Module information

Module details

Immunity and the Principles and Practice of Clinical Immunology
Module code

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with an introduction to the immune system and immune responses. They will understand the organisation and delivery of a clinical immunology laboratory service. In the work-based module they will be expected to apply this knowledge as they learn to perform some common methods used in clinical immunology and gain an understanding of the interpretation of patient results in a variety of clinical settings.

Work-based content


# Learning outcome Competency Action
# 1 Learning outcome 1,2 Competency

Identify the most appropriate test for at least two example clinical presentations.

Action View
# 2 Learning outcome 1,2 Competency

Receive, label and store of a wide range of immunological specimens.

Action View
# 3 Learning outcome 3,5 Competency

Select and apply appropriate control materials.

Action View
# 4 Learning outcome 3,5 Competency

Use automated methods, techniques and instrumentation to include at least four of the following:

  • protein analysis
  • immunoassay
  • nephelometry/turbidimetry
  • electrophoresis
  • immunofixation
  • iso-electric focusing
  • densitometry
  • immunoblotting
  • immunodiffusion
  • immunofluorescence
  • microscopy
  • agglutination assays
  • flow cytometry
  • allergy testing.
Action View
# 5 Learning outcome 1,4,5 Competency

Interpret laboratory data in light of clinical details on patients with common disorders where the immune system is dysfunctional, including at least two of the following:

  • protein disorders
  • autoimmune disorders
  • immunodeficiency disorders
  • basic allergy testing.
Action View
# 6 Learning outcome 1,2,4 Competency

Produce basic interpretative reports on immunological investigations.

Action View
# 7 Learning outcome 1,3 Competency

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

Action View
# 8 Learning outcome 1,3 Competency

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

Action View


You must complete:

  • 1 case-based discussion(s)
  • 1 of the following DOPS/ OCEs:
Receive label and store a selection of immunological specimens DOPS
Perform laboratory techniques used in clinical immunology DOPS
Demonstrate the ability to use laboratory IT systems for handling processing and storage of patient data DOPS

Learning outcomes

  1. Interpret routine requests for common clinical immunology investigations in the correct clinical context and process the specimens that accompany those requests.
  2. Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data.
  3. Perform a range of laboratory techniques used in the workplace in clinical immunology.
  4. Report the results of commonly performed clinical immunology investigations of major organ function.
  5. Apply the principles of internal quality control and external quality assessment and draw conclusions about assay performance.



Academic content (MSc in Clinical Science)

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the function of the immune system in health and the function of the major cells of the immune system.
  2. Explain the function of the major humoral components of the immune response.
  3. Explain the innate immune system and the adaptive immune response.
  4. Discuss the co-dependence of the innate and adaptive immune systems.
  5. Describe and evaluate the design, operation and performance of the tests and assays used within clinical immunology.
  6. Describe the partnership of clinical immunology to other clinical specialisms in the investigation and management of disorders of the immune system and patient care. 

Indicative content

  • Organisation and components of the immune system
    • Cellular components (lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes/macrophages)
    • Humoral components (antibodies/immunoglobulins, complement, cytokines)
    • Molecules of the immune system (major histocompatibility molecules class I and II, cluster of differentiation (CD) molecules/cell surface markers, receptor molecules, recognition molecules, adhesion molecules, effector molecules)
    • Antigen presentation
  • Innate immune response (endothelial cells, neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells, complement)
  • Adaptive immune response (antigen processing, dendritic cells, T cell responses, B cell responses, primary and secondary responses, vaccination/immunisation)
  • Outcome of immune responses (immunity/immunological memory, inflammation, direct and indirect functions of antibodies, incidental tissue damage, hypersensitivity and allergy)

Clinical experiences

Important information

Clinical experiential learning is the range of activities trainees may undertake in order to gain the experience and evidence to demonstrate their achievement of module competencies and assessments. The list is not definitive or mandatory, but training officers should ensure, as best training practice, that trainees gain as many of these clinical experiences as possible. They should be included in training plans, and once undertaken they should support the completion of module assessments and competencies within the e-portfolio.


  • Participate in review meetings at which results from patients with at least two of the following are reviewed. Discuss the review process and outcomes in terms of the benefits of review for patient investigation and management.
    • Protein disorders
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Immunodeficiency
    • Allergy
  • Observe and discuss with your trainer the investigation of the immune response, correct sampling technique and the use and validity of reference ranges.
  • Review and report on the role of the immune response in common clinical disorders where the immune system is dysfunctional.
  • Support the interpretation and reporting of laboratory results in the context of common clinical disorders where the immune system is dysfunctional.
  • Present a report on the partnership between Clinical Immunology and other clinical specialisms in the investigation and management of disorders of the immune system.