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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 the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment and psychology of disease. Generic aspects of airways disease such as epidemiology and quality of life issues will also be explored. Sessions will include the mechanisms of inflammation and remodelling, guidelines for management and assessment of allergic airways 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 asthma and small airways disease, as well as associated differential diagnoses (e.g. cystic fibrosis) and the role of viruses and bacteria in exacerbating allergic airways diseases. Sessions exploring the heterogeneity of these diseases and how this affects disease management are also covered. This module comprehensively covers both paediatric and adult disease.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate informed judgements in a clinical and/or scientific setting and communicate these effectively to other professionals.
  • 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.
  • Assess treatment regimes (both pharmaceutical and other modalities) for a range of upper and lower airways problems using appropriate clinical judgement.


• Burden and epidemiology of allergic airways diseases • Anatomy and pathophysiology of airways disease • Drugs used in the treatment of airways disease (e.g. antihistamines, bronchodilators, steroids) • Management of allergic rhinitis and chronic rhinosinusitis • Practicals: Nasal examination, intranasal therapies, spirometry, inhaler devices for asthma • Mechanisms and delivery of immunotherapy • Diagnostic and prognostic challenges of asthma in children and adolescents • Clinical service delivery of asthma in children and adolescents, including transition services • Interactive adult and paediatric clinical cases • The role of the multidisciplinary team in disease management (e.g. physiotherapy, psychology) • Concordance and adherence in airways disease management • Differential diagnoses of airways disease (e.g. cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) • Occupational asthma • Interactions between allergic diseases • Genetics of allergic airways diseases • The future for asthma diagnosis and therapy • Digital technology in health care (e.g. Smart devices, virtual clinics)

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 All teaching will be online, with no face to face teaching. Sessions will include asynchronous webinars and synchronous tutorials

Independent Study158
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

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

GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) guidelines.

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

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

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

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:

BTS/SIGN guidelines for the management of asthma.

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


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
Professional Skills Analysis  () 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:


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

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.

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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