The University of Southampton

MEDI6081 Foundations of Allergic Disease

Module Overview

The Foundations of Allergic Disease module gives an overview of the generation of normal and allergic immune responses which lead to disease. Clinical allergic diseases are introduced, and appropriate diagnostic and management options outlined. The basis of skin prick testing and the use of medical devices appropriate for the treatment of allergic disease will be explained, and the techniques demonstrated.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide you with an overview of the processes leading to the generation of normal and allergic immune responses. • Help you comprehend the complex immunological mechanisms of allergic disease. • Integrate your understanding of the underlying mechanisms of disease into your approach for diagnosing and treating allergic patients. • Outline the range of clinical allergic disease and introduce management concepts. • Outline the most appropriate diagnostic and management options for patients with different allergic disorders. • Provide practical demonstrations of skin prick testing, and the use of medical devices appropriate for the treatment of allergic disease

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Describe and differentiate the immune mechanisms involved in sensitisation and tolerance, and to identify the cellular and humoral mechanisms giving rise to allergic symptoms.
  • Explain the key symptoms of allergic disease and be able to describe their underlying immunological basis.
  • Discuss the range of clinical tests available for investigation and diagnosis of allergic disease and their scientific basis of these investigations.
  • Appraise the impact of allergic disease on patients and their families (eg. physical, quality of life, social).
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level
  • Solve complex clinical and scientific issues both systematically and creatively
  • Develop skills relating to lifelong professional learning
  • Improve communication skills (written, listening and verbal).
  • Appraise your professional development through reflection
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret diagnostic information from clinical scenarios
  • Plan the questions needed to take a clinical history to determine the risk of developing allergic reactions and identify potential trigger factors.
  • Select appropriate clinical investigations and analyse the results


Postgraduate study skills: Information for writing assignments: Scientific and IT skills for report writing, How to read a scientific paper / Critical appraisal, Academic Integrity, Managing references (searching, storing, citing). Basic Science: Basic Immune Mechanisms What is Allergic Inflammation? The Immunology of Allergy: Primary and Secondary sensitisation The Immunology of Allergy: Tolerance The Immunology of Allergy: Acute, late phase and chronic allergic reactions Early life origins of allergic disease Characterisation of allergens Clinical Pharmacology of Drugs used to treat allergy Clinical Aspects: Generic Clinical Allergy overview Epidemiology Diagnosis of allergy Primary prevention Secondary prevention Quality of life in patients with allergic disease Living with food allergy- the patient perspective Complementary medicine- diagnosis and management Clinical Aspects: Disease Specific A basic overview of the clinical history, investigations and management of: Food allergy Wasp, bee and drug allergy as examples of systemic IgE reactions Asthma and rhinitis Urticaria and eczema as examples of allergic skin disorders Clinical Aspects: Interactive Sessions Problem solving; History taking and examinations talk Problem solving; Interactive case histories Practical session; Lecture then practical stations for SPT, Adrenaline Autoinjectors, Inhalers and Nasal sprays Transferrable Skills IT skills Referencing Communication skills Oral presentation skills Reflection

Special Features

The module will be taught by an international faculty, at the forefront of their respective academic disciplines and professions. 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, 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. There will also be a basic science and generic clinical skills guided e-learning package with self assessment available as an online package for students to take advantage of in their own time. Students must complete this component, and assessment will be formative with built in self-assessment and automated feedback.

Independent Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Holgate, Church and Lichtenstein (2011). Allergy. Basic Science: Chapters 14-21. 

Helbert M. (2006). The Flesh and Bones of Immunology. 

Over 41 Allergy.

Zabriskie (2009). Essential clinical immunology. 

Chapel, Haeney, Misbah and Snowden (2014). Essentials of clinical immunology. 

Useful Journals.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Clinical and Experimental Allergy Clinical and Translational Allergy Paediatric Allergy and Immunology Allergy


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. There will be three assessed components, i) individual oral presentation, ii) individual reflection and iii) 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
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 50%
Individual Oral Presentation 40%
Individual reflection  (1000 words) 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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