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The University of Southampton

MEDI6077 Allergic Airways Diseases

Module Overview

It is well established that there is "cross talk" between the upper and lower airways, so this integrated module will deal with the entire respiratory system. Normal physiology and anatomy will be taught, along with generic aspects of airways disease such as epidemiology and quality of life issues. Sessions on allergic airways disease will include the mechanisms of inflammation and remodelling, guidelines for management of allergic disease and assessment and management of aspirin-induced exacerbation's of disease. Upper airways sessions on rhinitis, sinus disease and polyposis will cover the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment (including surgery). Immunotherapy will also be explored. Lower respiratory sessions will include hyper-responsiveness, asthma and small airways disease and the role of viruses and bacteria. This module covers comprehensively explores both paediatric and adult disease. Topics covered will include the diagnosis, treatment and psychology of disease and how to monitor ongoing asthma.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Improve communication skills (written, listening and verbal).
  • Critically assess research carried out by others and evaluate its usefulness for your own practice.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the anatomy, immunology and physiology of the upper and lower airways and how they are altered by specific allergic diseases.
  • Propose appropriate clinical tests for the investigation and diagnosis of allergic airways disease.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret diagnostic information from clinical scenarios and appraise the efficacy of various management strategies.
  • Apply appropriate clinical judgement to assess treatment regimes (both pharmaceutical and other modalities) for a range of upper and lower airways problems.


• Allergic rhinitis: mechanisms • Aspirin exacerbated airways disease • Assessment of airways disease: outcome measures • Bronchial hyperresponsiveness • Comprehensive overview of the clinical history, investigations and management of asthma and rhinitis • COPD, ACOS and eosinophilia • Cystic fibrosis • Diagnosis of allergy • Difficult to manage asthma • Epidemiology of allergic airways disease • Genetics • Guidelines for the management of allergic airways disease • H1-antihistamines • How to examine the nose • How to monitor asthma • Immunotherapy for nasal disease • Inhaled steroids and drug delivery to airways • Inhalers and Nasal sprays • Leukotriene receptor antagonists • Long Acting Beta Agonists • Lung Function Testing • Mechanisms of Airway Remodelling • Mechanisms of Inflammation • Multidisciplinary team: Psychology and Physiotherapy • Nasal corticosteroids • Nasal polyposis • Occupational Asthma • Paediatric issues in asthma management • Primary ciliary diskinesia • Quality of life in patients with allergic disease of the airways • Rhinitis: disease diagnosis, classification and differential diagnosis • Role of viruses and bacteria • Sinus disease • Small airways disease • Stratified treatment • The normal nasal physiology and anatomy of the upper and lower airways • The surgical treatment of nasal disease • Upper and lower airway “cross talk”

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, 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. 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 Study158
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Useful Journals.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Clinical and Experimental Allergy Allergy Thorax European Respiratory Journal American Review of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Rhinology Journal of Laryngology and Otolaryngology

Krishna, Mavroleon and Holgate. Chapter 2-3, 10 (2001). Essentials of Allergy. 

Albert RK, Spiro S, Jett JR. (2008). Clinical Respiratory Medicine. 

Global Atlas of Allergy. EAACI have produced an online Global Atlas of Allergy. To access the atlas, visit

Holgate, Church and Lichtenstein (2011). Allergy. Chapter 2-5, 12. 

e-Books. There are many e-books available from the University of Southampton library in both allergy and related academic subjects (e.g. reflection, study skills, communication skills). Access the online site:

ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) Guidelines.


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) an individual oral presentation and ii) an individual assignment. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation  (10 minutes) 50%
Written assignment  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assignment  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Webcams and microphones: It is advisable that students provide their own webcam and microphone (integrated or USB/standalone) to take full advantage of the online support offered during the module.

Computer: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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