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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

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop skills to value the strengths of building and working in a multidisciplinary allergy team.
  • Solve complex clinical and scientific issues both systematically and creatively.
  • Critically appraise your professional development through reflection.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and differentiate the immunological mechanisms involved in food hypersensitivity reactions and explain how these relate to clinical symptoms.
  • Discuss the principles of managing food hypersensitivity reactions, including a detailed knowledge of avoidance measures and related issues.
  • Appraise primary, secondary and tertiary methods for prevention of food hypersensitivity.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • 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.
  • Design personalised educational literature for a patient with food hypersensitivity.


The syllabus has been divided in to five 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

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 Study158
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

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).

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

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

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

EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines. EAACI have produced these useful guidelines which are free for members. To access, visit

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 three assessed components i) a group case study, ii) a reflective account and iii) a written assignment. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Group work  () 30%
Reflective account  (1500 words) 20%
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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