• Offered by John Curtin School of Medical Research
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Medical Science, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology and Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Julia Ellyard
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

The immune response is our key defence against disease. In this course you will delve deep into the intricate workings of the immune system and discover how it protects us from infectious disease and cancer, underpins the development of vaccines and can be used as a tool or a target in modern therapeutics. You will also investigate how imbalances in the immune system can lead to the development of diseases such as autoimmunity, allergy and immunodeficiency. The course provides an advanced understanding of the immune system for future practice in the biological sciences including medicine (where the foundation principles in this course will be invaluable) or as a prelude to applied research into human disease, including animal models.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the immune system components and how they normally respond to infection.
  2. Apply knowledge and incorporate principles to evaluate how aberrations in immunoregulation underlie autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, allergy and cancer.
  3. Consider how immune aberrations can be measured in the laboratory and potentially corrected by directed therapeutics.
  4. Acquire, analyse, interpret and critique experimental data on research in immunology.
  5. Critically evaluate the current literature to assimilate views on the latest findings and discuss the broader implications for health and disease.
  6. Effectively communicate immunological knowledge in written and oral formats.

Other Information

In order to enrol in this course you will need to obtain a permission code. Please see https://students.science.anu.edu.au/program-admin/requesting-permission-enrol for more information.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignments (2-3) (25) [LO 1,3,4,5,6]
  2. Presentation of journal article (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  3. News and Views article (15) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  4. On-line quizzes (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  5. Written examination (30) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face components which will consist of approximately 36 x 1 hour lectures per semester (36 hours total) and approximately 30 hours of tutorials/workshops/labs throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 64 hours of self directed study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks. 

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

This course is incompatible with BIOL3144

You will need to contact the John Curtin School of Medical Research to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Janeway - Immunobiology (latest edition)

Assumed Knowledge

A solid foundation in cellular function and biology, including structures of human cells and tissues. A firm understanding of molecular genetics as it applies to cellular function.

A basic understanding of microbiology, particularly with regard to human pathogens.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5160
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $6840
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6032 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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