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Throughout the first two taught Units you will study fundamental and clinical/applied immunology on Canvas, Oxford’s virtual learning environment.  Course content is delivered as pre-recorded lectures, videos/audio files, reading and short activities for you to undertake in your own time.  Content will be released at regular intervals to help you pace your learning, and you will be able to regularly check your own understanding.  Per week there are typically 3-4 lectures along with associated materials.  Approximately every 2 weeks you will join an online session via videoconferencing to undertake live activities with your peers.  These are scheduled to suit students studying in different time zones. On average, you should expect to devote around 12 hours per week to the course.


You will benefit from lectures given by a diverse group of academics, clinicians and research scientists.  Lectures in Unit 1 are delivered by field experts from across the University, particularly from the Oxford Immunology Network, as well as invited external specialists.  Many of the speakers in Unit 2 are drawn from the NHS Trust including clinician-academics or medical consultants in the specialist area, clinical immunologists or applied researchers.  The range and expertise of our speakers is a unique and unrivalled resource for our students.  

Workshops and Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

During live online group sessions, you will undertake activities to reinforce your learning and give you opportunities to discuss immunology in real time.  Workshops and PBL encourage development of data-handling, analysis and presentation skills, complementing continuing professional development (CPD) sessions which take place throughout the course.  Small group workshops provide opportunity to work through set activities in the presence of a tutor, gaining immediate guidance and feedback on your ideas.  Problem-based learning sessions typically involve disease case studies or extended applications of immunology.  

Additional learning activities 

CPD sessions aim to enhance your knowledge, understanding and skills in academic science.  These cover topics such as presentation and IT skills, careers, clinical trial methodologies, research ethics and may also include special seminars in novel research topics. In addition to completing the online content, you will be expected to spend additional time studying independently. Self-directed learning includes reading around a topic, preparation for an assessment and revision of lecture content.  For the duration of your studies you will be supervised by the Course Director, who will meet with you regularly to discuss your progress and future plans.


In the second year of the course, you will receive training in research skills and will conduct your own desk-based research project. To do this, you will be embedded within a research group at the University and will receive remote guidance from an academic supervisor and other members of their group. Students are expected to take ownership of their project and manage their time appropriately throughout the 32-week period (28 weeks of active research plus 4 weeks for writing up).