Course overview

Do you want to be at the forefront of research-based teaching and development in immunology and immunotherapeutics? What about advancing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for fighting disease?

At Nottingham you will expand your knowledge including the contribution of immunological mechanisms to a wide range of disease processes and be taught skills to critically evaluate published scientific papers and how to report and interpret results.

Using a variety of teaching styles from lectures and tutorials to practical classes the school has excellent research facilities to support your training in topics such as:

  • qPCR and imaging
  • flow cytometry
  • biochemistry and genomics
  • tissue culture
  • microbiology and molecular genetics techniques
  • biofilm interface with biotic and abiotic surfaces
  • microscopy suites

Your learning will be assessed in a selection of ways including examinations, presentations, and dissertations. You will also be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of the course who will meet you regularly throughout the year, to assist and guide your learning and student experience.

This course may be of particular interest for graduates in life sciences, biomedical sciences, and associated subjects. It is also suitable for people who are already employed in related fields who wish to gain valuable research experience, as well as update their knowledge in immunology and immunotherapeutic technologies.

Why choose this course?

A top 20 university

The University of Nottingham is ranked a top 20 university in the UK 2023. *

Research project

You will design and execute a research programme performing experiments, surveys, analysing data and undertaking other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem in immunology or immunotherapeutics.

Top employer in the UK

Ranked 2nd in the UK for top employers in 2023. *

Course content

There are 120 credits of taught modules, and you will undertake a 60-credit research project in topic of your choice. 

Students have worked on a wide range of exciting research projects, such as Coronavirus (COVID-19), innate immunity, and autoimmunity alongside our research groups.


Core modules

Immunity and the immune system 10 credits

To define the basic mechanisms and concepts underpinning the science of Immunology and Allergy.

This module enables you to define the basic mechanisms and concepts underpinning the science of Immunology. The module is taught at Level 3 to give you a sound background in all aspects of Immunology. 

Core research methods: transferable skills 10 credits

Developing your understanding of how to plan, prepare and execute research in the field of molecular biology, microbiology immunology and genetics. As well as learning how to manage the various stages of research projects, you will gain experience presenting research data and preparing publications. This module will also enhance your ability to critically assess published literature and analyse data.  

Common research methods: molecular techniques 10 credits

During the molecular biology practical laboratory sessions, you will gain experience of standard techniques related to laboratory research in the fields of immunology, microbiology, and genetics. From this you will appreciate the workflow of gene cloning, followed by sequence analysis of genes and their variability, as well as cloning and expression of recombinant proteins. This will be supported by online provision of podcasts describing the theory and practice of each laboratory component, as well as videos and animations describing the details of laboratory practice. 

Molecular aspects of allergy 20 credits

The aim of this module is to enable you to describe the human immunoglobulin E (IgE) network and the mechanisms of tissue damage in allergic inflammation. It also explores the use of modern molecular biology techniques in the development of strategies for immunological intervention.  

Mechanisms of autoimmunity 20 credits

You will gain an understanding of recent developments in the molecular basis in the autoimmune process, including mechanisms of tolerance and the generation of autoimmunity. Additional information is also provided on generic and environmental risk factors and Immunotherapy of disease.  

Innate immune recognition 20 credits

Focusing on the basic mechanisms and concepts underpinning: immune activation within the context of infection with extracellular and intracellular pathogens; tumour recognition; immunoevasion and immunopathology. You will also gain insight in to how this understanding could be used for developing new vaccination or therapeutic strategies. 

Therapeutic immunology 20 credits

You will explore the role of innate immunity in the elicitation of an inflammatory response in response to cellular damage and infection and in the induction of acquired immunity. There will be a particular focus on pattern recognition receptors and cell damage and microbe-associated molecular patterns and their contribution to immune activation in the context of infection with extracellular and intracellular pathogens, tumour recognition, immunoevasion, immunopathology and vaccine development.  

Bioinformatics 10 credits

Introducing bioinformatic techniques and commonly used in medically related research including database interrogation, homologue identification, multiple sequence alignment, genomic data, and protein structure analysis. This topic will enable you to obtain practical experience in using bioinformatics software available for the analysis of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. The module is taught using a combination of lectures and practical sessions.  

Research project (60 credits)

Research Project 60 credits

You will design and execute a research programme performing experiments, surveys, analysing data and undertaking other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem in immunology or immunotherapeutics.

The form of project may vary from laboratory-based work, bioinformatics, or extended literature reviews, depending on the expertise of your project supervisor.  As well as gaining the technical and project management skills required for contemporary research, you will develop the ability to write scientific texts through producing a dissertation based on your research findings.

This report is discussed with academic staff during an oral examination. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 11 October 2023.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Problem-based learning
  • Practical classes
  • Tutorials

Each student is allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of the course, and regular meetings are scheduled throughout the year. 

Course material is delivered in a variety of ways.

How you will be assessed

  • Examinations
  • Written exam
  • Presentation
  • Poster presentation
  • Essay
  • Dissertation

Assessment methods vary depending on the topic being studied.

Contact time and study hours

As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work.

For the taught stage of the course, you will spend approximately a third of your time (around 400 hours) in lectures, tutorials, workshops, practical classes, including the directed study which is necessary in preparation for workshops/practical classes. The remaining time will be completed as independent study.

Tutorial sessions are built into the timetable and there are several group and individual meetings timetabled throughout the year. Additional meetings can be requested as needed.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2.2 honours degree in any relevant subject
Additional information

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study and treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis and may also consider relevant work experience.  

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, please contact us. 


Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MSc
Home / UK £9,700
International £28,600

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

Our libraries contain all relevant books and research journals you might require, however, if you wish to purchase these materials for yourself, you should take this into consideration.


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Students from our full programme of MSc courses have gone on to a wide variety of positions - here are a few examples:

  • PhD Immunology
  • Research Assistant in Immunology
  • Senior House Officer (SHO) in Medical Microbiology
  • Research Technicians - Oncology
  • Senior Registrar in Medical Microbiology
  • PhD - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Infection Control Nurses
  • NHS clinical scientists
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist - AMGEM Biotech
  • PhD School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Cambridge
  • Clinical Trial Data Managers
  • Application Specialist Biological Sciences - Japan
  • Biomedical Scientists (BMS1)
  • Graduate Entry Medicine
  • Research Technician - University of Nottingham
  • PhD University of Nottingham

Career progression

81.5% of postgraduates from the School of Life Sciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,679 was the average starting salary*

HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time, postgraduate, home graduates within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

This content was last updated on Wednesday 11 October 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.