You are currently holding an offer from us to commence study on the MSc Immunology in October 2020 and we are looking forward to welcoming you to the Department at the start of the new academic year.  

We are contacting you with more details about how our MSc Immunology programme will run in the Academic year ahead. It will be delivered as a combination of online and campus-based sessions with the same content, learning outcomes, and assessments than any other year. Please see important details below. 

 

Institutional guarantees 

All on campus provision will be subject to the requirements of the current Public Health advice from the UK Government, College guidelines on social distancing and any additional health and safety measures. The College will deliver your programme to ensure the approved learning outcomes are met and will take steps to make alternative arrangements in any extreme circumstances where this is not possible. The College is also developing community building activities to support your student experience. College-wide induction and enrolment activities will operate in a remote format at the start of the academic year, and you will therefore not be required to visit the campus in-person to begin your studies. 

 

Social cohesion 

Most of our Autumn term will be delivered online. This will require you to have access to a computer and a reliable internet signal for most days of the term. The programme will start in the first week of October 2020 and we have planned online inductions sessions in the first two weeks for you to meet us, your fellow students on the programme, and your tutors. These induction sessions will also be an opportunity for you to familiarise yourselves with the online platforms and tools we will be using in the year, and for all of us to set expectations around the programme and online/on campus learning and teaching. All learning material will be accessible through our Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard) and Microsoft Teams. As Imperial students, you will have free access to these as well as to induction sessions. 

Throughout the year, we will continue with these opportunities to socialise and feel part of our MSc cohort. To this effect, we will organise several online group work sessions, some with our group tutors, as well as regular social events. The two weeks in the teaching laboratories will be great opportunities to strengthen the bonds amongst yourselves and with us.

 

Principles of Immunology (Module 1), October 2020

Our first module will be delivered fully online. The MSc team has prepared an exciting programme for you to investigate the principles of immunology. There will be work that each of you will need to do outside of the virtual classroom and in your own time (asynchronous) to prepare for the live face-to-face (synchronous) interactive sessions with our academics. We have timetabled these activities along the week to help you organise your work effectively, with most face-to-face sessions taking place in the afternoons to cater for most time zones. On average, each week will have around 20 hours of timetabled activities (asynchronous and synchronous) which you will have to complement with individual work. Importantly, this approach will provide you with opportunities to develop your immunology knowledge and skills, individually and in teams.  

 

Experimental Immunology (Module 2), November 2020

Our Mini-Research Project will start with preparation time in pairs, online. This will be done with asynchronous and synchronous tutorials, pair work, and submission or various activities on which we will provide you feedback that will support your learning. The two weeks of laboratory work of Module 2 will be delivered on our Hammersmith campus in the second part of November. For this, we have secured space and put in place procedures to ensure you and our staff will be as safe as possible at all times. Should you not be able to join us on the campus, you will be paired with a campus student to work on all aspects of the lab work, minus the actual bench work. You will be offered lab bench catch up sessions in the Spring term, providing campus access is possible. Should campus be completely closed in the Autumn term, Module 2 will be delivered in the Spring term. Should we not be able to run the module at all, we will be able to provide remote alternatives for you to meet slightly revised module learning outcomes.

Immunology in Practice (Module 3), December 2020

The British Society of Immunology conference will take place online in December. The exact dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks. As in previous years, the rest of the module will be done entirely remotely in your teams, researching and writing up your own Conference Proceedings. 

Immunology in Health and Disease (Module 4), January - February 2021 

Unless the UK or your home country public health guidance precludes it, you will be expected to be in the UK in the Spring Term, which starts in January. We are currently planning for this popular module to be delivered on campus. Should access to campus be limited in the Spring term, the Module will be delivered in a blended way, combining online with potential limited face to face sessions, which will ensure that we can fulfil the learning objectives. Should the campus be significantly affected by further lock down, the module will be delivered online with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous sessions.  

Immunology Research Project (Module 5), March - September 2021

We are currently anticipating no major changes to Module 5 (Immunology Research Project) which will be delivered on in our research laboratories on campus between March and September 2021. Should physical access to laboratories be limited, we will provide choices of dry research projects, research systematic reviews as well as wet research projects to be conducted in teams. The latter will be an added opportunity for you to strengthen skills such as communication, organisation and negotiation. Should the campus be significantly affected by further lock down during your research project, we might have to extend the duration of your programme. 

Please note: If you are an international student and require a Tier 4 / Student visa in order to study in the UK, you will be responsible for any visa application fees which may be incurred should your programme length be extended. Full support and guidance on visa and immigration issues is provided by our International Student Support Team (www.imperial.ac.uk/study/visas).  

 

Assessments 

All but two assessments (Data Interpretation and Paper Critique) are In Course Assessments that are prepared in your own time and are submitted online. Our Virtual Learning Environment will enable remote teamwork and submission. We therefore do not anticipate any changes to existing assessments, except for our Data Interpretation and Paper Critique closed book examination which we will adapt for remote timed delivery.  

 

Student Experience 

Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under all eventualities.  We identified key pillars of the wider student experience:  academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities.   Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our website

  

How we can answer your questions 

As always, should you have any questions, please contact us and we will be delighted to talk to you and clarify, to all, any point that might still lack clarity. 

Thank you for choosing Imperial as the institution to undertake your postgraduate studies. We are enthusiastic about you joining our outstanding student body, and look forward to welcoming you in the Autumn, online! 

Prof Marina Botto & Dr Sophie Rutschmann

Head of Department & Programme Director 

MSc Immunology in the Department of Immunology and Inflammation