Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2015 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirements; 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 2015 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.


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 understanding how our immune system is structured and generated and how it provides defences against pathogens but can also be involved in unwanted responses such as allergy, autoimmunity and the rejection of tissues. Understanding the cellular and molecular basis of the immune system is not only important for vaccine development but also for understanding and devising treatments of many immune associated disorders. 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.

An involvement of the immune system in disease and health is expanding. We have a clear understanding of immunity as the basis of vaccination against common pathogens such as diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis, cervical cancer, etc, so we are protected upon future exposure. However, allergic diseases such as hay fever, asthma and food allergies 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 which the immune system targets defined organs. In transplantation of tissues such as heart, lung and kidney, the immune system must be controlled to prevent rejection. Emerging fields in immunology include how diet can influence immunity. These are examples of immunology in our everyday lives and for which there are still questions and problems to be answered.

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.

A basic understanding of immunology may complement a number of branches of the biomedical sciences such as microbiology, pathology, biochemistry and stem cell biology.

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 in immunology (24 points)

Major in immunology (48 points)

Extended major in immunology (72 points)

Major in human pathology (48 points)

* 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 immunology or biochemistry, developmental biology, human pathology, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology units.

Refer to the science areas of studyscience areas of study ( in this Handbook for details of relevant level-three 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 and immunology plays in health and disease. Together, these units provide a foundation in immunology that can be utilised for major studies at level three or provide a 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.


In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. Enrolment in an honours project is subject to approval of the supervisor and the head of department. See the entries for:

  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)
  • 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2188 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program) (Honours)

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

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Double degrees

  • 4642 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4646 Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4069 Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 4638 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies

Honours degrees

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