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Unit of study_

IMMU3102: Molecular and Cellular Immunology

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit builds on content delivered in core courses, IMMU2X11 Immunobiology and MIMI2X02/MEDS2004 Microbes, Infection and Immunity, that outlined the general properties of the immune system, effector lymphocytes and their functions. In IMMU3102 we delve deeper to investigate the molecular and cellular aspects of the immune response that underpins the coordinated and regulated elimination of infectious organisms. Guest lectures from research scientists eminent in particular branches of immunological research are a special feature of the course. These provide challenging information from the forefront of research that will enable the student to become aware of the many components that come under the broad heading 'Immunology'.

Unit details and rules

Unit code IMMU3102
Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Credit points 6
IMMU2101 or BMED2404 or MEDS2004 or MIMI2X02 or IMMU2X11
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kylie Shaddock,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final Exam
Final exam on unit content MCQ (30%), SAQ and extended answer responses.
45% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Tutorial quiz Pre-practical quizzes
Quizzes on content of the practical exercises
5% Multiple weeks 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Presentation Workshop assignment: Presentation
Explain a journal article using a 3 slide poster in a 3 minute talk
7.5% Multiple weeks 3 minute presentation
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Participation hurdle task Animal ethics training
0% Week 06 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Assignment Workshop assignment: Poster
Explain a journal article with a 3 slide poster
7.5% Week 06 3 slide poster
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Commentary Article
Written commentary style article on a research paper
20% Week 10 800 words + one figure
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Skills-based evaluation Practical theory exam
Online assessment on theory of laboratory practicals
15% Week 13 1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Written assignment: Each student is expected to write a commentary style article focusing on an important discovery in immunology. The manuscript should have no more than 10 references and one figure.
  • Animal ethics training: Experimentation in animals is a key component of immunological research and is regulated by various organisations to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of research animals. To acquire basic knowledge on the topic, all students must study a slide presentation titled as University of Sydney Animal Ethics and complete a self-assessment quiz. Students must answer every question correctly. They are allowed multiple attempts until they achieve a perfect score. It is a requirement that students successfully complete this quiz in order to pass this unit of study.
  • Pre-practical quizzes: These are online assessment tasks related to either the practical students are about to perform, or the practical they completed the week before. Students will be permitted to use their practical notes during the quiz.
  • Practical examination: The practical exam is a closed book online assessment. The questions are designed to test the knowledge of students on the immunological principles of the laboratory techniques learned and ability to interpret the data generated during the previous practical sessions.

Satisfactory performance in each component of assessment is required to pass this course. Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Mastery of topics showing extensive integration and ability to transfer knowledge to novel contexts; treatment of tasks shows an advanced synthesis of ideas; demonstration of initiative, complex understanding and analysis; work is very well presented; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to an outstanding level


75 - 84

Excellent achievement, consistent evidence of deep understanding and application of knowledge in medical science; treatment of tasks shows advanced understanding of topics; demonstration of initiative, complex understanding and analysis; work is well-presented; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to a superior level


65 - 74

Confident in explaining medical science processes, with evidence of solid understanding and achievement; occasional lapses indicative of unresolved issues; treatment of tasks show a good understanding of topic; work is well-presented with a minimum of errors; all criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to a high level


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of engagement with and understanding of topic; some inconsistencies in understanding and knowledge of medical science; work is adequately presented, with some errors or omissions, most criteria addressed and learning outcomes achieved to an adequate level


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory achievement and engagement with the medical science discipline; inadequate understanding or fundamental misunderstanding of topics; most criteria and learning outcomes not clearly or adequately addressed or achieved; lack of effort/involvement in the unit

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Written assignment Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Lecture, revision, understanding scientific literature and oral presentation Tutorial (10 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Animal research ethics training Independent study (0.5 hr) LO4
Pre-practical lab quizzes Practical (0.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 01 Course introduction and overview of cells and tissues in immune system Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Cells of the innate immune system Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 02 Innate sensing pathways (extracellular) Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 03 Innate sensing pathways (intracellular) Lecture (1 hr) LO1
B cell diversity and antibody production Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Tissue culture and cell counting Practical (4 hr) LO4
Week 04 Effector mechanisms of humoral immunity Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 05 MHC and antigen presentation Lecture (1 hr) LO1
T cell development Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Analysis of innate cell activation Practical (4 hr) LO4
Week 06 Innate-like T cells Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 07 Regulation of T cell activation Lecture (1 hr) LO1
CD4 T cells Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Cell separation and flow cytometry Practical (4 hr) LO4
Week 08 CD8 T cells and NK cells Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Immunological memory Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 09 Cytokine signalling Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 10 Immune regulation Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Purification of immunoglobulin from serum Practical (4 hr) LO4
Week 11 Regional immunity Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Immune regulation: epigenetics and metabolism Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Week 12 Immunotherapy Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Analysis of immunoglobulin preparations Practical (4 hr) LO4
Week 13 Immune regulation in COVID-19 Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Revision Lecture (1 hr) LO1
Theory of practical exam Practical (1 hr) LO1 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Practical documentations: Students must keep notes, observations, records of raw data and calculations in their lab manual. All results must also be recorded neatly in the manual during the class. Students are permitted to include computer-generated graphs etc. if they wish.
  • Attendance: Satisfactory attendance at all tutorials and practical classes is a requirement to pass this unit. Satisfactory attendance is defined as ≥ 80% which means that if a student misses more than 2 tutorials or 2 practical classes without approved special consideration for illness or misadventure, that student will not be allowed to pass this unit of study. Students who arrive more than 30 minutes late to a tutorial or practical class will be recorded as being absent.
  • Reference guide: Students are required to adopt the Havard referencing style for all written assessments.
  • Attendance will be recorded from students' arrival date on campus or from March 31st, whichever is the earliest. From 1st March (week 1), students enrolled in this unit should engage with and study all online content, as directed in the Canvas site, including the submission of any required formative tasks and completion of any asynchronous activities.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the ‘Reading List’ link available on Canvas.

  • Abbas, A. K., Lichtman, A. H., and Pillai, S. (2018). Cellular and molecular immunology. (9th ed.), Elsevier.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a thorough understanding of the molecular and cellular components/functions of the mammalian immune system
  • LO2. develop effective skills in retrieving, analysing, and interpreting scientific information from current literature sources
  • LO3. foster and develop advanced oral and written communication skills
  • LO4. demonstrate knowledge of and training in performing, analysing, and interpreting laboratory based experiments.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The written assignment due date has been changed from week 8 to week 10.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General Laboratory Safety Rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories 
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 
  • As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.