University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Study in Immunology is offered by the Discipline of Infectious Diseases and Immunology in the School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Units of study in this minor are available at standard and advanced level.

About the minor

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 minor 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 minor draws together studies in immunology, pathology, microbiology, biology, biochemistry, and physiology.

Studies in immunology 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 minor in Immunology requires 36 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 according to the following:
(a) 6 credit points of 2000-level MIMI coded units or
(b) 6 credit points of 2000-level MEDS coded units for students in the Medical Science stream
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(v) 12 credit points of 3000-level minor core units

First year

CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A and 6 credit points from a selection of BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems and BIOL1XX8 Human Biology (MEDS1X01 is only available to students enrolled in the medical science stream).

The minor in Immunology begins in first year with study of chemistry relevant to the life sciences, and a choice of human biology or biology that takes you from molecules to ecosystems and positions human health and disease in this context. Chemistry and biology are foundational to the study of immunology.

Second year

MIMI2X02 Microbes, Infection and Immunity and 6 credit points from a selection of BCMB2X01 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and IMMU2X11 Immunobiology.

For Medical Science stream students: MEDS2004 Microbes, Infection and Immunity and 6 credit points from a selection of MEDS2003 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and IMMU2X11 Immunobiology. (BMED and MEDS units are only offered to Medical Science stream students).

In the second year of your Immunology minor you will study microbes, infection and immunity, which provides key knowledge and skills in immunology, pathology, infectious diseases and microbiology. Alongside this essential learning you have the opportunity to further develop your understanding in biochemistry and molecular biology or in immunobiology, depending on your preference.

Third year

Core: IMMU3102/3902 Molecular and Cellular Immunology, IMMU3202/3903 Immunology in Human Disease.

In your third year you must take at least one designated project unit.

In your third year of the minor you will undertake units of study in immunology. Building on your second year studies in microbes, infection and immunity, you will investigate molecular and cellular aspects of the immune system in detail and immune responses in human health and disease.

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

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Immunology will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of how the cells and molecules of our immune system cooperate to maintain health.
  2. Exhibit an integrated knowledge of the role of the immune system in both the cause of pathology and the cure of disease.
  3. Critically evaluate the application of a range of immunological techniques/skills.
  4. Communicate concepts and findings in immunology and pathology across a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  5. Apply immunological concepts and approaches to a diverse range of disease contexts and solve complex immunological and pathological problems.
  6. Design, evaluate and test diagnostic pathology assays using knowledge of immunology and of industry standards in assay development and regulation.
  7. Develop creative and innovative approaches to problem solving in the fields of immunology and pathology research and work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and collaborative contexts.
  8. Evaluate how therapeutic approaches that target cells and molecules of our immune and other organ systems lead to breakthroughs in human disease detection, treatment and management, and examine how these are handled from different community and cultural perspectives.