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MSc Advanced Immunology

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Study with us

  • specialise in a fundamental research area
  • develop a range of current and relevant laboratory skills
  • benefit from teaching by active researchers and practising clinical professionals
  • gain in-depth understanding of the life sciences
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Why this course?

This course focuses on how the body defends itself against disease. Immunology 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.

It will provide you with comprehensive postgraduate life sciences training including 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.

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What you'll study

You'll have two semesters of postgraduate lectures and integrated laboratories courses.

In Semester 1, you’ll refine your core skills in statistical and data analysis, presentation, report writing, ethics and health and safety. You will learn the application aspects of clinical immunology in understanding various immune responses. Furthermore, you will get to interact with entrepreneurship experts in translating innovative ideas into future business plans.

In Semester 2, you’ll study advanced topics in four disciplines (biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology) with a strong emphasis on practical laboratory techniques, advanced research methods, and further development of analytical skills through workshops. You'll also cover various aspects of protective and pathological immune responses to infections with various pathogens.

You'll attend short optional classes in:

  • in vivo biology
  • drug discovery
  • haematology

Finally, you'll undertake a summer research project. You will have the opportunity to complete a substantial laboratory-based research project and write a thesis based on your experimental data. Alternatively, you could choose to study and complete a critical analysis of scientific papers in biochemistry.

Teaching staff

The following staff are all involved in the teaching and research project supervision on the MSc Advanced Immunology (project availability may vary year-to-year).

Staff memberResearch expertise
Dr Martin Wiese

In Dr Wiese’s research, he's investigating Leishmania protein kinases as potential drug targets to cure Leishmaniasis and as crucial regulators in flagellum formation and maintenance.

Professor Craig Roberts

Dr Roberts is currently active in three broad areas:

  1. the interaction of Toxoplasma gondii with its host and how this knowledge can be harnessed to effectively control or vaccinate against this parasite
  2. the influence of sex and pregnancy-associated hormones on immunity
  3. identification, validation and exploitation of antimicrobial targets in Acanthamoeba
Dr Catherine Lawrence

Dr Lawrence’s research focuses on the interaction between gastrointestinal (GI) parasitic helminths (worms) and their hosts. Infection with GI helminths parasites has an impact on a number of immunological issues including oral vaccination and dysregulation of immune responses that predispose for intestinal inflammation.

This has direct implications for the design and application of anti-parasite therapies and treatments but also has wider importance for immunoregulation in mucosal tissues in general. Dr Lawrence’s work concentrates on two related themes, immunopathology and the role of mast cells in inflammatory disease.

Dr Katharine Carter

Dr Carter has two main areas of research interest, the study of leishmaniasis and drug delivery. Her research on leishmaniasis has been involved in understanding the underlying immunological mechanisms involved in the control of the disease, the mechanism responsible for drug resistance, and development of novel vaccine formulations to control the infection.

Dr Carter’s drug delivery studies have focused on using non-ionic surfactant vesicles (NIV) to improve drug delivery by the intravenous or pulmonary routes.

Dr Valerie Ferro

Current research interests within Dr Ferro's group focuses on three main areas: development of non-invasive human and veterinary vaccines, development of anti-fertility vaccines and natural product research.

Dr Hui-Rong Jiang

Research in Dr Jiang’s group focuses on understanding how immune cells and molecules are organised in vivo within a regulatory network during the development of autoimmune and neurological disorders, with a particular interest in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, and thus find those potential molecules which may be the best targets for clinical intervention.

 

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Course content

Compulsory classes

Essential Skills and Employability for Masters Students (20 credits)

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.

Entrepreneurship (10 credits)

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

Postgraduate Studies in Clinical Immunology (20 credits)

The aims of this module are:

  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with Immune responses associated with transplantation
  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with cancer
  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with autoimmunity
  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with immune responses associated with allergy
  • to give you an understanding of the immune responses associated with immunodeficiency
Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research 1 (10 credits)

This is a two-semester compulsory laboratory module. Both modules will help develop your skills in data analysis and report writing. This will help pave the way for a smooth transition into your summer research project, Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research.

This first module, which is delivered in the first semester will provide you training in key research skills in a range of standard techniques to be applied to specific problems in molecular biology research.

Elective modules

Choose one of three elective practical modules offered across the first and second semesters.

In Vivo Biology (10 credits)

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.

Compulsory classes

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research 2 (10 credits)

This is the second part of the two-semester compulsory laboratory module. This module will expose you to various assay procedures used widely in biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology fields through hands-on laboratory exercises and further develop your analytical skills through workshops.

Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research (20 credits)

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

  • become an expert in the field that you'll study for your summer research project & learn how to write a review paper that aims to be publication quality
  • learn how a scientific research career really works from the experts & then write the outline of a hypothetical research grant application
  • enhance your teamwork on a virtual project to develop a hypothetical drug from high-content screen, through in vivo testing in models, to transcriptomics & human clinical trials & pharmacogenomics. You'll not only learn how to manage a project’s timelines & targets, but also enter the world of big data manipulation and analysis
Postgraduate Studies in Immunology (20 credits)

This module 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.

Viruses

  • 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

Bacteria

  • protective immune responses to bacteria (intra- and extracellular bacteria)
  • evasion of immune responses by bacteria
  • pathological responses to bacteria

Parasites

  • 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

Vaccination

  • 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

Elective modules

Choose one of three elective practical modules offered across the first and second semesters.

Drug Discovery (10 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce you to practical skills required to set up robust drug discovery assays in both academic and industrial settings. The pathway from pathology or biological pathway to small molecule drug candidate is explored in this unique module. Become familiar with the modern laboratory assays and screening approaches used by Big Pharma to develop their blockbuster drugs.

Postgraduate Studies in Haematology (10 credits)

In this elective module you'll 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.

60 credits

Choose from a selection of research project topics on exploring viral or bacterial infections, protozoan or helminth parasites, and new trends and development on vaccination mechanism of action. You can choose from four types of projects:

Laboratory-based experimental projects

These aim to develop a range of skills required for performing experimental research in a laboratory and generating novel data. The type of skills acquired are project-specific. These projects are appropriate if you're interested in a career in experimental laboratory research in industry or academia, e.g. PhD/research assistant/biology-based industrial company, where lab skills are of importance.

Critical analysis

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of data reported in scientific literature. Skills include finding appropriate peer-reviewed studies, critically analysing the methods used and the data presented and coming to a clear conclusion whether the data support or refute a hypothesis. These projects develop skills in reading technical literature, formulating hypotheses, synthesising and critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

Data analysis

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of scientific data. This could be data previously generated in the supervisor’s laboratory or data collected from previously published literature. They may involve generating and using spreadsheets and specialist data analytical packages. These projects develop skills in working with data, using statistical analyses, creating models, critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

Data-mining

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of scientific data present in databases, e.g. genomic sequences. They may involve using spreadsheets and specialist data analytical packages. These projects develop skills in working with databases, data, using statistical analyses, creating models, critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

Learning & teaching

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding through lectures, including; review-type lectures, practical classes, tutorials and computer-aided learning.

In order to prepare, class hand-outs are available in advance. Hand-outs will also be supported by guided reading and tasks such as essays, oral and tutorial/workshop presentations.

Quantitative and statistical skills are taught by the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry as well as the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences. Communication skills are taught throughout the course. Information retrieval, interpretation and research skills are gained through project work which also develops team-working skills.

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written exams, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes, available on our virtual learning environment, Myplace.

Competence is assessed through practical tests, practical write-ups, project reports and CAL exercises and quizzes.

Communication skills are assessed through essays and oral presentations.

Project work is assessed from project reports and oral presentations.

There is an individual research project in the final year of the course where you’ll demonstrate research skills, problem-solving and a suitable research approach.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second-class (2:2) honours degree or overseas equivalent, in a biological or chemical discipline.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests other than IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

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Scotland

£9,050

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,050

International

£22,400

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Lab coats and safety goggles approximately £30. All recommended textbooks are available in the library (and some freely available as online resources); however, students may wish to purchase their own copies at approximately £60-180 for second hand to new prices.

Other costs

  • £10 returnable deposit for entry keycard
  • £10 returnable deposit for locker (depending on project location within SIPBS)
  • printing and binding costs of project dissertation (soft-bound so estimated £10)
Visa & immigration

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Careers

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.

As an immunology graduate, you could be involved in the development of drugs, food processing, protecting the environment, fighting disease or even slowing down the ageing process.

Our graduates find jobs in the pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical industries, hospitals and public service laboratories, environmental centres, analytical and forensic science labs, universities, the scientific civil service and teaching at all levels. Immunologists start on NHS Band 6 salaries which start at £31,365. Salaries for Consultant Immunologists range from £45,753 (Band 8) to £104,927 (Band 9).*

*Information provided by Prospects and the NHS website and is only intended as a guide.

The transferable skills you gain from this course will not only prepare you for a career in science but also in areas such as finance, management, marketing, sales, business and media. Many students also continue to postgraduate studies and research.

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Apply

Please note there is no deadline for submitting applications.

Start date: Sep 2022

Advanced Immunology

MSc
part-time
Start date: Sep 2022

Start date: Sep 2022

Advanced Immunology

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3623

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk