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Unit of study_

IMMU3902: Molecular and Cellular Immunology (Advanced)

This unit is available to students who have performed well in Introductory Immunology (IMMU2101) IMMU2X11 Immunobiology or MIMI2X02/MEDS2004 Microbes, Infection and Immunity. Advanced students will complete the same core lecture material as students in IMMU3102 but attend a series of specialized seminar and research based tutorial classes.


Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Unit code IMMU3902
Unit name Molecular and Cellular Immunology (Advanced)
Session, year
Semester 1, 2022
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

A mark of 70 or above in (IMMU2101 or BMED2404 or MEDS2004 or MIMI2X02 or IMMU2X11)
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Kylie Shaddock,
Administrative staff REBECCA RINALDO
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Final exam on unit content
45% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Participation hurdle task Animal ethics training
0% Multiple weeks 0.5h
Outcomes assessed: LO4
Tutorial quiz Pre-practical quizzes
Quizzes on content of the practical exercises
5% Multiple weeks 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Presentation Workshop assignment
Present a research paper
15% Multiple weeks 9 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Research experience
participation of the activity is on a voluntary basis (it is not assessed)
0% Multiple weeks vary
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Commentary Article
Written commentary style article on a research paper
20% Week 10 800 words + one figure
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
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 ?
  • Final examination: -
  • 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: To acquire basic knowledge on the topic of animal experimentation, all students must study a slide presentation titled as “University of Sydney Animal Ethics” and complete an accompanying self-assessment quiz. Students must answer every question correctly. Students 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 students’ ability to interpret the data generated during the previous practical sessions.
  • Tutorial attendance and research seminar: -
  • Tutorial presentation: The tutorial class will be presented with a number of recent immunology journal articles with an emphasis on cutting edge research. Each student will select one original journal article from the papers provided and use this as the basis for their presentation of a nine minute talk in front of fellow members of their group and their tutor. Up to three minutes of questions and discussion will follow each presentation.

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

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.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, 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 dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

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

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Written assignment Independent study (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Attending research seminars, understanding scientific literature and oral presentation Tutorial (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Animal research ethics training Independent study (0.5 hr) LO4
Pre-practical lab quizzes Individual study (0.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Research experience Independent study (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 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 greater than or equal to 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.
  • Attendance will be recorded from students' arrival date on campus or from March 31st, whichever is the earliest. From February 24 (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.
  • Reference guide: Students are required to adopt the Havard referencing style for all written assessments.

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
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.

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