The University of Southampton
MedicinePostgraduate study

MSc Allergy

Allergy affects around one fifth of the world’s population. With allergic diseases and asthma on the rise, the complexity and severity of these conditions is also increasing. Children and young adults are particularly affected and are bearing the greatest burden of these trends. Yet allergy, even as it relates to asthma, is often trivialised and clinical services to help patients with such diseases are often either non-existent or limited and lacking in cost-effective solutions.

Why study MSc Allergy?

Our MSc Allergy programme is designed to help healthcare professionals to gain a greater understanding of allergic diseases and to be able to translate this knowledge into their everyday practice. Offered by a World Allergy Organisation Centre of Excellence, our programme draws on the clinical, research and education strengths at Southampton, and will help you develop better treatment for patients. Our programme will bring you up to date with current best practice, allowing you to improve management of patients with allergies. It will also give you the skills to share your allergy knowledge with colleagues and patients.

What does our MSc provide?

You will be enabled to support adults, children and young people more effectively; develop and improve your healthcare provision through passing on expertise; and develop scientific understanding, clinical knowledge, practical skills and critical thinking qualities.

Who should study?

The multi-disciplinary nature of our programme means that it is suitable for GPs, hospital based doctors, nurses, dietitians and scientists involved with both adult and paediatric patients.

Flexible learning

Our part-time (2-5 years) and full-time (1 year) modular Masters programme provides the flexibility to study alongside other commitments. Typically modules are offered in blocks of three to five days to cater students living outside the area and internationally. The programme also accommodates a ‘step on step off’ structure allowing you single modules (see module tab for full details), the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma in Allergy as well as the full MSc.

Introducing your degree

We provide an integrated programme for both adult and paediatric disease with a balanced clinical and scientific curriculum. The programme aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms and management of allergic disease and offers practical training in methods used to diagnose them. Our course is supported by internationally renowned specialists, and we provide a high level of support, be it hospital based or distance learning. Our interprofessional approach enables students from different disciplines and professions to interact and learn from each other and will teach you how to build and work successfully in allergy teams.

Understanding allergies


This postgraduate programme is designed to help you treat your patients better; we provide health care professionals with effective education and training in the mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and management of allergic disease. Our course will enable you to manage both adults and children with allergy more effectively.

Through the knowledge and understanding you will gain with us, you will also be able to develop and improve your health care provision, through your ability to cascade education to your colleagues, and adult and paediatric patients and their families.

Tailored content

Course content can be tailored to best meet individual career aspirations and organisational needs, allowing you to plan your specific programme route at the start of your studies with us, and providing an opportunity to gain important skills for meeting current best practice guidelines.


Our core modules are the Foundations of Allergic Disease, Clinical Research Skills and a Dissertation. We also offer three specialist allergy modules (i) Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis, (ii) Food Allergy, (iii) Allergic Airways Disease, the Work Based Learning module where you will translate your new knowledge into practice and the Teaching the Teachers to Teach module where you will gain skills for teaching or training students, collegaues and peers. Other modules from around the University, In addition to the allergy modules on offer, students are also able to take a module from around the University (please visit the Modules tab for details).

Research training

All MSc students receive training in research skills and statistics in preparation for their dissertation in the form of our core Clinical Research Skills module.


To help you develop the required skills you will be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning methods including seminars, tutorials, discussions, practical’s, problem-solving activities and formal lectures. You will also be able to access our unique online educational and multimedia learning resources.

Our teaching methods also help enhance your written and oral presentation skills, giving you the opportunity to develop your transferable skills.

Each of our modules involves discussion of key issues; practice in applying concepts, both orally and in writing, including analysis and interpretation of material; and feedback on work produced.

By studying this programme you will:

  • Enhance your educational and professional expertise in all core areas of allergy, having developed appropriate knowledge, understanding and professional skills to improve your practice.
  • Develop your ability to integrate research evidence into all aspects of decision making and to apply knowledge, analytical and critical thinking skills to make sound judgements about data applicable to the care of patients with allergy.
  • Enable you to demonstrate leadership in clinical allergy and allergy-related issues.
  • Evaluate the psychological impact of living with allergy so that through empathy, the diagnosis, management and eventual compliance of patients can be improved.
  • Develop your approach to solving problems, building on a logical and hierarchical approach that allows you to justify personal and professional decisions through critical evaluation and synthesis of relevant theories, empirical evidence and experience to best optimise professional practice.
  • Develop strategies for your continuing professional development and lifelong learning in relevant aspects of allergy.
  • Apply an evidence based approach to critically evaluate the current literature, and develop the skills needed to successfully complete a dissertation project.

View the MSc programme specification document for this course

View the postgraduate diploma programme specification for this course

View the postgraduate certificate programme specification for this course

To Apply

Please visit the Entry requirements tab above for further information on the application process.

To apply please click on the ‘Apply for this course’ button on the right and type ‘allergy’ in the search text. Applications must be received no later than four weeks before the start of the module/programme. In addition, you must have supplied all of the required supporting documentation two weeks prior to starting your module/programme.

Course enquiries and information

Admissions Team
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 4231
+44(0)23 8120 6585

Programme Leader: Dr Judith Holloway




Our programme is recognised by the World Allergy Organisation, accredited by the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and is quotable through the Hong Kong Medical Council.

Programme Structure

Our modular postgraduate programme is normally suitable for two to five years of part-time study, or 12 months full-time, leading to 90 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) (180 CATS credits) at HE7 level. The award is classified as pass, merit or distinction.


In addition to the full MSc Allergy, we also offer a Postgraduate Certificate (30 ECTS) and Postgraduate Diploma (60 ECTS) in Allergy.

Stand-alone modules

You can choose to take our individual modules in two ways: (i) with assessment, and if successful you will be awarded the credits and can choose to continue to an award with us, or (ii) as non-assessed Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses and receive a transcript of attendance where appropriate.

Key Facts

The programme is led by Dr Judith Holloway who has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy for her work teaching allergy. Find out more by visiting the Leading excellence in allergy teaching news story.

Our MSc programme is fit for purpose, and designed to provide you with the skills to be able to treat patients better through your education at Southampton, and to be able to pass your specialist allergy knowledge on to your colleagues.

We will provide you with key translatable and transferrable skills which can be used to write up your work as manuscripts for publication, present posters at national or international conferences, give oral presentations to your colleagues, develop education materials for your patients and importantly reflect on your experiences and how they will translate to your practice.

Our Dissertation includes the option of a Professional Project, a route that provides an alternative to traditional research and which gives you a choice that may be more relevant to your practice.

Southampton is a World Allergy Organisation Centre of Excellence and the MSc Allergy is also endorsed by the British Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the national professional and academic society that represents the specialty of allergy at all levels.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

English language requirement

The course is taught entirely in English. The Faculty of Medicine requires a minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. Those for whom English is not their first language are asked to indicate what level of English they have attained.

Selection process

Intake: Approximately 25

Application Requirements

Second class honours degree, or ability to study at HE7 in the form of (i) a relevant professional qualification at a suitable level or (ii) relevant post-qualifying professional experience. The programme is also open to undergraduate medical students who wish to intercalate during their medical studies, who must have successfully completed at least three years of their medical degree and achieved 60% or above in all Year 3 assessments.

As part of the application process, candidates are asked to write a personal statement to explain their motivation for wishing to take the course and to indicate their future career plans. This should also cover the following areas:

What is your professional role?

In that role, what are your experiences of working with allergic disease?

Why do you want to study a postgraduate qualification in Allergy?

How do you intend to use your qualification in the future?

Two academic references will also be required.

To Apply 

The MSc Allergy course is now taking applications for the PG Certificate, PG Diploma and MSc Allergy itself (see below). Applications are considered throughout the year and successful students are offered a place on the course. Places are limited, so we therefore encourage anyone interested in the course to apply as soon as possible.

Dates: The start date for all programmes is September/October on our Foundations of Allergic Disease module. The (provisional) module dates for the 2017-18 academic year are given on the individual module pages. These dates are subject to confirmation by the Curriculum team. To apply for the MSc Allergy, please use our online application form. Please state Faculty of Medicine when asked on the online form. 

Applications must be received no later than four weeks before the start of the programme. In addition, you must have supplied all of the required supporting documentation two weeks prior to starting your programme. We recommend that international students apply at least 6 weeks before the programme starts to ensure that they are able meet our requirements and are able to apply for a visa in time. We cannot guarantee that students who apply later than this, will be able to begin the programme that year.

Students applying for a single module should complete the paper form which can be requested from the admissions team. The application must be received no later than four weeks before the start of the module.

The Admissions Office in Medicine will keep in contact with you throughout the admissions process and we will ensure you have all the information you need before you arrive here to make your first few weeks easier for you.

International students

Medicine's International Student Advisor is available to assist and support students both before arriving in Southampton and during their studies here. Information on medical care, accommodation, English language support, settling in, and postgraduate life in the UK can also be found on our website.

The MSc Allergy is also approved as a quotable qualification by the Hong Kong Medical Council.

Visa information for full time students can be found on this website.  For the part time MSc Allergy course our students are only eligible to apply for entry to the UK as a visiting student. Visiting student visas are issued for up to 6 months at a time. For further information about applying for a student visitor visa please contact

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Our introductory core module, Foundations of Allergic Disease, provides basic science and clinical knowledge along with study skills, providing you with the underpinning for the rest of your postgraduate studies.

Our optional modules are:

(i) Food Allergy, (ii) Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis and (iii) Allergic Airways Disease. There are practical sessions both taught in the modules and available as optional extras.

The Work Based Learning module allows students to design their own learning experience in allergy to benefit their needs. Training is provided in the core Clinical Research Skills module and the Dissertation (core) is undertaken for the MSc itself and can be the traditional research route or via a Professional Project.

In addition, it is also possible for students to take modules relevant to Health Care from a choice across the University. In this way, students can gain additional experience in subjects such as Developing Public Health Practice, Leading Others, Diabetes in the Young, and more in medicine and health sciences.

For more information visit the Medicine continuing professional development page and the Health Sciences continuing professional development page.

Teaching dates for 2017-18 are:

Foundations of Allergic Disease: 27-29 Sept 2017 (Block 1) and 18-20 Oct 2017 (Block 2) 
Food Allergy:   8-10 Nov 2017 (Block 1) and 29 Nov - 1 Dec 2017 (Block 2)
Teaching the Teachers to Teach 12-15 Dec 2017
Eczema, Urticaria and Anaphylaxis:   10-12 Jan 2018 (Block 1) and 31 Jan, 1-2 Feb 2018 (Block 2)
Allergic Airways Disease:   21-23 Feb 2018 (Block 1) and 14-16 Mar 2018 (Block 2)
Clinical Research Skills:   16-20 Apr 2018
Work Based Learning:   17 Jan - 28 Mar 2018 (online module) 
Dissertation FT:   11 Jun 2018 - 19 Sep 2018 
Dissertation PT 11 Jun 2018 - 4 Apr 2019 

Students taking the full MSc are required to take the three core modules and four optional modules.


Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

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 programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted online. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit online and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 – 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour). A3 – 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour). Details about printing costs for academic posters can be found here:£0.50-0.50

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved model is Casio FX-570. This may be purchased from any source and no longer needs to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
EquipmentIT: Hardware Across all campuses and most halls of residence approximately 1700 computer workstations are available. Students may wish to purchase their own desktop/laptop/tablet computer to support their studies. This is entirely optional.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. 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

Career Opportunities

Key facts

  • Develop a greater understanding of the complexities of allergy management.
  • Take on a more specialist role in the management of allergy.
  • Seize an excellent opportunity for continue professional development.
  • Discover a unique learning experience with the University of Southampton.

What our students say

“The course was fantastic, but the lecturers at Southampton and their support and encouragement made all the difference. Their passion for allergy and dedication to the course shone through; the most intricate immunological event was explained in a way that even I could understand! An understanding of the basics enabled me to enjoy each module, having that 'light bulb moment' as everything fell into place. Through undertaking the MSc Allergy I have developed advanced knowledge and skill in the field of paediatric allergy beyond that associated with traditional nursing roles.”

Roisin Fitzsimons, Paediatric allergy nurse consultant, MSc Allergy graduate

“I was attracted to the flexible structure of the course. I am studying part-time which allows me to study whilst continuing to work as a GP and enjoy family life. I run a community paediatric allergy clinic, and this course will enhance my professional development so improving my service.”

Dr Isobel El-Shanawany, Primary care doctor with special interest in paediatric allergy, MSc Allergy student

“It is easy to see why Southampton has established an excellent reputation as an allergy centre; the teaching has been superb. All the staff have been very sympathetic to the fact that I have had to balance the course with working on full shifts.”

Dr Simon Bedwani, Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, Postgraduate Diploma in Allergy

“The Allergy MSc at Southampton was instrumental in my obtaining the Clinical Lecturer post in Paediatric Allergy at St. Thomas' Hospital”.

Dr Helen Brough, Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, MSc Allergy graduate

"Southampton is world renowned for the MSc Allergy course, and this was evident by the presence of international students on the modules, making me feel extremely lucky to be among them. Anybody who is considering the Allergy MSc as an option should definitely do it!"

Rebecca Bryson, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Allergy, MSc Allergy graduate

"The course provided me with an extremely valuable insight into the Basic Science behind allergy, which complemented my day to day clinical work."

Adam Fox, Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, Postgraduate Diploma in Allergy graduate

"My undergraduate degree was in English Literature, and although I loved it, it had limited application to my work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and I felt I needed a relevant postgraduate degree. The MSc at Southampton was perfect, and consolidated all the experience I had gained over the previous 15 years working in paediatric allergy."

Deb Marriage, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist in Asthma and Allergy, MSc Allergy graduate

“I have now set up the first UK primary care dietetic led gastroenterology clinic seeing specifically allergy and IBS patients and this would not have been possible without the confidence and knowledge that this MSc has given me.”

Marianne Williams, Specialist Dietitian, MSc Allergy graduate

“I'm really pleased I chose Southampton and I was given the support and encouragement to carry out the whole MSc. I have been able use my new knowledge and skills to improve patient care and experience in allergy clinics in my workplace.”

Lucy Riddington, Immunology & Allergy Nurse Specialist, MSc Allergy graduate

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

University Hospital Southampton

University Hospital Southampton

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