University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Immunology and Pathology

Study in Immunology and Pathology is offered by the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and the Discipline of Pathology in the Sydney Medical School. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

About the major

The immune system is an integrated network of cells and specialised organs that can respond to external and internal threats. It can be mobilized to protect humans from infections and cancer while simultaneously being the underlying mechanism of major acute and chronic pathologies.

The Immunology and Pathology major examines how it is that our immune system can be both the cause and the cure of disease in humans and animals. This is important, as an understanding of immunological and pathological mechanisms allows us to think about how our immune system can be manipulated to prevent and treat disease. This major draws together studies in immunology, pathology, microbiology, biology, biochemistry, and physiology.

Studies in immunology and pathology are important because they are leading to advances in clinical medicine and clinical science, including helping develop new vaccines and immuno-therapies. In addition, immunological techniques are widely used in biology, endocrinology, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, neurobiology and genetics.

Requirements for completion

A major in Immunology and Pathology requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(v) 24 credit points of 3000-level core units

A minor in Immunology and a minor in Pathology are available and articulate to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major/minor in Immunology and Pathology are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Immunology and Pathology major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Immunology and Pathology major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1 or 2

Core: CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A

Semester 1 or 2

Selective: BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems or BIOL1XX8 Human Biology

(MEDS1X01 only available to students in the medical science stream.)


Semester 1

Core: IMMU2101 Introductory Immunology (MIMI2X02 in 2019)

(BMED2404, MEDS2004 and MEDS2003 only available to students in the medical science stream.)

Semester 2

Selective: 2000-level units listed for major


Semester 1 or 2

Core: IMMU3X02 Molecular and Cellular Immunology (IMMU3X11 in 2019)

Core: IMMU3202/3903 Immunology in Human Disease (IMMU3X12 in 2019)

Core: CPAT3201 Pathogenesis of Human Disease 1 (PATH3X11 in 2019)

Core: CPAT3202 Pathogenesis of Human Disease 2 (PATH3X12 in 2019)


Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Immunology and Pathology section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000-level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Requirements for Honours in the areas of Immunology and Pathology: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Honours units of study will be available in 2020.

Contact and further information


Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Level 5 (East), Charles Perkins Centre hub (D17)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Associate Professor Scott Byrne

T +61 2 9351 7308

Professor Nicholas King
T +61 2 9351 4553
Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Immunology and Pathology will be able to:

  1. Have grasped the fundamentals of immunology and pathology and be able to apply these to a range of disease contexts
  2. Understand how the cells and molecules of our immune system cooperate to keep us healthy and fight disease
  3. Understand the common generic pathophysiological responses to pathological stress in disease
  4. Understand that our immune system can be both the cause and the cure of pathology in humans and animals
  5. Understand the cellular and molecular basis of the pathogenesis of a diverse range of human diseases;
  6. Think about how our immune system can be manipulated to prevent and treat disease
  7. Understand that immunology can be applied to the development of novel diagnostic pathology assays
  8. Be competent in a range of valuable immunological and pathological techniques/skills
  9. Apply immunological and pathological approaches to address a diverse range of pathological problems
  10. Appreciate that various therapeutic approaches that target cells and molecules of our immune and other organ systems are leading to breakthroughs in human disease detection, treatment and management.