Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This stand-alone unit gives students a basic understanding of the mechanisms that have evolved to protect the host against infection. It explores the ontogeny and phylogeny of both innate and adaptive immunity, and is of benefit to those students undertaking any of the recommended streams in the life and biomedical sciences including those going on to further study in microbiology and immunology. The mechanisms used by plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, including humans, to protect themselves against infection are explored, with particular attention directed to the study of the evolution of immunoglobulins and cells of the immune system as well as the genetic mechanisms underlying the generation of diversity. In addition to the study of the phylogeny of the immune response, its ontogeny in birds, amphibians and mammals is explored, with particular attention being directed to the maturation of the immune system in the fetus and neonate, and the effects of ageing on immunity. The laboratory sessions complement the lecture material.

6 points
Not available in 2024SingaporeFace to face

Students gain an understanding of the structure and function of the molecules, as well as the range and function of cells involved in the immune system. Students also gain an insight into the evolution and ontogeny of the immune system in phylogenetically diverse species. Students develop a number of practical skills in immunochemistry, cellular immunology and bioinformatics as well as develop self-directed learning, written and verbal skills.


This comprises a final examination (50 per cent) and continuous assessment (50 per cent).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Allison Imrie
Unit rules
any Level 1 biological subject
950.216 Comparative Immunology 216 (taken before 2003)
Advisable prior study
MICR2204 Introductory Microbiology
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials/labs: 2 hours per week for 13 weeks

Male, D. et al. Immunology, 7th edn: Mosby 2006

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.