The University of Southampton

MEDI6080 Food Allergy

Module Overview

Food allergy is common in both children and adults. A clear understanding of various aspects of food allergy, including prevention, epidemiology, immunology and clinical management and treatment, is important for general practitioners, allergy specialist nurses, dieticians and basic scientists working in this area. This module will include an introduction of food allergy with lectures on prevention strategies, definitions, natural history and epidemiology of food allergy followed by an explanation of the immunological basis of food allergic disease. Common food allergies will then be discussed in more details with emphasis on acute and chronic food allergic reactions. Additionally, there will be specific focus on established and novel diagnostic methods and treatment modalities.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Provide a comprehensive introduction and overview to food hypersensitivity, with particular reference to the underlying immunology, prevention strategies, diagnosis and management and treatment of food hypersensitivity across all age groups.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Critically analyse the key clinical, immunological and nutritional aspects of food hypersensitivity, with particular reference to the diagnosis and clinical/nutritional management of a clinical case
  • Develop a diagnostic and management plan for an individual with food hypersensitivity
  • Evaluate the current areas of controversy and research in this discipline
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop skills to work effectively as a team, and value the strengths of building and working in an interdisciplinary allergy team
  • Solve complex clinical and scientific issues both systematically and creatively
  • Make informed judgements in a clinical and/or scientific setting and know when to refer for more specialist advice and communicate these effectively to other professionals, parents and patients
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify relevant diagnostic methods and interpret diagnostic information from clinical scenarios
  • Formulate a comprehensive management plan incorporating the identification of culprit foods, illustrating their sources and how to avoid them, choosing the appropriate formula when indicated, use of nutritional supplements and the importance of assessing nutritional status and monitoring growth in children and height/weight in adults
  • Critically evaluate research evidence and relate this to a clinical, nutritional or scientific scenario
  • Appraise prevention strategies of allergic disease


The syllabus has been divided in to four broad themes: 1. Clinical and immunological basis of food hypersensitivity including IgE and non-IgE mediated diseases and the role of food allergy in eczema, airways disease, mechanisms of sensitisation, allergen structure and oral tolerance 2. Clinical understanding of non-immune mediated food reactions, as well as how to diagnose and manage these 3. Methods, limitations and interpretation of food allergy diagnostics by skin prick testing, specific IgE and food challenge including practical demonstrations 4. Principles of management of food hypersensitivity reactions including a detailed knowledge of avoidance measures, label reading, resources and the use of nutritional supplementation as related to clinical scenarios 5. Prevention of allergic disease by primary, secondary and tertiary methods including aspects of the epidemiology, hygiene and allergic march hypotheses, and the evidence for food desensitisation

Special Features

The module will be taught by an international faculty, at the forefront of their respective academic disciplines and professions. There is strong representation from multidisciplinary health care professionals and also input from the food industry. Adult learning methods will be used throughout and an emphasis placed upon interactive learning, practical demonstration and the interpretation of clinical scenarios to reinforce learning

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of learning and teaching methods will be adopted to promote a wide range of skills and meet the differing learning styles of the group. The techniques will include seminars, debates, group work, practical demonstrations and exercises surrounding interpretation of data and clinical scenarios. Specialist lecturers from a range of academic and health care professional backgrounds will be used to ensure a breadth and depth of perspective is offered, giving a good balance between background theories and principles and practical management advice.

Independent Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Leung D, Sampson H, Geha, R, Szefler, S (Eds) (2015). Pediatric Allergy. 

Shaw V and Lawson M (Eds) (2014). Clinical Paediatric Dietetics. Chapter 14. 

Useful journals.  • Allergy • Archives of Disease in Childhood • Clinical Experimental Allergy • Clinical and Translational Allergy • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology • Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics • Paediatric Allergy and Immunology • Paediatrics

Global Atlas of Allergy.

Skypala I and Venter C (Eds) (2009). Food Hypersensitivity: Diagnosing and Managing Food Allergies and Intolerance. 

EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines free for EAACI members.

Over 41 Allergy.

Holgate S, Church, M and Lichtenstein L (Eds) (2011). Allergy. Chapters 8 and 13. 


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. There will be two assessed components, i) a Group Case Study and ii) an individual assignment. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%. If you do not achieve the pass mark on this module by achieving 50% or more in all components, you may still pass by compensation. To do this, you must achieve a qualifying mark of 40% on each assessed component. Each of the component marks is then combined, using the appropriate weighting, to give an overall mark for the module. If this overall mark is greater than or equal to 50% you will have passed the module. If your overall mark is less than 50% when the weighting has been applied to the components, you will have failed the module. If you have not achieved 40% or more on all components, you cannot use compensation and have failed the module. If you have failed the module, you will have the opportunity to submit work at the next referral (re-sit) opportunity. You must achieve the pass mark in your referral. On passing your referral, your final module mark will be capped at 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Group Case Study  (1000 words) 50%
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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