Immunology

Gain the knowledge, creativity and critical thinking skills to prepare for a career as a researcher in immunology.

Award titles

Postgraduate Certificate

ECTS: 30 credits
Duration: 3 months full-time
(standalone course)

MSc

ECTS: 90 credits
Duration: 1 year full-time
(including PG Cert)

Key information

Start dateOctober 2021
Campus: Hammersmith
Register your interest

Applications are now closed

Overview

The PG Certificate in Immunology will provide you with the theoretical principles of Innate and Adaptive Immunity, a unique chance to plan, design and conduct your own Mini-Research Project in our teaching laboratories as well as the opportunity to attend an Immunology conference and conduct an in-depth team presentation of one immunology topic of choice.

The MSc in Immunology will build from the PG Certificate by taking you on an intensive journey to investigate immunity in health and disease. To accompany you on this journey are our leaders in the field with whom you will subsequently have the opportunity to conduct a seven-month laboratory-based research project.

In addition to preparing you to become a researcher in Immunology (main professional outcome) by helping you strengthen your knowledge, creativity and critical thinking skills, the programme will also give you a chance to develop your communication and team working skills.

Study programme

The Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) lasts three months and is made up of the first three core modules (first term) of the MSc.

The intensive MSc builds on the PG Cert with an additional module in Immunology in Health and Disease, and a substantial seven-month research project in one of our hosting laboratories.

You can apply to either the PG Cert or MSc in the first instance. Both courses require full-time commitment for their duration. If you choose the PG Cert, you can apply to complete the MSc with a starting date of January the following academic year.

The MSc programme is divided into two major parts:

  • October – February: 5–month taught modules (based at Hammersmith Campus)
  • March – September: 7–month laboratory-based research project (at any Imperial campus or in collaborating institutions, depending on the project)

Careers

The Immunology programme provides excellent training if you are intending to pursue a career in scientific research (academia, industry, communication). A high proportion of our graduates proceeds to PhD study, or, if medically qualified, to clinical practice or research.

As well as scientific training, the MSc programme will expand your repertoire of transferable skills, allowing you to also enter a variety of non-scientific careers including finance, management and various types of consultancy.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

There are limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses. See what changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Find out more about potential changes

Structure

PG Certificate

Core modules

You study the three core modules below:

Principles of Immunology

The module will cover the principles of innate and adaptive immunity and therefore provide you with a solid understanding of immune players and interactions in a healthy environment. In addition, the module will provide you with an introduction to some practical laboratory and professional skills which will support your learning during the rest of the programme.

Experimental Immunology

The module is a Mini-Research Project during which you will work in pairs and experience a hands-on approach to experimental work, taking ownership of your mini project. In a set scientific frame, you will define your starting scientific hypothesis, design and execute your experimental plan, analyse and critique your own data and troubleshoot some of your experiments.

Immunology in Practice

You will attend the annual British Society of Immunology (BSI) conference (or winter school) during and after which you will work in small teams to investigate and report in–depth on a chosen topic of interest. In the unlikely event of the conference or winter school not taking place, you will be provided with current Imperial research topics in Immunology to investigate in your teams.

MSc

Core modules

Principles of Immunology

The module will cover the principles of innate and adaptive immunity and therefore provide you with a solid understanding of immune players and interactions in a healthy environment. In addition, the module will provide you with an introduction to some practical laboratory and professional skills which will support your learning during the rest of the programme.

Experimental Immunology

The module is a Mini-Research Project during which you will work in pairs and experience a hands-on approach to experimental work, taking ownership of your mini project. In a set scientific frame, you will define your starting scientific hypothesis, design and execute your experimental plan, analyse and critique your own data and troubleshoot some of your experiments.

Immunology in Practice

You will attend the annual British Society of Immunology (BSI) conference (or winter school) during and after which you will work in small teams to investigate and report in–depth on a chosen topic of interest. In the unlikely event of the conference or winter school not taking place, you will be provided with current Imperial research topics in Immunology to investigate in your teams.

Immunology in Health and Disease

The module will take you on a journey amongst the topics of immunological research done at Imperial College. These include the immune response to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, inflammation, immunology in autoimmune diseases as well as cancer immunology, but topics are subject to slightly change every year, depending on the most up to date research done in our laboratories.

Immunology Research Project

During this final module of the MSc, you will join a research team to conduct an experimental project. Provided by our staff, or found by yourself, the projects will be directly related to their subject of expertise and will allow you to experience life in a laboratory as well as use the scientific method to investigate in-depth an immunological question.

Please note, the MSc course is intensive and requires an on-going commitment to self-directed study and participation in group work as well as attending lectures and conducting research.

Students have the option to exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma award before undertaking the Immunology Research Project, if they successfully complete all the other core modules, plus an additional Critical Mastery of Immunology module.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

Over the course of the programme, you will be taught using many approaches which are as much as possible reflective of the way the scientific community works and interacts.

The taught part of the programme will require you to study independently prior to our face to face sessions and in teams. These will be in the form of:

  • small group tutorials
  • keynote lectures
  • data interpretation sessions
  • journal club
  • workshops
  • group work sessions
  • lectures
In addition, you will have the opportunity to attend a conference (registration fees, accommodation and transport covered by the programme) during which you will get insight into the forefront of the discipline from the conference speakers. Finally, during your laboratory-based project, you will learn from interacting on a daily basis with researchers, presenting in lab meetings, attending seminars, observing others and receiving feedback on your work.

Assessment methods

Summative assessments will be in the form of:

  • computer-based closed-book examinations
  • oral individual and group presentations
  • conference written proceedings
  • posters
  • scientific papers
  • research project thesis and viva
  • research plan
  • laboratory meetings
  • coursework assessments.

Assessments will take place during and at the end of each module.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Admissions

Minimum academic requirement

For the MSc, our minimum requirement is a 2.2 degree in an appropriate science subject (e.g. medicine, dentistry, veterinary science).

For the Postgraduate Certificate, our minimum requirement is a 2.2 degree in an appropriate biological science subject (e.g. biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, medicine, dentistry or veterinary science).

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applications have now closed.

Choosing your course

This course is divided into two progressional levels of study:

  • PG Certificate (PG Cert)
  • MSc

Each level of study has its own separate entry point; you can apply to either level in the first instance.

Read more about Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc degrees

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

MSc

Full fee - £12,600
Top-up fee* - £6,300

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Full fee - £6,300

* If you have already completed one of the above qualifications and are moving on to the next level of study, e.g. you've already completed the PG Cert and want to study the PG Dip, you will only need to pay the top-up fee for the course you’re applying for.

You may apply to enter this programme at either level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you enter at the PG Cert level and return in future academic years to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee advertised in the year of your return, instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the relevant top-up fee, plus any annual inflationary increases applied to the entry fee. This applies to applicants who originally entered for an MSc. This does not apply to those who have completed a PG Cert and are re-entering for a higher award.

The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value for April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

You could be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government if you apply for the MSc in the first instance.

PG Cert students are not eligible for the Master's loan since each of these programmes are not worth 90 ECTS credits, which is one of the eligibility criteria for this loan.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

MSc

Full fee - £36,700
Top-up fee* - £18,350

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Full fee - £18,350

* If you have already completed one of the above qualifications and are moving on to the next level of study, e.g. you've already completed the PG Cert and want to study the PG Dip, you will only need to pay the top-up fee for the course you’re applying for.

You may apply to enter this programme at either level of study.

If you enter the MSc, without having studied the PG Cert, then you will pay the full fee listed for the MSc.

If you enter at the PG Cert level and return in future academic years to complete a higher award, you will pay the top-up fee advertised in the year of your return, instead of the full fee for your chosen course.

If you continue uninterrupted from one award to the next, you will pay the relevant top-up fee, plus any annual inflationary increases applied to the entry fee. This applies to applicants who originally entered for an MSc. This does not apply to those who have completed a PG Cert and are re-entering for a higher award.

The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value for April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

You could be eligible for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government if you apply for the MSc in the first instance.

PG Cert students are not eligible for the Master's loan since each of these programmes are not worth 90 ECTS credits, which is one of the eligibility criteria for this loan.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note, we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens' Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication).

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021. 

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Additional costs

DescriptionMandatory/optionalApproximate cost 
Janeway’s Immunobiology, K. Murphy and C. Weaver, 2016, 9th edition Mandatory £50.00

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2021-22 entry, the maximum amount is £11,570. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies.

See what opportunities you may be eligible for.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

Medicine

Got a question?

April Haesler (Administrator – Immunology and Molecular Medicine)
E: mscimmunology@imperial.ac.uk

Read more about the Department and our research in the Department of Immunology and Inflammation.

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