MEDSCI 705 : Infection, Immunity and Disease

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines the ways in which host immune mechanisms control infection, infectious organisms evade host defence mechanisms, and the consequences of these processes for the host. Examples of human infectious diseases will include: HIV, hepatitis B, influenza, tuberculosis and streptococcal infections. Consideration of the consequences of infection will incorporate discussion of immune self/non-self discrimination, immune tolerance and autoimmune mechanisms, including the impact of response against infections on autoimmunity.

Course Overview


The central component of this course is a series of 12 two hour seminars on diverse topics. All seminars will consist of two 20 minute student presentations, supplemented by an overview of the topic provided by the teacher, and a wide ranging discussion of the topic, with all students encouraged to participate. 


Students will be required to submit two concise essays, one at the start of week 5, and one at the start of week 7. These essays must contain no more than two single-spaced pages, of 12 point text, and no more than five references. A range of essay topics relevant to the course content will be provided to allow students to choose topics that particularly interest them.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Mark Thomas (Course Coordinator)
Roger Booth (Course co-Coordinator)
Julius Mari Magpantay (Course Administrator)

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and explain the range of immune responses that have significant roles in the prevention, and in the elimination, of major microbial diseases. (Capability 1.1 and 2.1)
  2. Understand and describe the mechanisms used by some major human pathogens to evade host immune responses and cause disease. (Capability 1.1 and 2.1)
  3. Understand and describe the strategies, that either have been developed or are under investigation, for the prevention or treatment of disease caused by these major human pathogens. (Capability 1.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.2)
  4. Understand and describe the methods used to investigate host immune responses, pathogen evasion of host immune responses, and the efficacy of preventive or treatment interventions. (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.2)
  5. Understand and explain the major advances in knowledge of host pathogen interactions described in one or more related articles selected by the teachers of this course. (Capability 1.1, 4.1 and 4.2)
  6. Communicate clearly and succinctly, in two concise essays, a synthesis of relevant up-to date information about two infection related topics, derived from a small number of carefully selected source materials. (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 4.1)
  7. Communicate in writing, an assessment of presentations provided by fellow students, to assist other students to improve their presentation skills. (Capability 2.1 and 3.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 25% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Discussions 5% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 22 hours of seminars, 72 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 24 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at the weekly seminars to receive credit for components of the course.
Seminars will be available as recordings approximately 2 hours after the end of each seminar.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.


Attendance is expected at the weekly seminars to receive credit for components of the course.
Seminars will be available as recordings approximately 2 hours after the end of each seminar.
Attendance on campus is not required for the exam.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

The course has been evaluated by students in previous years and has consistently received very positive evaluations. In 2021 responses to a SET evaluation were provided by 5/25 enrolled students. In response to the statement:"Overall, I was satisfied with the learning experience in this course"  1  student responded "agree" and 4 students responded "strongly agree". 
We expect to continue to provide a course that students rate very highly.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 27/10/2022 09:53 a.m.