Course Title: Advanced Histopathology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Histopathology

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Janine Danks

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7332

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.005

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)


Course Description

This course is intended to provide you with the knowledge and skills to undertake a range of histopathological investigations. There are several exercises where you are expected to resolve a real-life clinical problem with histopathological techniques.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC158

  • Knowledge Capability (PLO 1)
  • Technical Capability (PLO 2)
  • Professional Work Practices (PLO 3)
  • Communication Skills (PLO 4)
  • Reflective Capability (PLO 5)
  • Research Capability (PLO 6)

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Carry out a range of histopathological techniques to make a differential diagnosis. Write a detailed histological description, case report and give a case presentation.
  2. Understand the principle of the cut up process, including specimen procedures.
  3. Recognize, describe and perform a range of special stains that are performed routinely in pathology laboratories.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of molecular pathology and its applications as well as a number of specialized techniques, including immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.
  5. Demonstrate a working knowledge of Quality Assurance and its application to Histopathology laboratories.
  6. Research, critically analyze and discuss current literature in Histopathology in both written and verbal presentations.
  7. Communicate clearly, concisely and logically on any aspect of Histopathology.

Overview of Learning Activities

The syllabus is covered in a program of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises designed to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge essential to work in the discipline of Histopathology. Tuition is primarily based on problem solving exercises and independent learning activities. Throughout the course, you will be required to demonstrate a responsible and mature attitude to their work, especially as the consequences of ’sub-standard’ performance, if translated to the workplace, could have fatal consequences for a patient.

You will be required to research and present a presentation, which will be based on an individual case study and literature review. Specialist guest lecturers will provide exposure to modern instrumentation and techniques and allow discussion of management and ethical issues.

There will be expected to undertake two hours of lecture, two hours of tutorials and five hours of practical classes each week. In addition you can expect to spend a minimum of eight hours a week in independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources

Laboratory manuals will be available via myRMIT.

Learning resources for this course include the listed prescribed and reference texts and other material referred to in classes. Powerpoint presentations and Lectopia/Echo360 recordings of the lectures are made available to the students. The course site in myRMIT provides opportunities for students to independently access this material. Other material, including scientific journal articles, will be normally be available via Online @ RMIT (including linked websites), or in the library.

Prescribed references:
Bancroft JD, Gamble M. Theory and practice of histological techniques. London: Churchill Livingstone, 6th ed, 2008.

Journal of Histotechnology
American Journal of Pathology

Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry

Journal of Pathology
Biotechnic and Histochemistry.


Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:Mid semester test - Theory

Weighting 5%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 2: Case Patient Speciment cut-up

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 3: Literature Review

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 4: Final Exam Theory

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 5: Mid semester test-Practical

Weighting 5%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 6: Individual case study (report and presentation)

Weighting 20% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

Assessment Task 7: Final exam - Practical

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

HURDLE Requirement: You must pass both the theory and practical components of this course to achieve an overall pass.