University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 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 School of Medical Sciences. 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 pathogens that threaten normal physiological status. It can be mobilised in a highly regulated manner 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, anatomy, histopathology (advanced imaging technologies), microbiology, biology, biochemistry, and physiology.

Studies in immunology and pathology are important because they are leading to advances in clinical medicine and clinical science, and the development of new treatments for disease including drugs, vaccines and immuno-therapies. In addition, immunopathological techniques are widely used in biology, histopathology, endocrinology, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, neurobiology and genetics.

Requirements for completion

The Immunology and Pathology major requirements are listed in the Immunology and Pathology unit of study table.

Contact and further information


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

Discipline of Pathology
Level 5 (East), Charles Perkins Centre Hub (D17)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Associate Professor Scott Byrne (Immunology)

T +61 2 9351 7308

Professor Paul Witting (Pathology)

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Immunology and Pathology 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. Exhibit a broad understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of pathogenesis of a diverse range of diseases and the pathophysiological responses to disease.
  4. Critically evaluate the application of a range of immunological and pathological techniques/skills.
  5. Observe and describe pathophysiological responses of relevant organs to disease and explain their effect on organ function.
  6. 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.
  7. Apply immunological concepts and approaches to a diverse range of disease contexts and solve complex immunological and pathological problems.
  8. Design, evaluate and test diagnostic pathology assays using knowledge of immunology and of industry standards in assay development and regulation.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Work effectively with colleagues from different areas of specialisation to address interdisciplinary problems in immunology and pathology.