This joint Honours course combines the study of Immunology with Microbiology.
Immunology is the study of how the body defends itself against disease. It helps us understand how the immune system is tricked into attacking its own tissue, leading to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or allergy.
Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (micro-organisms or microbes). Microbes are a major cause of disease in humans but they can also be useful in industrial processes from pollution control to the production of important therapeutic compounds.
The development of both has long been linked with the development of vaccines for smallpox and anthrax by Jenner and Pasteur respectively.
More recently, the application of modern techniques of biology to the immune system has led to a dramatic increase in our understanding of the immune system and its impact on body function, as well as in the control of microbial and other types of disease.
The interface between immunology and microbiology is a very active area for both fundamental research and for the development of new biotechnological products to diagnose or prevent disease.
Modern techniques based on monoclonal antibodies are revolutionising the identification of micro-organisms in the clinical laboratory, as well as in the food industry and agriculture.
The opportunity to choose specific degree combinations will allow you to go into specialist biomedical science areas such as neuroscience, cardiovascular research, immunopharmacology, industrial immunology, drug research, biochemistry, microbiology and bacteriology.