Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Biosciences


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • • Level 1 Introduction to Physiology (BIOL1151); Level 1 Molecules and Cells (BIOL1281).


  • • At least one other Level 2 Biological Sciences Module.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • None.


  • To provide a thorough grounding in aspects of host defence in humans, animals, model organisms (including bacteria) and plants.
  • To explore immunity at the molecular, cellular, tissue and whole organism level.
  • To relate immunity to health and disease, caused by both endogenous and exogenous factors.


  • Innate Immunity.
  • Adaptive immunity.
  • Nutritional immunity.
  • Host defence

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of adaptive and innate immunity.
  • Understanding aspects of immune protection and immunopathology related to the mucosa.
  • Knowledge of how host-defence operates in protecting plants and animals from pathogens.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Understanding practical techniques used in antigen detection, antigen characterisation and diagnostics development.
Key Skills:
  • Numeracy, in data analysis, and calculations involved in data handling.
  • Communication skills, using the written word and graphics, involved in practical reports.
  • Team work.
  • Self-motivation, in self-guided learning.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures deliver subject-specific knowledge.
  • Workshops reinforce subject-specific knowledge and understanding gained from lectures and the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • Practical Exercises allow students to utilise subject-specific knowledge gained from lectures, and support the development of key and subject-specific skills.
  • Tutorials give enhancement of the student learning experience, supporting attainment of all learning outcomes.
  • Self-guided learning contributes to subject-specific knowledge and self-motivation.
  • Practical Exercises are based on subject-specific knowledge and demonstrate subject-specific skills in understanding experimental work and data analysis.
  • Problem Exercises (Data Handling) demonstrate subject-specific skills in data handling and key skills in numeracy.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 24 Weekly 2 hours p / w 24
Practical Exercises 3 1-2 per term 4 hours 12
Workshops 4 2 per term 1 hour 4
Tutorials 2 1 per term 1 hour 2
Preparation & Reading 158
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Science communication exercise 50% Yes
Analytical exercise 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessments will be provided to develop the skills for each summative assessment as appropriate.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University