Course Title: Cytopathology 3

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cytopathology 3

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Anne Beaty

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9342 7853 or 0381 4857

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MEDS Cytopathology 1 and MEDS General Pathology are pre-requisites for this course. This fourth year course builds on the overview presented in the above courses, and introduces a more rigorous study of Non-Gynaecological Cytopathology.

Course Description

The course is designed to prepare students for a career in Cytopathology, or to pursue postgraduate research in the discipline. It focuses on developing the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for the interpretation of Non-gynaecological specimens sent for cytological evaluation. Topics include Respiratory, Effusion, Urinary and Central Nervous System exfoliative cytology, as well as FNA cytology of Breast, Lymph node, Lung, Thyroid and Salivary gland. Students are introduced to routine screening and reporting of Non-gynaecological cytology specimens. Other topics covered include Cytopreparation techniques, Quality control, Ancillary testing, Laboratory management and the role of Cytology in clinical evaluation and patient management.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Having studied this course it is expected that you will be able to demonstrate the following the capabilities:
• Be knowledgeable in the discipline of Non-gynaecological cytology and its practice in a hospital laboratory environment.
• Be adept in screening, evaluation and interpretation of routine Non-gynaecological cases.
• Be critical in your analysis of clinical cases, of the laboratory investigations that you undertake and of the results and conclusions that you produce
• Be creative in your approach to problem solving as it relates to the practice of Non-gynaecological cytology, as well as being responsible in the implementation of your solutions to those problems
• Be able to demonstrate empathy and compassion for the health and well being of the individuals upon whom you perform your investigations and provide results, and which may lead to further action in the treatment of the individual.
• Be able to research the literature in non-gynaecological cytology, extract relevant information and author new communications that conform to the guidelines for submission or presentation
• You will be employable.

Objectives/Learning outcomes
Having completed this course it is intended that you should be able to:
• Interpret and describe the morphological features in the microscopic examination of Non-gynaecological specimens.
• Demonstrate knowledge of the collection, cytopreparation and ancillary techniques used for non-gynaecological cytological examinations.
• Evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of cytological investigations in non-gynaecological cytology.
• Demonstrate a basic knowledge of aetiology, pathogenesis and histology of common benign and malignant diseases covered in this course.
• Discuss and critically evaluate all aspects of new and modified techniques, laboratory safety and quality control associated with ancillary tests.
• Critically analyse and discuss current literature and medical ethics in Cytopathology.

Overview of Learning Activities

The syllabus is covered in a program of lectures, tutorials, screening project and exercises designed to facilitate the acquisition and understanding of knowledge. The practical program is structured to provide learning experiences which compliment the theory syllabus and allow the student to become competent in the interpretation of cytology specimens. Difficult cases are also provided and these will require students to determine how other laboratory and clinical investigations contribute to the final diagnosis. Throughout the subject students will be encouraged to demonstrate a responsible and mature attitude and be aware of the consequences of suboptimal performance. Critical thinking and communication skills are encouraged in class discussion, presentations, and screening projects. The overall combination of learning activities and assessment aims to provide a foundation for the development of attributes essential for success in their professional endeavour.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will have access to extensive course materials on the online RMIT learning hub, including readings, lecture notes and a detailed study program, external internet links and access to RMIT library online and hardcopy resources. Students will have access to glass slide teaching sets for all Cytology morphology topics covered in this course.

Overview of Assessment

Continuous assessment will be adopted in both the theoretical and practical components of the subject. To obtain a pass in the subject both the theoretical and practical components of the subject must be passed.