Universitat Internacional de Catalunya


First semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff


Immunology is a compulsory subject of the degree of Biomedical Science. It introduces the student to the study of the defense mechanisms body (physiological and pathological) against antigens derived from microorganisms, toxins or derived from the malfunction of cells. This subject allows the student to understand the interaction between pathogens and the host based on the knowledge of the components and functions of the immune system in health and disease conditions. At the beginning of the subject, there is a chapter about the composition and functions of the blood, necessary to understand the fundamental role that this tissue plays in the immune response of the body.

Pre-course requirements

The student who takes the Immunology subject must have previous knowledge in microbiology, biochemistry, human genetics, molecular biology, cellular biology, and cellular and molecular pathology. These learning skills are included in the subjects programmed in the first course of the Biomedicine Degree.


  • Acquire basic knowledge about the composition and functions of the blood.
  • Identify elements of the immune system from a structural and functional approach, both in health and disease conditions.
  • Understand the homeostatic role of blood and the immune system in the functioning of the human body.
  • Understand the impact of knowledge of blood and the immune system on improving human health, mainly in terms of disease prevention and diagnosis, and the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Competences/Learning outcomes of the degree programme

  • Apply the principles of cellular and molecular biology to the study of the structure and function of the immune system in health and disease states.
  • Recognize basic biological concepts and the language of biomedical sciences.
  • Identify and solve problems.
  • Planning and organization of work.
  • Communication of scientific data in different formats: oral presentations, debates, "e-poster", "graphical abstract", etc.
  • Search for information using internet tools related to biomedicine and life sciences.
  • Select and manage information to answer scientific questions.
  • Know how to work individually and as a team using the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, experimentation, analysis of results and conclusions.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CG10 - To know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.

Learning outcomes of the subject

  • Know and define the components of the blood and its functions.
  • Analyze the characteristics and differences of the adaptive and innate immune responses.
  • Establish the relationship between the pathogen and the type of immune response developed by the host: route of infection, response mechanisms, memory, and evasion.
  • Know the main disorders of the immune system: hypersensitivity, autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiencies.
  • Learn the role of the immune system in clinical settings such as organ transplantation or tumor immunology.
  • Understand the mechanisms of activation and regulation of cellular and humoral immune responses and its relationship to immune system diseases.
  • Learn laboratory techniques for the study of blood and immune system.
  • Understand the theoretical basis of the immunological tools used in the diagnostic and research laboratory.



I.1     Blood physiology

I.2     Coagulation disorders

I.3     Short history of Immunology

I.4     Key concepts

I.5     Cells and organs of the immune system

I.6     Recognition and response


II.1    Components of innate immunity

II.2    Innate immunity receptors

II.3    Effector mechanisms

II.4    Connection innate-adaptive immunity


III.1  Lymphocyte receptors

III.2  The Major Histocompatibility Complex and Ag presentation

III.3  Development of T and B lymphocytes. Tolerance

III.4  Activation of T and B lymphocytes. Differentiation and memory generation

III.5  Ab mediated immunity

III.6  Cell mediated immunity

III.7  Recap: global understanding of an immune response

III.8  Mucosal immunity (GALT, MALT)


V.         VACCINES


VI.1  Autoimmunity

VI.2  Transplantation immunology



VIII.1          Primary immunodeficiencies

VIII.2          Secondary immunodeficiencies


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Lectures: oral exposition of 50 + 50 minutes. Depending on the topic, different activities will be proposed to encourage student participation. Student participation can affect the final grades.

Case Methods (CM): approach to a real or imaginary situation. Students work in small groups or in active interaction with the teacher to answer the questions posed. Various learning strategies can be used to enhance student participation and interaction. These classes can provide new content or delve into topics already covered in master classes. Case methods have the same importance and the same weight of questions in the final exam.

Laboratory lessons (LL): practical sessions where experimental techniques related to the syllabus of the theoretical classes are worked on. Changes between groups are allowed if one student swaps group with another student. Attendance is compulsory and the content of the practical sessions will be evaluated on the last day of practice and/or in the final exam.

Virtual learning (VL): online material located on the Moodle platform that the student can review from any computer, at any time and that will contribute to the self-learning of concepts related to the subject. The virtual material is part of the content of the subject and will be evaluated in the final exam.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

First call students:

  • Case methods: 15%. Evaluation of the activity during the session.
  • Laboratory lessons: 10%. Exam after each cytology/histology session and during the last session of the laboratory lessons (attendance to all sessions is mandatory).
  • Mid-term exam: 20%. It includes content covered in the first lectures and MCs (you will be notified in advance). Content will also be evaluated during the final-term exam.
  • Final-term exam: 55%. Includes contents addressed during any of the activities.

Students in second call:

  • Exam and/or paper about laboratory lessons: 10% (in the event of a non-pass grade due to lack of attendance)
  • Final exam: 75%
  • Case methods: 15% (the MC mark corresponding to the activity in the classroom is saved for later calls).

These conditions also apply to students in the fourth and sixth calls.


Students in third and fifth calls:

• Mid-term exam: 20%. Completion of the partial is optional.

• Final-term exam: 55% (if the student takes the mid-term exam) o 75% (if the student takes only the final-term exam).

• A weighted average between the grade of the final-term exam and the grades of the other activities obtained during the first call (CM and LL) will determine the final grade. The students are allowed to participate again in the CM and LL to obtain a new grade.


General aspects to consider about the evaluation system:

1. Final-term exam: a minimum grade of 5 (out of 10) must be obtained to make a weighted average with the other activities (mid-term exam, CM and LL). A minimum weighted average grade of 5 must be obtained to pass the course.

2. The exams will consist in multiple-choice tests with 4 response options, counting +1 hits and -0.25 errors.

3. The exams may include contents addressed during any of the activities (lectures, CM, LL and VL).

4. The final-term exam may include one or several short-answer questions that will only be evaluated in students who obtain a grade higher than 7.5. Its purpose is to provide information when awarding outstanding grades and honors (without prejudice to those who have already achieved it through the ordinary exam and evaluations).

5. The teachers reserve 10% of the total grade to consider contributions and participation (which include: interesting ideas, attendance to non-mandatory methodologies and punctuality on attendance and tasks delivery).

6. Attendance:

  • Attendance to lectures is non mandatory, but attendees must follow the rules set by the teachers.
  • To qualify for 100% of the grade corresponding to the activity in the classroom of the MCs, it will be necessary to attend and participate in 7 of the 8 sessions. You may, therefore, miss a session without prejudice to the grade; from the second absence, a corrective factor will be applied to the average grade of the rest of the MCs (2 absences = grade x 0.8; 3 absences = grade x 0.7; 4 absences = grade x 0.6; etc.). Absences will not be justified.
  • Attendance to laboratory lessons is mandatory to pass the course. The expulsion of a student from the laboratory entails the automatic suspension of the course. It will be necessary to attend to ALL the laboratory lessons to be able to take the first call.

7. Improper use of electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets or laptops may result in class expulsion. Misuse means the recording and dissemination of images/sound of students or teachers during the different sessions, as well as the use of these devices for recreational and non-educational purposes.

Bibliography and resources


  • Kuby Immunology. Owen, J., Punt, J., Stranford, S., & Jones, P. Macmillan Learning, 2018
  • Cellular and Molecular Immunology. Abbas, A. K., Lichtman, H., & Pillai, S. Elsevier, 2021
  • Janeway’s Immunobiology. Murphy, K. M., & Weaver, C. Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group, LLC., 2017


Scientific journals:

  • Frontiers in Immunology: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/immunology
  • Nature Immunology: https://www.nature.com/ni/
  • Nature Reviews in Immunology: https://www.nature.com/nri/
  • Journal of Immunology: https://www.jimmunol.org/
  • Annual Review of Immunology: https://www.annualreviews.org/journal/immunol

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 16/01/2023 A09 16:00h
  • E2 15/06/2023 A03 14:00h