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. Topics covered will include the diagnosis, treatment and psychology of disease and how to monitor ongoing asthma

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Develop an understanding of normal physiology and anatomy of the upper and lower airways and how this is altered by disease. • Promote knowledge of the immunological and physiological mechanisms of airway disease. • Demonstrate and apply techniques to diagnose and monitor respiratory problems and deliver appropriate management plans. • Enable informed selection of treatment regimens for airways disease

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • 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.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Improve communication skills (written, listening and verbal).
  • Critically appraise your professional development through reflection.
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.


• The normal nasal physiology and anatomy of the upper and lower airways • Epidemiology of allergic airways disease • Diagnosis of allergy • Quality of life in patients with allergic disease of the airways • Comprehensive overview of the clinical history, investigations and management of asthma and rhinitis • Mechanisms of Inflammation • Mechanisms of Airway Remodelling • Guidelines for the management of allergic airways disease • Genetics • Aspirin exacerbated airways disease • Upper and lower airway “cross talk” • Upper airways • Rhinitis: disease diagnosis, classification and differential diagnosis • Allergic rhinitis: mechanisms • H1-antihistamines • Nasal corticosteroids • Leukotriene receptor antagonists • Immunotherapy for nasal disease • Sinus disease • Nasal polyposis • The surgical treatment of nasal disease • Lower airways • Bronchial hyperresponsiveness • Occupational Asthma • Small airways disease • Inhaled steroids and drug delivery to airways • Leukotriene receptor antagonists • Long Acting Beta Agonists • Novel Approaches to Treatment • Psychological Aspects of Asthma • Difficult to manage asthma • Role of viruses and bacteria • How to monitor asthma • Paediatric issues in asthma management • Interactive and Practical Sessions • How to examine the nose • Problem solving; Interactive case histories • Lung Function Testing • Assessment of airways disease: outcome measures • Lecture followed by group practical sessions for Inhalers and Nasal sprays

Special Features

The module will be taught at Southampton General Hospital by an international faculty, at the forefront of their respective academic disciplines and professions. There is strong representation from multidisciplinary healthcare professionals. 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, 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 Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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:

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

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 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%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation  (15 minutes) 40%
Reflective account  (1000 words) 10%
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.

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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