Immunology and Immunotherapy MSc

Start date
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

Annual tuition fee for 2024/25:
UK: £10,530 full-time
International: £31,410 full-time
More detail on fees and funding

This MSc programme is suitable for biomedical or life scientists who wish to acquire an extensive knowledge and key skills relating to the fundamental molecular and cellular regulation of immunity and its application to the treatment of disease. The programme will be delivered by academics at the forefront of immunology and immunotherapy research, each with an internationally renowned research group. The course includes fully-funded attendance of either the British Society Of Immunology Annual Congress or the BSI Immunology Winter School.

Scholarships for 2024 entry

The University of Birmingham is proud to offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate programmes. With a scholarship pot worth over £2 million, we are committed to alleviating financial barriers to support you in taking your next steps.

Each scholarship has its own specific deadlines and eligibility criteria. Please familiarise yourself with the information on individual scholarship webpages prior to submitting an application.

Explore our scholarships

Over the past few years, significant advances have been made in our understanding of the molecular and cellular control of immune responses. These discoveries are now being translated into the design and testing of immunotherapeutic interventions for a range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory disease.

A series of interlinked taught modules cover molecular mechanisms in immune cell differentiation and function, autoimmunity, transplant and tumour immunology, and inflammation. This is complemented by comprehensive coverage of the latest developments in immunotherapy including the use of microbial products in immunomodulation and vaccination, small molecules and biologics, as well as cellular immunotherapy.

The programme aims to allow you to understand the research process, from the fundamental discoveries at the forefront of immunological research, to the application of novel interventional immune-based therapies.

A key part of the MSc programme is the planning, execution and reporting of a piece of independent study leading to submission of a dissertation. This study will be in the form of an extensive laboratory research project carried out in internationally renowned research groups. Each student will be a fully integrated member of one of the large number of research teams in a wide variety of topics across both immunology and immunotherapy.

The MSc is run by research scientists at the forefront of immunology and immunotherapy across the Institutes of Immunology and Immunotherapy and Inflammation and Ageing. Visit their pages to discover the research that is conducted within these Institutes, or keep up to date with the research projects happening right now by following the Immunology and Immunotherapy X account.

You may also be interested in taking a new CPD course launched by the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy. The course is titled Understanding Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy – A pillar of modern cancer treatment.

Why study this course?

This course:

  • includes fully-funded attendance of either the British Society Of Immunology Annual Congress or the BSI Immunology Winter School.
  • includes clinical staff who are involved in the delivery of immunotherapy to patients.
  • can contribute towards career development and open up further career progression opportunities.
  • provides an exciting opportunity to carry out an extensive research project either within the University or selected external biotechnology companies.
  • will increase your personal knowledge of the principles of immunology and its application to immune-based therapy of disease.
  • is run by research scientists at the forefront of immunology and immunotherapy.


The content of the programme is broadly divided into two components: the taught modules and the independent research project (dissertation).

Each taught module comprises 15 - 40 hours of face-to-face taught classroom-based learning plus self-directed learning and an in-course assessed assignment and exam. Towards the beginning of the programme there is a laboratory research methods module and running throughout the first semester is a journal club where you present and discuss cutting-edge research publications.

You will have the exciting opportunity to undertake an extensive laboratory research project as a fully-integrated member of one of our large number of research teams in a wide variety of topics across immunology and immunotherapy.

Core modules

Examples of research projects undertaken in recent years:

  • The role of antigen receptor signalling for B cell selection.
  • Investigating the role of CD200-CD200R interactions in the development and function of Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC).
  • How do ab kill gram negative bacteria?
  • A novel mechanism of regulation of macrophages by glucocorticoids.
  • Evaluation of neutrophil functionality in Multiple Myeloma patients.
  • Understanding of the potential of a novel immunomodulatory therapy in alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Mechanisms of attenuated Salmonella cancer therapy.
  • Investigation of the impact of tissue metabolite profile on T cell immunity.
  • Explore the effects of ustekinumab treatment on IL-12 expression by monocytes in patients with Crohn’s disease.
  • Investigation of mechanisms regulating thymus function and T cell development. 




UK: £10,530 full-time
International: £31,410 full-time

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.


Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

As a UK resident you can apply for a government loan for postgraduate Masters study. This is a contribution towards the costs of study and whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs will be at the discretion of the student.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Loan

How To Apply

How to apply for our taught postgraduate programmes

Application deadlines

The deadline for international students (including EU) to apply is 26 July 2024. The deadline for UK students is 30 August 2024.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Life science or biomedical science degree normally classified at 2(i) or above or equivalent. Examples of typical undergraduate degrees are Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science and Laboratory Science, however other life sciences degree will be considered.

International Requirements



International Students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component).

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

This programme is delivered via teaching from Monday to Friday approximately 9.00am-5.00pm, with only a few hours of direct face-to-face contact each day to allow time for independent learning. There are four modules the first semester and three modules the second semester. Delivery of the modules are by lectures, small group teaching sessions, workshops, seminars and laboratory/ supervised computer cluster work. In addition, recorded material may also be used to supplement learning in some modules. Once the taught modules have been completed the project will be full-time.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Programme Leads

Dr Nick Jones

Dr Will Jenkinson

Programme Administrator


Assessment Methods

Taught modules

Modules are assessed through a variety of means, including extended essays (up to 4,000 words), preparation of a research proposal, preparing and conducting a short presentation on a defined topic related to the module content, and unseen written examinations.


This is defined as a substantial body of work containing some new findings or thoughts. It is envisaged that this will be 10,000 words in length. You will be able to choose from a suite of projects before starting your project in Semester 3.

Students who complete this MSc programme will have an in-depth up-to-date knowledge of this rapidly advancing field and will have developed the key skills required to either pursue a PhD in these areas or significantly improve their employability for the biomedical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industrial sectors.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market. The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. ;For more information visit the Careers Network website