Immunology and Allergy MSc


Fact file

MSc Immunology and Allergy
Full time 12 Months
Entry requirements
2.2 (Lower 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent)
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Queen's Medical Centre
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This unique course provides training in the theoretical and practical aspects of modern immunology, with emphasis on therapeutic interventions for disease management and allergic reactions.
Read full overview

The course is particularly suitable for graduates in life sciences, biomedical sciences and allied subjects, as well as people who are already employed in related fields who wish to update their knowledge in Immunology, novel immunotherapeutic technologies and gain valuable research experience. 

As a postgraduate in the School of Life Sciences, you will work in an environment with a sound teaching and research base that is committed to providing cutting edge training in this field. 

The programme continues to grow in stature and reputation, as it is repeatedly recognised for its excellence, relevance and innovation within the study of immunology.

Key facts

  • This is a unique course within the UK, offering postgraduate immunology training that also encompasses allergy.
  • 95% of the School of Life Sciences research was deemed to be of international quality according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The school has been awarded Athena SWAN Silver status. Athena SWAN champions good working practices to advance the representation of women in STEMM subjects.
  • We've been recognised as delivering a Gold standard in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which aims to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching.
  • Nottingham features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings.

Course details

Through this course, you will acquire the skills and advanced knowledge in immunology and allergy necessary to prepare you for future research tasks. As part of this you will learn to appreciate the contribution of immunological mechanisms to a wide range of disease processes as a basis for developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In addition, you'll be trained to carry out critical evaluation of published scientific papers and to develop the ability to report and interpret results.

The MSc Immunology and Allergy is taught on a full-time basis over one year (September to late August) offering 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit research project. The project lasts about four months and is your chance to study in greater depth one aspect of imunnology and allergy. 

Click on the 'modules' tab below for details about each module. 

Why choose this course?
We are committed to providing quality and cutting edge training in immunology and allergy. The MSc is offered in a school that has an excellent teaching and research base. The course has continued to grow in stature and reputation; notable recognition of the excellence and relevance of this innovative postgraduate course. Our course is the only course offering postgraduate immunology training that also encompasses allergy.

How you'll be taught and assessed

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, including:
  • lectures
  • practical sessions
  • tutorials
  • problem-based learning sessions

The online MSc database provides a central point for you to access your timetable, assessment results and easy access to additional module resources provided by staff. You will be expected to work independently, and as part of a group. 

The course is assessed by a variety of methods, including:

  • examinations delivered electronically (multiple choice, multiple response and extended matching questions)
  • oral presentations
  • essays
  • poster preparation
  • dissertation


Autumn semester 

Immunity and the Immune System
The aim of this introductory 10 credit module is to define the basic mechanisms and concepts underpinning the science of immunology and allergy. 
Research Methods
This is a 20 credit module which demonstrates how various research strategies are used to study immunology. You will learn how to employ the skills of criticising and reporting scientific work. You will also be trained to carry out critical evaluation of published scientific papers and report and interpret the results. 
Molecular Aspects of Allergy
This is a 20 credit module taught in semester one. The aim is for students to be able to describe the human IgE network, the mechanisms of allergic tissue damage, and to establish strategies for immunological intervention.
Mechanisms of Autoimmunity
The aim of this 20 credit module is to demonstrate how the application of modern molecular techniques is leading to the understanding of autoimmunity and the development of intervention strategies. 

Spring semester 

Innate Immune Recognition
This is a 20 credit module held in semester two. This module focuses on the basic mechanisms and concepts underpinning immune activation within the context of infection with extracellular and intracellular pathogens, tumour recognition, immunoevasion and immunopathology and how this understanding could be used for developing new vaccination/ therapeutic strategies.
Therapeutic Immunology
This module is worth 20 credits which describes how to analyse current and potential therapeutic strategies, and to assess the use of engineered antibodies and peptide vaccines for treating immunological diseases. 
Taught together with students from the MSc in Molecular Diagnostics, this 10-credit module provides an introduction to bioinformatics. This module 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. You are required to produce a poster for assessment which includes information gathered from online databases about a particular gene or disease. Topics for poster presentations in previous years have included Complement C3, CD45, NOD2 and bare lymphocyte syndrome. 
Research Project
This module will enable you to experience contemporary research methods by designing a research programme and performing experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem. The research project is worth a total of 60 credits. The project will allow you to establish the technical skills required for immunology research and for designing experiments. You will also be able to demonstrate the ability to write scientific texts. The focus of research in immunology is in the area of immunnomodulation, for example, studies of a variety of means of therapeutic manipulation of the immune response. This is aimed particularly in the area of cancer, allergy, and infection and autoimmunity. 

Please note that all module details are subject to change. 

The modules studied during the autumn semester are assessed at the beginning of the spring semester and those studied in spring are assessed at the beginning of the summer semester.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



School of Life Sciences scholarship 

The School of Life Sciences is offering 12 scholarships amounting to £1,000 each for students starting in 2018-19. To apply for these scholarships you need a copy of an acceptance letter confirming that you have a place to study. This is a competitive scheme and students will be awarded a scholarship on academic and individual merit.

Application deadlines

Home/European Union students: The closing date for scholarship applications is 12 mid-day (UK time) Friday 17 August 2018. Successful applicants will be notified via email by 31 August 2018.

International students: The closing date for scholarship applications is 12 mid-day (UK time) Friday 25 May 2018. Successful applicants will be notified via email by Friday 8 June 2018.

Full details and application forms for these scholarships can be obtained by contacting:
Anita Purshottam


UK/EU students

For funding advice, please see our guide to funding

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.




Through this course, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the contribution of immunological mechanisms to a wide range of disease processes and will be versed at developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. You will also learn a range of contemporary research methods by designing a research programme and performing experiments, surveys, or other research activities aimed at solving a specific biomedical problem. 

With this knowledge, you may gain entry to a number of careers in a research or diagnostic setting. Many of our graduates continue their studies at PhD level whilst other chose to work as research assistants or enter a clinical scientist training programme. 

Whatever your career path, immunologists generally need a strong research background – something reflected by the research project/dissertation component of the course. 

You will also be ideally placed to continue your research at a higher level. 

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)
  • PhD - The University of Nottingham
  • Research Technician - University of Nottingham
  • Graduate Entry Medicine

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 92.6% of postgraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,847 with the highest being £70,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.


Career prospects and employability

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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