UCL Division of Infection & Immunity

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External Seminar
1pm | 26 Mar | Pearson G22 LT
Internal Seminar
1pm | 27 Mar | Cruciform LT1

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BSc Infection & Immunity

A research-informed BSc programme that provides students with real insight into how discovery science is carried out at the very highest level.

Image courtesy of Nick David (http://www.nickdavid.co.uk)

Our aim throughout the three years is to deliver core basic science content as far as possible in an infection and immunity research context.

Infectious agents are fantastic tools for discovery in cell and molecular biology, immunology, human biology and evolution, so the BSc Infection and Immunity is a great way to acquire a broad biomedical science knowledge.

Students will gain:

  • An in depth understanding of the role of the immune system and infectious agents in health and disease
  • A broad knowledge of human organs and systems, cellular and molecular biology
  • Insight into current research in the pathogenesis, prevention and control of infectious diseases, mechanisms of immunity and immune dysfunction.

Throughout the programme emphasis will be placed on current research, communication and critical analysis. Right from the start, students will be exposed to the very latest thinking. They will learn the language and concepts of infection and immunity, gain insight into the scientific method and learn to read and critically assess scientific literature. Through this, they will gain scientific self-confidence and begin to think like a scientific investigator.

Programme Structure

Year One

Core modules cover the function of human organs and systems; accompanying tutorials provide an infection and immunity context. Students also take two programme specific modules:

  • Infection and Immunity: Meet the Labs: Divisional scientists and their labs host sessions to discuss their current research
  • Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Biology from a virus’s perspective: molecular and cell biology presented by following the progress of a virus through a cell.

Year Two

Three modules provide continued training in scientific and experimental skills: Molecular Basis of Disease; Techniques in Molecular Medicine: A Practical Approach; Statistics for Medical Scientists.

Increasing focus on infection and immunity through modules in Infection (Term 1) and Immunology (Term 2) accompanied by Infection and Immunity: Journal Club, (terms 1 and 2) which focuses on reading and understanding current literature in infection and immunology, linked to the content of the Infection and Immunology modules.

Students will also choose one Faculty of Life Sciences module from a selection covering topics in cell and molecular biology.

Year Three

Focus on accessing the state of the art in infection and immunity research, developing critical skills, learning to communicate science, improving scientific self-confidence, learning to think like a scientific investigator.

Modules are research based, drawing on current expertise in the Division of Infection and Immunity and beyond. Small group tutorials provide opportunity to discuss recent papers. An original laboratory research project will be available to the best performing students, the remainder will do a literature-based project.

Modular Structure

The degree has a modular structure. In each year of the degree students take a number of individual modules, valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from year to year. 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Compulsory Modules

  • Foundations in Health and Disease
  • Cardiovascular & Respiratory Function in Health and Disease
  • The Gut, Liver and Drug Metabolism
  • Musculoskeletal Systems in Health and Disease
  • Infection, Inflammation and Repair
  • Kidneys, Hormones and Fluid Balance
  • Data Interpretation and Evaluation of Science
  • Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • Infection and Immunity: Meet the Labs

Compulsory Modules

  • Infection
  • Immunology
  • Infection and Immunity: Journal Club
  • Molecular Basis of Disease
  • Statistics for Medical Scientists
  • Techniques in Molecular Medicine

Optional Modules

Choose one; list may vary year on year

  • Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • General Biochemistry of Health
  • The Principles of Cellular Control
  • Energy & Evolution
  • The Biology of Development

Compulsory Modules

  • Immunology in Health and Disease
  • Infectious Agents
  • Cellular Pathology
  • Laboratory-based or literature-based research project

Optional Modules

Choose two

  • Immunodeficiency and Therapeutics
  • Allergy, Autoimmunity and Transplantation
  • Viruses and Disease
  • Microbial Pathogenesis
  • Neoplasia and its Treatment
  • Mathematical Modelling in Biomedicine
  • Global Eradication of Viruses
  • Evolution and Infectious Diseases

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching is delivered through a mix of blended learning, lectures, laboratory work, journal clubs and tutorials.

Most year one and some year two content is delivered through an innovative blended learning system: students learn at their own pace from short online videos followed up by small group tutorials to discuss content and explore topics in greater depth.

Year one teaching is mostly at UCL’s Royal Free Campus in Hampstead, year two teaching is split between the Royal Free and the main UCL campus at Bloomsbury, year three teaching is entirely Bloomsbury based. Modules at the Royal Free Campus are shared with the UCL Applied Medical Sciences degree.

We use a diverse selection of methods for formative and summative assessment: online and written examinations (question formats include: multiple-choice, short-answer, long answer, data analysis); poster presentations; coursework essays and commentaries; oral presentations; practical skills assessment; online participation; research project dissertation.


The study of infection and immunity is intrinsically interdisciplinary, a hallmark of good science and a great basis for working in almost any field.

Together, infections, immune responses and immune dysfunction contribute to a vast array of diseases, so far from being too specialised, a deep understanding of infection and immunity provides an outstanding basis for a career in biomedical sciences.

Graduates will have a robust and fundamentally transferable skill set: critical analysis, data interpretation, communication and independent thinking. They will be well placed to apply to the most competitive postgraduate programmes and well equipped for a career in research, teaching, or associated biomedical professions.

For more information

Contact the programme administrators:

Biljana Nikolic b.nikolic@ucl.ac.uk
Nathan Buckley nathan.buckley.14@ucl.ac.uk

Page last modified on 18 aug 17 10:01