Course Title: Advanced Cytopathology 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Cytopathology 2

Credit Points: 24.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Fiona Maxey

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7075

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MEDS 2111 Histopathology and Cytopathology.

Course Description

This course is of one semester duration and is designed to develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for the cytological interpretation and diagnosis 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 capabilities:

  • Be knowledgeable in the disciplien 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. 

Having completed this course it is intended that you should be able to:

  • Interpret and describe the morphological features int he 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 knowlege 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 expected to engage in self directed learning with tutorial guidance, demonstrate a responsible and mature attitude and be aware of the consequences of misdiagnosis.  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

Students will have accesss to extensive course materials on the online RMIT Learning Hub, including readings, lecture nots and a detailed study program, external internet links and access to RMIT library on-line 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 course.  To obtain a pass in the course both the theoretical and practical components of the course must be passed.