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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 that 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. A range of study skills for masters level are introduced with practical sessions where appropriate.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Solve complex clinical and scientific issues both systematically and creatively.
  • Develop skills relating to lifelong professional learning.
  • Improve communication skills (written, listening and verbal).
  • Critically appraise your professional development through reflection.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss and differentiate the immune mechanisms involved in sensitisation and tolerance.
  • Explain the key symptoms of allergic disease and elaborate on the underlying immunological basis.
  • Discuss the range of clinical tests available for investigation and diagnosis of allergic disease and the scientific basis of these investigations.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan the questions needed to take a clinical history to determine the risk of developing allergic reactions and identify potential trigger factors.
  • Appraise the impact of allergic disease on patients and their families (eg. physical, quality of life, social).


Postgraduate study skills: Skills 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). We also offer academic writing skills sessions both face-to-face and as online tutorials to support students to develop these generic, transferrable skills as they prepare to write their assignments. Basic Science: Basic Immune Mechanisms What is Allergic Inflammation? The Immunology of Allergy Early life origins of allergic disease Characterisation of allergens Fundamentals of drugs in allergy Clinical Aspects: Clinical Allergy overview Epidemiology Diagnosis of allergy Primary and secondary prevention Quality of life in patients with allergic disease Living with food allergy- the patient perspective Food allergy Asthma and rhinitis Urticaria and eczema as examples of allergic skin disorders False allergy History taking and examinations Patient centred care including cultural competence, concordance and adherence Interactive case histories Practical demonstrations; SPT, Adrenaline Autoinjectors, Inhalers and Nasal sprays Transferrable Skills Academic writing skills IT skills Referencing Communication skills Oral presentation skills Reflection

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 needs 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. We offer group online tutorials to support student learning while they are away from Southampton. Students are encouraged to raise aspects from the module that they would like to be covered in these sessions, which are recorded and made available on Blackboard for those unable to attend. There will also be a basic science guided e-learning package with self assessment available as an online package for students to take advantage of in their own time. Students should 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 Study155
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

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

Zabriskie (2009). Essential Clinical Immunology. 

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

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

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

e-Books. There are many e-books available from the University of Southampton library in both allergy and related academic subjects.

Chapel, Haeney, Misbah and Snowden (2014). Essentials of Clinical Immunology. 


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) an oral presentation, ii) a reflective account and iii) a written assignment. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation  (10 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:


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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