Bachelor of Science in Immunology
Immunology is the study of the immune system which protects humans from infection through various lines of defence. If the immune system is not functioning as it should, it can result in disease, such as autoimmunity, allergy and cancer. Immune responses in some cases also contribute to the development of some common disorders which previously were not regarded as immunologic including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Immunology is important because it is involved in understanding the basis of vaccines, safe organ transplantation, identification of blood groups, and of autoimmune diseases. Advancing our understanding of basic immunology is essential for clinical and commercial application and has facilitated the discovery of new diagnostics and treatments to manage a wide array of diseases. Furthermore, immunological research has provided critically important research techniques and tools, such as flow cytometry and antibody technology that have enabled immunologist learn more about the immune system.
The immune system is a complex system of structures and processes, composed of molecular and cellular components, which has evolved to protect human beings from disease. The function of these components is divided up into mechanisms, those which are innate to an organism, and responsive mechanisms, which are adaptive to specific pathogens.
Fundamental or classical immunology involves studying the components that make up the innate and adaptive immune system. Innate immunity is the first line of defence and is non-specific. This means that the responses are the same for all potential pathogens, no matter how different they may be. Innate immunity includes physical barriers (e.g. skin, saliva etc.) and cells (e.g. macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, mast cells etc.). These components ‘are ready to go’ and protect an organism for the first few days of infection. In some cases, this is enough to clear the pathogen, but in other instances the first defence becomes overwhelmed and a second line of defence kicks in. Adaptive immunity is the second line of defence which involves building up memory of encountered infections so can mount an enhanced response specific to the pathogen or foreign substance. Adaptive immunity involves antibodies, which generally target foreign pathogens roaming free in the bloodstream. Also involved are T cells, which are directed especially towards pathogens that have colonized cells and can directly kill infected cells or help control the antibody response.
An immunologist is a scientist and/or clinician who specializes in immunology. Many immunologists work in a laboratory focusing on research, either in academia or private industry such as in the pharmaceutical industry. Clinical immunologists are clinicians who, having done some medical degree modules or successfully completed a medical degree programme, opt to focus on the diagnosis and management of diseases of the immune system, such as autoimmune diseases and allergies. As such, Individuals who successfully complete this programme can proceed and join the research world in either immunology or purely infectious diseases. They can also work in pharmaceutical industry, biomedical industry, government laboratories, academic research institutions and private research organisations.
Other areas are in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry, biomedical industry, government laboratories, academic research and education, and private research organizations. Students should recognize, however, that professional advancement in research-oriented careers is less realistic without an advanced degree. Therefore, students who graduate with excellent grades will be encouraged to get experience for a few years in entry-level positions, and then return to master’s and/or doctoral studies.
-General Chemistry I
-Mechanics & Thermal Properties of Matter
-Algebra & Trigonometry
-Language and Communication
-Introduction to Computer Application
-Human Anatomy and Physiology I
-Electricity and Magnetism, Vibration and Waves
-Technical and Business Communication
-Introduction to Immunology
-Molecular Biology I
-Introduction to Biochemistry
-Introduction to Biostatisctics
-Introduction to Microbiology
-Practical I (Molecular Biology)
-Cell Biology & Biotechnology
-Human Anatomy & Physiology II
-Innate and Adaptive Immunity
-Tropical Health & Epidemiology
-Human and Microbial Genetics
-Practical III (Physiology)
-Ontogeny & Architecture of the Immune System
-T Cell: Differentiation, Priming, Effector Functions
-B Cell Differentiation. B-to-T Interaction/Cooperation
-Antibodies: Types, Sources and Roles
-Practical V (The Basis of ELISA tests)
-Fundamentals of Flow Cytometry
-Practical VI (Fundamentals of Flow Cytometry): Flow Cytometry Analysis of Blood Samples
-Introduction to Pathology
-Immune Response to bacterial Infections
-Immunity to Protozoa Helminth and Fungal Infections
-Research Methods and Data Analysis (Bioethics and Project Development)
-Role of Complement in Immunity
-Regulation of the Immune System
-Cytokines and Chemokines
-Autoimmunity Allergy and Atopy
-Introduction to Bioinformatics
-Bioethics and Research Ethics
-Vaccinology: Basis and Application
-Immunology of NCDs
-Diagnostic Methods in Immunology
-Business Management and Entrepreneurship
Malawian undergraduate students on generic intake pay K450,000 per academic year for tuition. However, the students also need K80,000 per annum for accommodation and an estimated K500,000 per annum for upkeep.
Economic fee paying students pay K2,200,000 tuition fees per annum and K160,000 per annum for their accommodation.
Foreign students from the SADC region pay US$3,000 tuition fees per annum while those from countries outside the SADC pay US$3,500 per academic year.
Postgraduate students pay tuition fees of US$5,000 or Malawi Kwacha equivalent per academic year. Other costs include K40,000 per semester residence (depends on availability) fee; living expenses of approximately K250,000 per semester payable on prorate basis; research fee of US$500 or in Malawi Kwacha equivalent; dissertation/thesis binding fee of K25,000 and yet to be advised medical insurance fee.
Entry in Year 1: MSCE, “O” Level, IGCSE, and GCE at least six credits including;
Biology, Physics, Chemistry (or Physical Science), Mathematics and English.
Entry in Year 2: A-level with at least C grade in the following subject Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, with Biology at O level. But must take and pass Drawing 1 and Drawing 2.
Entry in Year 3: A degree in MBBS, Medical Laboratory Sciences, or any Biomedical Sciences with a credit and above.
Any other related qualification from a recognized institution of higher learning may be assessed by the Admissions Office.