(including PG Cert)
(including PG Cert and PG Dip)
Allergy is an increasing global health problem. There is an urgent need both in the UK and worldwide for training in clinical allergy.
Our Allergy courses have been designed to suit all levels of healthcare professionals who deal with patients with allergic conditions, including doctors (GPs, Paediatricians, Specialists in Allergy, Dermatology, Respiratory medicine or ENT) as well as specialist nurses, dietitians, nutritionists and biomedical scientists.
The course enables students to develop advanced knowledge and practical skills to optimally diagnose and manage allergic diseases at all ages.
Teaching is delivered by world-renowned experts in the field and covers all aspects from the basic immune mechanisms underlying allergic diseases to cutting-edge research that may influence clinical practice.
Our courses are structured around a modular teaching week each term at St. Mary’s Medical School Campus in Paddington, London, supported by extensive interactive online learning resources. This flexible schedule enables students from around the world to take part. It allows you to fit the course in with your professional commitments and to study in your own time as your personal situation permits.
This course is made up of three phases (Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc).
You must apply to the Postgraduate Certificate in the first instance. Read more about how this works under ‘Choosing your course’ in the how to apply section. This can be awarded in its own right or, on successful completion of this component of the programme, you will be offered the opportunity to progress to the PG Diploma or the MSc in Allergy programme.
Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)
The PG Cert in Allergy offers a broad coverage of the scientific basis of allergic disease, a focus on innovations in diagnosis and treatment in allergic diseases as well as a theoretical background to the principles of evidence-based medicine and critical evaluation. There are also opportunities to develop skills in teaching and learning within the discipline of allergy.
By the end of the PG Cert programme, you will have enhanced your understanding of the scientific basis of allergy, your ability to diagnose and manage allergic conditions to the highest standards, as well as your critical appraisal skills and understanding of evidence-based allergy care. You will also have developed skills in the use of computing applied to healthcare and a deeper understanding of your own approach to adult learning.
Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)
The PG Diploma will allow you to develop your knowledge and skills in more advanced and specialized subjects within allergy, directed towards your own clinical practice and research. You will be required to complete all 5 specialist modules. This level also gives you additional practice in skills such as presentation skills, case report writing, journal article writing and communication with different audiences, from healthcare professionals to patients and families.
Master’s Degree (MSc)
The MSc adds a rigorous academic training, an introduction to appropriate research methods and practice and the opportunity for intellectual development within a stimulating yet supportive environment. Through completion of an MSc thesis, you will gain experience in research methodology and techniques, design of a research project or systematic review, data analysis and presentation, literature searching, critical appraisal and presentation of your work at scientific and clinical meetings as well as write-up for publication. In addition, you will have studied in depth a research project or systematic review in Allergy within your own working environment.
These qualifications will be of great value to those healthcare professionals holding or wishing to apply for specialist posts in secondary and tertiary care in areas of medicine such as allergy, paediatrics, respiratory medicine, dermatology and gastroenterology.
It will also be very valuable for GPs, specialist nurses, nutritionists and dietitians wishing to further develop their expertise and careers in allergy.
Modules shown are for the 2019-20 academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.
Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.
Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.
Research Skills in Allergy
Through completion of an MSc thesis, you will gain experience in research methodology and techniques, design of a research project or systematic review, data analysis and presentation, literature searching, critical appraisal and presentation of your work at scientific and clinical meetings as well as write-up for publication. In addition, you will have studied in depth a research project or systematic review in Allergy within your own working environment.
The Scientific Basis of Allergy
In this module, you will explore the scientific basis of allergy, focussing on areas such as the immune mechanisms underlying allergic diseases and how this relates to the aetiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic approach and potential therapeutic targets. You are also introduced to the practicalities of allergy patient care in a scenario-based setting, from how an allergy service is organised to managing severe anaphylaxis effectively.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergic Disease
This module aims to develop your understanding of the clinical features seen in allergic diseases. This will enable you to conduct appropriate clinical history-taking and tests and arrive at an accurate diagnosis. It also enables you to create a robust treatment plan that can alleviate the symptoms. Additionally, you will develop skills in the use of medical devices and treatments that will enable you to teach the patients in your care.
The Cutting Edge of Allergy
This module will cover recent research advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases and how this can be applied in clinical practice. You will acquire the knowledge and skills to turn ideas into your own research projects. This will be achieved through lectures, interactive sessions, group work, debate, poster creation and oral presentations.
Allergic Airways Disease and Asthma
This module will review recent advances on the mechanisms underlying allergic airways diseases, including the role of genetic and environmental factors, and how this may impact future practice. A rational evidence-based approach to the differential diagnosis, diagnostic work-up and management will be discussed through lectures, case-based discussions, group work and interactive sessions. Challenging areas such as difficult asthma, adolescence and poor concordance will be addressed.
Allergic Gastrointestinal Disease
This module will cover the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, advanced diagnostic work-up (including differential diagnoses) and therapeutic approach for allergic gastrointestinal diseases, such as eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders. Difficult practical scenarios such as multiple dietary exclusions, functional and protracted symptoms (such as reflux, pain or diarrhoea) will be addressed through lectures, case-based discussions and interactive sessions.
Allergic Rhinitis and Hayfever
This module will cover the mechanisms, clinical presentation and advanced diagnostic and management strategies for allergic rhinitis. Diagnostic procedures such as rhinoscopy, nasendoscopy and nasal challenges will be demonstrated in practical sessions and differential diagnosis using imaging techniques will be discussed. Allergen immunotherapy, including case-based discussions and key aspects such as efficacy biomarkers and risks/benefits, will be covered.
Allergic Skin Disease
This module will cover a wide range of allergic skin diseases, including atopic eczema, contact dermatitis, urticarias, hereditary and acquired angioedemas, photodermatoses and drug allergies. The underlying mechanisms, diagnostic work-up and advanced management will be discussed through lectures and case-based discussions. Challenging topics such as the role of food allergy in eczema, refractory urticaria and mastocytosis will be addressed.
This module will cover the mechanisms, clinical presentation as well as advanced diagnostic and management strategies for the wide range of allergic reactions to foods. Innovative preventive and therapeutic approaches for food allergy will be discussed. Complex areas such as highly restrictive diets, feeding difficulties, molecular tests and high-risk food challenges will be covered through lectures, workshops and case-based discussions.
This module will cover advanced aspects of allergic diseases in childhood, from the mechanisms underlying the ‘atopic march’ to difficult clinical scenarios such as multisystem allergic disease, immunodeficiency, adolescent transition and psychological or safeguarding issues. Interactive sessions, case-based discussions and practical workshops on infant weaning, food challenges and immunotherapy will be available.
Teaching and assessment
In this programme, an emphasis is placed on “Active Learning” by all of the students and “Peer Learning”. Teaching and learning methods include:
The Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE):
- Pre-module work to prepare for the teaching
- Flipped Classroom – where you read, consider and reflect before coming to the class
Face-to-face sessions including:
- Interactive quizzes
- Question and answer sessions
- Group work
- Workshops and practical sessions
- Scenario-based sessions and role play
- Student-led activities such as a Pro-Con debate, oral presentations and poster or case presentations
- Tutor and peer verbal responses to your work in classes
- Group work and interactive sessions
- Student-led presentations and case-based sessions
Formative online work:
- Diagram completion exercises
- Case-based scenarios
- Mock exams
- Computer-based exams
- Group-work such as:
- Poster development and presentation
- Multi-disciplinary team type presentations
- Individual work such as:
- Case reports
- Practical skills-based exams
- Research proposals
- Creating posters and presenting them
- Creating patient or parent leaflets
- Writing review articles for a journal
- Writing case reports
- Presenting “Grand Round” type presentations or quizzes
We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Minimum academic requirement
Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in a healthcare related subject such as nursing, dietetics, immunology, physiology or biomedical science.
We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.
The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a USA qualification.
For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.
If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.
English language requirement (all applicants)
All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.
For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.
How to apply
You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.
We will start reviewing applications in December and will invite successful candidates to interview in the new year.
Places are filled on a first come, first served basis so we recommend submitting your application as early as possible.
Choosing your course
This course is divided into three progressional levels of study. Each level of study leads to a separate qualification:
- PG Certificate (PG Cert)
- PG Diploma (PG Dip)
You must apply to the PG Cert in the first instance.
Making an application
All applicants to our Master’s courses must apply online.