MSc in Integrated Immunology | University of Oxford
Immunofluorescent image of bacteria, in bright green, yellow and red
Immunofluorescent image of bacterial collagenase within the human islet of Langerhans during islet isolation
(Image Credit: Paul Bateman)

MSc in Integrated Immunology

About the course

The MSc in Integrated Immunology is designed to present immunology within the broader context of the basic sciences and biomedicine. Both the fundamental (basic) and clinical (applied) aspects are explored in depth and breadth, and integrated with relevant areas of other disciplines such as molecular cell biology, genetics and clinical trials, together with continuing professional development.

The University of Oxford is a world leader in immunology. This means that you will be taught by leading academics in immunology throughout the first two terms of the MSc, and that you will undertake your third term project in a top-ranked research department.

The MSc in Integrated Immunology course provides comprehensive and in-depth training in immunology for science and medical postgraduates. It is a 12-month, full-time course comprising two taught terms followed by a 14-week laboratory-based research project within a University of Oxford laboratory. The first taught term focuses on the fundamental science of immunology, while the second explores the clinical and therapeutic aspects of immunology. The MSc course is not modular, ie all teaching elements are compulsory for all students and there are no options for students to choose.

Each of the two taught terms is 11 weeks in duration with nine weeks for classroom-based teaching, one for revision and one for examination. An average teaching week comprises approximately seven lectures, each lecture being 60 to 90 minutes in duration. In addition there are tutorials and problem based learning sessions. Continuing professional development classes, including presentation and IT skills, statistics, ethics and clinical trial methodologies, take place throughout both taught terms. Students are expected to treat their studies as a full-time occupation of at least 40-hours per week. Self-directed study should be undertaken to complement structured teaching, and the balance of these is usually 50/50.

In the third term you will undertake an original, supervised research project to gain an understanding of research techniques in immunology or a related area. Research supervisors provide regular supervision and guidance during the course of the research project, and students are normally expected to work on their projects during core working hours during the week, or as agreed with their supervisor.

Supervision

The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and it is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.

The Course Director will be your primary supervisor throughout the course and typically has close contact with the class during the first two terms, and meets regularly with students to discuss their progress. In the third term day-to-day supervision is devolved to the project supervisor, however the Course Director remains available to meet with students should they wish to.

Assessment

At the end of each taught term, you will take a computer-based examination to test core knowledge. Further elements of the overall assessment are a critical essay in the first term, a set of clinical case commentaries in the second term, and a research dissertation in the third term. Detailed assessment instructions and marking criteria will be provided at the beginning of each term.

Graduate destinations

The MSc in Integrated Immunology has run continuously since 2004. Over those years, about half of our alumni from the MSc have gone on to graduate research degrees, with a number of those taking up DPhil positions in Oxford.
Approximately a third of alumni from the MSc have continued to medical school, including Oxford, or progressed to higher specialist medical training. A small number have also taken up positions in the pharmaceutical sector.

Changes to this course and your supervision

The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.

Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.

For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.

Other courses you may wish to consider

Applicants are strongly advised to visit the Medical Sciences Graduate School website to help them identify the most suitable course and supervisors.

If you're thinking about applying for this course, you may also wish to consider the courses listed below. These courses may have been suggested due to their similarity with this course, or because they are offered by the same department or faculty.

All graduate courses offered by the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences

Entry requirements for entry in 2021-22

Proven and potential academic excellence

Degree-level qualifications

As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the equivalent of the following UK qualifications:

  • a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a physiological, biological or other relevant science.

However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a first-class degree or the equivalent.

An appropriate medical qualification equivalent to MB (MD for overseas students) is also a suitable background for applicants.

For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA sought is 3.5 out of 4.0. However, entrance is very competitive and most successful applicants have a GPA of 3.7.

If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.

GRE General Test scores

No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.

Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience

  • Research or work experience in an area relevant to the course may be an advantage.
  • Publications are not required but may be an advantage.

Extenuating circumstances

If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.

English language requirement

This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.

Minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level requirement
TestMinimum overall scoreMinimum score per component
IELTS Academic (Institution code: 0713) 7.57.0

TOEFL iBT, including the 'Home Edition'

(Institution code: 0490)

110Listening: 22
Reading: 24
Speaking: 25
Writing: 24
C1 Advanced*191185
C2 Proficiency191185

*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement.

Supporting documents 

You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application, including references and an official transcript. See 'How to apply' for instructions on the documents you will need and how these will be assessed.

Performance at interview

Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.

Applicants are shortlisted according to the criteria listed. Interviews are normally held within six weeks of the application deadline. There will normally be a minimum of two academics on the interview panel. UK based applicants will be asked to attend a panel interview in Oxford, whilst overseas applicants can be interviewed by telephone or Microsoft Teams (preferably with video).

You will be asked to outline your educational background and interest in the subject, and how this course is relevant to your future plans. You will also be asked to demonstrate your basic immunological and scientific background knowledge. Interviews are approximately half an hour in length.

Supervision

Any offer of a place is dependent on the University’s ability to provide the appropriate supervision for your chosen area of work. Please refer to the ‘About’ section of this page for more information about the provision of supervision for this course.

How your application is assessed

Your application will be assessed purely on academic merit and potential, according to the published entry requirements for the course. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background. Whether you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.

Admissions panels and assessors

All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).

Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.

After an offer is made

If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, you will be required to meet the following requirements: 

Financial Declaration

If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.

Disclosure of criminal convictions

In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.

Resources

You will be provided with an email account, and will have full access to the online library and other resources of the University of Oxford. You will also have full access to the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, including the Bodleian Health Care Libraries, and access to further reading materials recommended by lecturers will be available either online or in print.

All resources, including lecture presentations and recommended further reading as well as material for problem-based learning sessions and/or tutorials, are made available through Canvas, the virtual learning environment for which you will receive training at the beginning of the course.

During your lab-based research projects, you will become a member of the hosting research laboratory and you will be given access to its facilities and resources.

There are social events, arranged ad hoc usually by the students, and often attended by the Course Administrator and Course Director. Formal arrangements usually include a welcome drinks reception and the final dinner with examiners, mentor and steering group members.

Funding

The University expects to be able to offer up to 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2021-22. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships, if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential. 

For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources. Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages.

Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.

Costs

Annual fees for entry in 2021-22

Fee status

Annual Course fees

Home (UK, Republic of Ireland,
Channel Islands & Isle of Man)
£8,570
Overseas (including EU)£40,500

Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on likely increases to fees and charges.

Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.

For more information about course fees and fee liability, please see the Fees section of this website. EU applicants should refer to our detailed fee status information and the Oxford and the EU webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Additional information

There are no compulsory elements of this course that entail additional costs beyond fees and living costs. However, as part of your course requirements, you may need to choose a dissertation, a project or a thesis topic. Please note that, depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses, and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses.

Living costs

In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2021-22 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,175 and £1,710 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2021-22, you should allow for an estimated increase in living expenses of 3% each year.

College preference

All graduate students at Oxford belong to a department or faculty and a college or hall (except those taking non-matriculated courses). If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. The Colleges section of this website provides information about the college system at Oxford, as well as factors you may wish to consider when deciding whether to express a college preference. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 45 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as Permanent Private Halls (PPHs). 

For some courses, the department or faculty may have provided some additional advice below to help you to decide. Whatever you decide, it won’t affect how the academic department assesses your application and whether they decide to make you an offer. If your department makes you an offer of a place, you’re guaranteed a place at one of our colleges. 

The following colleges accept students on the MSc in Integrated Immunology:

How to apply

You are encouraged to communicate with the MSc Course Administrator or the MSc Course Director before you apply to discuss the course content, teaching, assessment and any questions you may have. However, it is not a requirement to contact the Course Administrator or Course Director before you apply.

The set of documents you should send with your application to this course comprises the following:

Official transcript(s)

Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.

More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.

CV/résumé

A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic achievements and any relevant professional experience.

Statement of purpose:
A maximum of 1,500 words

Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or you intend to specialise in. The statement should also indicate your future career plans.

If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.

This will be assessed for:

  • your reasons for applying to, and suitability for, this course
  • evidence of motivation for, and understanding of, the proposed area of study
  • commitment to the subject beyond the requirements of the degree course
  • capacity for sustained and intense work
  • reasoning ability
  • ability to absorb new ideas at a rapid pace.

References/letters of recommendation:
Three overall, all of which must be academic

Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.

Academic references are required and professional references are not normally acceptable. You should nominate referees who are capable of providing an informed view of your recent academic ability.

Your references will support intellectual ability, academic achievement, motivation, and ability to work independently as well as in a group.

Start or continue an application

Step 1: Read our guide to getting started, which explains how to prepare for and start an application.

Step 2: Check that you meet the Entry requirements and read the How to apply information on this page.

Step 3: Check the deadlines on this page and the deadline information in our Application Guide. Plan your time to submit your application well in advance - we recommend two or three weeks earlier.

Step 4: Check if you're eligible for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers are available for:

Step 5: Start your application using the relevant button below. As you complete the form, consult our Application Guide for advice at each stage. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Application GuideApply

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