• Class Number 6032
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof David Tscharke
    • Dr Julia Ellyard
    • Anya Zhao
    • Melan Kurera
    • Nadia Roberts
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

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.

Research-Led Teaching

Course contains research-direction lectures where academic staff discuss their own research in the broader context of recent advances in Immunology. Through practicals students develop skills in data collection and analysis. Topic presentations, journal presentations and workshops groups focus on interpreting research data, methodology, problem solving and communicating research.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required in all wet labs. Lab coats and safety glasses can be purchased from the Harry Hartog Bookshop.

Examination Material or equipment

Final examination will be an in-person, invigilated exam. It will be open book and student can use their course notes.

Required Resources

Kenneth Murphy and Casey Weaver. Janeway’s Immunobiology (10th Edition), Garland Science, 2022. ISBN 978-0-8153-4505-3

1. Abbas, AK, Lichtman, AH and Pillai S. Cellular and Molecular Immunology (8th Edition), Elsevier Saunders, 2015. (eBook at: http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b3609426)

2. Parham P. The Immune System (4th Edition), Garland Science, 2014 Call number: QR181.P335 2015, Hancock Library

3. Kaufmann SHE, Rouse BT and Sacks DL. Immune Response to Infection, ASM Press, 2011 (eBook at http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b3451369); Call number: QR186.I445 2011eb

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments

Feedback to whole class, tutorial groups and individuals where appropriate.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 COURSE SCHEDULE is tentative and subject to changeKey activities are Lectures, Practicals and Workshops:Topics as below. Timetable will be posted and updated continually: please refer to Wattle for updated schedules.
2 LecturesLectures will constitute the curriculum of the course, and will be the main focus of the final examination (30%). Weekly MCQ quizzes (10% of total mark) will provide formative assessment of understanding of lecture material.Topics covered in the lectures include:
  • Innate immunity
  • Immunoglobulin and B cells
  • T cells
  • MHC and Ag presentation
  • Immune tolerance
  • Lymphocyte migration
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Signalling pathways in the immune system
  • Immunological disease (Immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and allergy) and interventions
  • Immunological research methodology
Assessment task 2, 5 and 6
3 Practicals There are two practicals in the course. The flow cytometry practical is held in week 3, and the T cell stimulation practical in weeks 7 and 8. Workshops in weeks 2 and 4 are designed to introduce students to flow cytometry analysis software to support analysis of data. Aemonstration of Cell Sorting in the Flow Cytometry Unit, JCSMR is also held. Assessment task 3
4 Small group workshops.Small group workshops will be held weekly (except week 3, 7, and 8 due to practical) and used for a mix of learning and assessment. The cohort of students will be divided into group for assessment tutorials and allocated a demonstrator.Assessment activities in these groups will include:
  • Focus topics presentations (15%). Each student will be allocated a topic related to immunobiology to research and produce a 1-page summary, that is then used to present to the group . Presentation length 10 minutes + 5 mins questions. Topics will be specific, and designed to extend on knowledge from the lectures. Presentations will be marked by demonstrators and recorded for moderation.
  • Journal presentation (25%). Recent research papers will be allocated to pairs of students who will present a summary to their group. Presentation length 20 minutes + 10 mins questions. Presentations will be marked by demonstrators and recorded for moderation.

For all other the workshops, questions will be distributed and worked through with the convenors/demonstrators to consolidate learning from lectures.
Assessment tasks 1 and 4

Tutorial Registration

All tutorials/workshops will be held at the same time - Tuesday 2-5pm. For assessment tutorials (week 6 and 12) student will be allocated to a group by the course convenor. For all remaining weeks, workshops will be as a single group.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Topic presentation 10 % 27/08/2023 31/08/2023 1,2,4,5
Practical report 15 % 25/09/2023 17/10/2023 2,3,5
Written Assignment 15 % 09/10/2023 27/10/2023 1,3,4,5
Journal Presentation 20 % 24/10/2023 27/10/2023 1,2,3,4
On-line MCQs 10 % * * 1,2,3
Final Exam 30 % * * 1,2,3,

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to actively participate through the course, particularly with respect to attendance/engagement at lectures, practicals and workshops, including on-line discussion via Wattle. Attendance at the assessment tutorials is a course requirement and will be recorded. Tutorials and workshops are in person. Attendance at the practical is required unless negotiated with the course convenor.

To pass this course you must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more. Students are not required to pass the written exam. Students who achieve a final result of 45-49% for the course will be offered supplementary assessment.

Refer to ANU Supplementary exams rules at the following site: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/supplementary-exams.

If the supplementary examination is passed, the final result will be 50PS. If the supplementary examination is failed the final result will be N.”


The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 31/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Topic presentation

Preparation of 1-page summary of a topic to be individually allocated, to be presented to fellow students in a tutorial setting.

Assessment Rubrics: will be posted with details of the assessment.

Word limit (where applicable): Your summary should be in 12 point Times New Roman, single spaced, and occupy no more than one A4 page with 2 cm margins (references may be on a second page)

Presentation requirements: Presented to fellow students in tutorial, over 10 minutes, and 5 minutes discussion (students are expected to ask question relating to presentations of other students)

Due: Present in tutorials in week 6 as rostered. PDF must be submitted via Turnitin 2 days prior to the presentation.

Estimated return date: It is intended that the marked assignment will be returned within two weeks from submission. The exact return date will be posted on the Wattle site

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 25/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 17/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,5

Practical report

Report analysing the data generated in Practical 2: T cell stimulation (weeks 7 and 8)

Due: 11:59pm Monday Week 10

Estimated return date: It is intended that the marked assignment will be returned within 2 weeks from submission. The exact return date will be posted on the Wattle site.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 09/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5

Written Assignment

You are required to write a News and Views’ commentary on a recent publication (provided). This is a scafolded assessment, and in the first part you are required to produce a 1 page summary outlining the key characteristics of a news and views article (3%). You then need to analyse the provided paper carefully in the context of current knowledge, and prepare a ‘News and Views’ commentary of ~2000 words (12%).

Assessment Rubrics: will be posted with details of the assessment.

Word limit: between 2000 and 2500 words

Due: 11:59pm Monday Week 8

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 27/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Journal Presentation

A journal article will be allocated to pairs of students, who will analyse that article, and present it to their tutorial group as if at a plenary of a scientific conference.

Assessment Rubrics: will be posted with details of the assessment.

Word limit (where applicable): n/a

Presentation requirements: 20 minutes, with 10 minutes discussion. Students must submit slides through Turnitin.

Due: Present in tutorials in week 12, as rostered

Estimated return date: end of Week 12

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

On-line MCQs

On-line wattle quizzes will be posted approximately weekly relating to lecture material. Students are required to answer the questions within 1 week of quiz posting.

The marked questions sets will be returned once the quiz closes. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,

Final Exam

Final examination will be an in-person, invigilated exam. Students will be required to answer a selection of short-answer questions. It will be open book and student can bring their course notes. Duration: 2 hrs

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

The exact return date will be posted on the Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments will not be allowed

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof David Tscharke

Research Interests

Prof David Tscharke

Dr Julia Ellyard

Research Interests

Immunology, Autoimmunity, Immunogenomics

Dr Julia Ellyard

By Appointment
Anya Zhao

Research Interests

Immunology, Autoimmunity, Immunogenomics

Anya Zhao

Melan Kurera

Research Interests

Immunology, Autoimmunity, Immunogenomics

Melan Kurera

Nadia Roberts

Research Interests

Nadia Roberts


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