Immunology
CoordinatorAssociate Professor Frank Alderuccio (Department of Immunology)


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


NOTE: This area of study entry has had one or more changes made to it since publication on 1 October 2012. For details of changes, please consult the 2013 Handbook change register2013 Handbook change register (

The immune system is central to many key areas of health and disease. It provides the host with a highly sophisticated strategy for defence against invading micro-organisms including viruses, bacteria and larger parasites but is also responsible for allergies, autoimmunity and rejection of tissue transplants. The study of immunology provides a framework for examining how our immune system is structured and generated and how it provides defences against foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Understanding the cellular and molecular basis of the immune system leads to vaccine development and also therapy of immune disorders such as allergy, autoimmunity and transplant rejection. There is also evidence that the immune system can target cancer cells and thus has an important and fundamental role in maintaining host health and homeostasis.

Evidence of the importance of the immune system is abundant. It is the basis of vaccination against common pathogens that cause diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis, cervical cancer etc, so we are protected upon future exposure. Allergic diseases such as hay fever and asthma are examples of diseases associated with dysregulation of the immune response, as are autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In transplantation of tissues such as heart, lung and kidney, the immune system must to be controlled to prevent rejection. These are examples of immunity in our everyday lives and for which there are still questions and problems to overcome to improve treatments.

Knowledge of the mechanisms for coordination and regulation of the immune system is an exciting and rapidly advancing frontier in many areas of human health. A better understanding of how the immune system functions, and can be manipulated, will have major implications for many research areas such as improving vaccine development for diseases such as AIDS, influenza, malaria and cancer as well as devising targeted cures for autoimmune diseases and allergy, overcoming immunodeficiencies and preventing tissue rejection following transplantation.

An understanding of immunology complements a number of branches of biomedical science such as pathology, biochemistry and microbiology.

Learning outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • define and describe the principle features associated with the structure, development and function of the immune system through theoretical and practical based knowledge
  • define the physical, cellular and molecular processes associated with the development of pathologies exemplified by processes of inflammatory, immunological haematological and neoplastic disorders through theoretical and practical based knowledge
  • demonstrate the role of science and the scientific process in identifying the key questions, issues and challenges associated with Immunology and immunity or human disease and how this can used to design and examine effective solutions, through written or oral based tasks
  • collect, evaluate and integrate information drawn from a range of sources to generate written and oral outputs that highlight the importance of understanding immunity and human pathology to benefit both human knowledge and health
  • generate, evaluate, interpret and assemble scientific data and information generated through tutorial, practical or mini-project based tasks to compose written and oral reports based on immunological or pathological principles or current research laboratory activities
  • identify and gather information on key immunological or human pathological concepts to compare, evaluate, criticise and contrast and present as an independent written piece or oral presentation to peers
  • demonstrate effective and constructive participation in small group activities in both practical and tutorial-based classes aimed at completing a defined written and/or oral task
  • demonstrate through written, oral or interactive exercises an awareness and development of professional and social responsibilities associated with their ability of utilising knowledge and training towards developing a better world.


Level two

  • IMM2011 Basic immunology: The body's defence system
  • IMM2022 Immunology in health and disease

Level three

  • HUP3011 Human pathology 1: Understanding disease processes
  • HUP3022 Human pathology 2: Pathology of human diseases
  • HUP3990 Human pathology in action research project
  • IMM3031 Molecular and cellular immunology
  • IMM3042 Clinical immunopathology
  • IMM3051 Principles of applied immunology
  • IMM3062 Clinical and research laboratory immunology
  • IMM3990 Immunology in action research project

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in immunology (24 points)

Major sequence in immunology (48 points)

Major sequence in human pathology (48 points)

Major sequence in immunology and human pathology (48 points)

Double major sequence in immunology and microbiology (72 points)

Details of the BCH, DEV, GEN, MIC, MOL and PHY units, and some related sequences, are described in the 'biochemistry and molecular biology', 'developmental biology', 'genetics', 'microbiology' and 'physiology' entries in the Science areas of study section of the Handbook at

* Note: These units have additional prerequisites that are not included in the sequence.

Requirements for honours in immunology and medical biology

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are from IMM, HUP, PHY, DEV, GEN, PHA, MIC or BCH units.

Additional information

Level two

An introduction to immunity and the immune system is offered through the semester one, level two unit (IMM2011). A second semester unit (IMM2022) provides students with exposure to key areas of immunity and the role that the immune system plays in health and disease. Together, these units provide a foundation in immunology leading into level three units or grounding in immunological principles that may be useful across many areas of biological science.

Level three

The Department of Immunology offers five immunology units at level three. In each semester, students can take one theory-based immunology unit (IMM3031/IMM3042) and one practical-based unit (IMM3051/IMM3062) or research-based unit (IMM3990). Together, these units provide an excellent coverage of all aspects of immunology, and students will be well equipped to undertake a career in research, applied or diagnostic immunology.


The Department of Immunology, on behalf of the Central Clinical School and affiliated institutes at the Alfred Medical Research and Education precinct, offers a multidisciplinary honours program in 'immunology and medical biology'. Therefore, in addition to the major sequences in immunology, human pathology, immunology and human pathology, and the double major sequences in immunology and microbiology listed above, students may also enter honours with the following pre-requisites: a distinction average in 24 points at level three relevant to the project, and including at least 18 points of PHY, DEV, GEN, IMM, HUP, PHA, MIC or BCH units.

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the Science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. See the entries for:

  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • 0050 Bachelor of Science
  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 1120 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Double degrees

  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3537 Bachelor of Arts (Global) and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 3711 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 1633 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 3278 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science
  • 3282 Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering and Bachelor of Science
  • 0085 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering
  • 0086 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)