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BMS2012 : Clinical Immunology and Viral Pathogens

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Debra Bevitt
  • Lecturer: Dr Vanessa Armstrong, Professor Andrew Gennery, Dr Christopher Bacon, Dr Andrew Knight, Professor Robert Hirt, Dr Bill Scott, Dr Robert Yeo
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 125 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


• To develop an appreciation of the part played by the immune system in a range of human diseases

•To build upon the students’ knowledge of basic virology and develop an understanding of the biology of pathogenic viruses

Outline Of Syllabus

The module considers the role of the immune system in human disease and is divided into two strands:

Clinical Immunology:

The clinical immunology strand considers immunity in the context of infectious disease with particular reference to inflammation and immunodeficiency. The second part of the strand considers how immune responses can cause disease with reference to allergic disease, autoimmunity, cancers of the immune system and transplantation. The diagnostic techniques currently used in clinical immunology, immunosuppressive drugs and the potential of immunomodulation and immunotherapy in the treatment of a number of conditions are also described.

Viral Pathogens:

The Viral Pathogens strand considers the ways in which viruses cause disease. It examines the mechanisms by which viruses enter host cells, replicate within them and are finally released and transmitted from man to man and from animals to man. The host response to viral infection is described and the outcomes are considered. Specific examples of viral pathogens, including coronavirus, hepatitis B virus, herpes viruses, Ebola virus and retroviruses including HIV are described. The role of viruses in development of some cancers is discussed, including the role of human papilloma virus in cervical cancer. Finally we look at mucosal immunity, anti-viral therapies and vaccines.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Poster preparations, PIE practice and revision for online exams
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture271:0027:00In person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:301:30In person Poster Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00In person Scientific paper interpretation workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00In person - PIE feedback session, end of module Q&A session for student queries related to the taught material.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1115:30115:30Includes reading and writing up lecture notes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00In person - intro to module, intro to in-course assessment. Full module cohort in attendance.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with key information and guidance for additional reading.

Poster presentation and paper interpretation workshop develop interpersonal communication and team work skills, increase understanding of lecture material and primary literature by discussion with peers and teachers and help prepare students for final exam. Module talk and seminars will introduce students to the module teaching and assessment format. Drop-in Q&A surgeries will allow students to discuss areas of the curriculum with lectures to consolidate learning. Private study will allow students to extend and reinforce their knowledge and understanding through reading of text books, journal articles and use of other recommended resources (eg online).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination602A28In person Inspera invigilated Quiz format exam (60 mins) (28%), max 60 questions & Written interpretation exercise (60 mins) (42%), short answers, (1000 words total). Part 1 Inspera, Part 2 Interpretation exercise. (Inspera to be open for the duration of the examination - 120 mins).
Written Examination602A42In person invigilated written interpretation exercise (60 mins) (42%), short answers, (1000 words total) & Inspera invigilated Quiz format (60 mins) (28%), max 60 questions & Part 1 Inspera, Part 2 Interpretation exercise. (Inspera to be open for the duration of the examination - 120 mins).
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Clinical Immunology and Viral Pathogens2Sister module delivered at NuMed. To be timetable at 9:30 am and not on a Friday.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M15Poster Presentation (10 mins) - in person. Team present a poster summarising experimental data from a scientific research paper
Prob solv exercises2M15Guided interpretation of a primary research paper (max 1000 words) - completed and submitted during 2hr in person workshop
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The quiz format question section of the examination will assess the students' knowledge and understanding of taught material and additional reading; the scientific paper interpretation section of the examination will assess the students ability to use their knowledge and understanding of the topics to data presented in a scientific research paper.

The poster presentation assesses information literacy, computer literacy, ability to interpret scientific papers, planning and organisation skills, group working skills and oral presentation skills. The scientific paper interpretation exercise assesses ability to interpret data presented in a scientific research paper and will prepare students for the scientific paper interpretation element of the examination.

Reading Lists