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MScAdvanced Immunology

Why this course?

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences was ranked No.1 on Research Power in Scotland and 4th in the UK (REF 2014)

This course focuses on how the body defends itself against disease. It helps us understand processes of viral, bacterial or parasitic infection and how the immune system is sometimes tricked into attacking its own tissue, leading to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or allergy.

What you’ll study

This course will provide you with comprehensive postgraduate life sciences training. You'll receive dedicated training in a broad range of practical laboratory skills. This is complemented by classes that develop your transferable skills in:

  • statistics 
  • presentations 
  • career development 
  • ethics 
  • science writing skills 
  • your ability to design experiments and analyse sophisticated datasets 

Our taught classes capture the excitement of cutting-edge research fields. You'll be taught by active researchers or practising clinical professionals.

Course structure

You'll have two semesters of postgraduate laboratories. You'll attend short optional classes in:

  • in Vivo biology 
  • drug discovery 
  • haematology 

You'll also attend a compulsory Immunology class together with a choice of either Clinical Immunology or Applied Immunology.

Finally, you'll undertake a summer project in an active research laboratory.

Future prospects

This course is the perfect route to future training at PhD level. It also gives you a range of skills and experience that employers from industry or in health care are looking for.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Generic Skills for Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Students
Refine your core skills in statistics, data presentation and career development while also learning about the ethical choices and dilemmas that you might face in your scientific careers.

Find out from the experts what it takes to translate bright ideas in biomedical sciences into patents, business plans and spin-out companies.

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research 1 & 2

These two compulsory laboratory classes expose you to the key research skills relating to the biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology fields, help develop your skills in data analysis and report writing, and pave the way for a smooth transition into your Summer Research Project Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research.

A unique and innovative class designed with three outcomes in mind:

  • become an expert in the field that you will study for your research project and learn how to write a review paper that aims to be publication quality
  • learn how a scientific research career really works from the experts and then write the outline of a hypothetical research grant application
  • enhance your teamwork on a project to develop a hypothetical therapy from idea through to licensed drug treatment. You'll not only learn how to manage a project’s timelines and targets, but also enter the world of big data manipulation and analysis
Postgraduate Studies in Immunology

This class will cover various aspects of protective and pathological immune responses to infections with various pathogens. It will also address strategies for vaccination against these pathogens.


  • The type of immune responses that occur against viral infections
  • Protective immunity to viruses
  • Immune response to HIV infection
  • Evasion of immune responses by viruses


  • Protective immune responses to bacteria (intra- and extracellular bacteria)
  • Evasion of immune responses by bacteria
  • Pathological responses to bacteria


  • Immune responses to protozoan parasites (malaria, Cryptosporidia, Leishmania, Toxoplasma)
  • Immune responses to helminth infections (gut nematodes, filarial nematodes, Schistosomes, liver fluke)
  • Immunomodulation by parasitic worms


  • Immune responses induced by vaccination
  • Vaccination by different routes, use of whole organisms
  • Role of adjuvants in vaccination
  • Role of molecular techniques in producing vaccines
A comprehensive, week-long class that gives you the tools you will need in your scientific career, and knowledge on when it is appropriate to apply them.
Research project

Choose from a selection of project topics in Semester 1, engage with your supervisor to plan the work, and then enter the laboratory at the end of May.

Elective classes

In Vivo Biology
This is one of three optional practical classes offered. Gain real practical experience in the safe and ethical application of in vivo research by being trained to Home Office Personal License standard. Discover how in vivo biology has driven the development and testing of new drugs and medical techniques that save and improve human lives.
Drug Discovery
This is one of three optional practical classes offered. The pathway from pathology or biological pathway to small molecule drug candidate is explored in this unique class. Become familiar with the modern laboratory assays and screening approaches used by Big Pharma to develop their blockbuster drugs.
Postgraduate Studies in Haematology
In this elective class students will explore the science and regulation of blood and blood products within the National Health Service. Study material includes immunodiagnostics, immunohaematology and transfusions, and immunopharmacology. Learning will be achieved through lectures, tutorials and workshops – many of which are delivered by expert clinicians from the National Health Service.
Postgraduate Studies in Applied Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • To give students an understanding immunotherapy in disease
  • To give students an understanding of the production of immunological reagents
  • To give students an understanding of the use of immunological assays
  • To give students an understanding of vaccination strategies
Postgraduate Studies in Clinical Immunology

The aims of this class are:

  • To give students an understanding of the immune responses associated with Immune responses associated with transplantation
  • To give student an understanding of the immune responses associated with cancer
  • To give student an understanding of the immune responses associated with autoimmunity
  • To give student an understanding of the immune responses associated with immune responses associated with allergy
  • To give student an understanding of the immune responses associated with immunodeficiency

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and hands-on practical sessions.

If you successfully complete the required taught classes you can undertake a laboratory project for the MSc.


Assessment of taught classes is through multiple choice tests, computer quizzes, problem solving scenarios, poster and oral presentations, essays, and formal written exams. The laboratory project is assessed through a written thesis.

Entry requirements

We look for a first or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a biological or chemical discipline.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English Language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.5. Please see ELTD for full details.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £5,000

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £6,000


  • 2017/18 - £18,000

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Contact us


Advanced Immunology

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Advanced Immunology

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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