Course Title: Histology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Histology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Dodie Pouniotis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6680

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.10.010

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Histology is the study of tissues and their structures. This course will provide you with the capacity to identify the microscopic appearance of normal structures in the human body and relate structure to function.

The histology component covers the structure and function of cells at the microscopic level as well as tissues and organs of significance in the laboratory diagnosis of diseases. Major topic areas include basic tissue types as well as more specific systems including cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, immune, urinary, endocrine and reproductive systems.

Histological examination is also addressed as an introduction to Histology techniques. You will learn the theory of techniques (including non-surgical cutup, fixation, processing, embedding, sectioning and staining of tissues) and correlate theory with practice (demonstrating correct handling and disposal of biological materials and maintaining a high standard of ethics, informed consent and consultation). You will also relate relevant techniques to the slides used in the Histology component of the course.

The course requires you to integrate your knowledge of Histology with other study areas including Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry. It also provides a sound foundation for further study in Pathology.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for:

MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine 

  • PLO1. Have a comprehensive understanding of key scientific principles underpinning laboratory medicine and have developed a systemic knowledge of core cellular and molecular processes underlying health and disease. Have advanced knowledge of two core clinical speciality disciplines of laboratory medicine and advanced management skills.
  • PLO2. Technical capability: Ability to develop and perform a range of diagnostic techniques relevant to the field of laboratory medicine. To use logical and systemic thinking and high level critical analysis skills to solve problems by utilising diagnostic techniques and methodologies in the chosen areas of clinical laboratory specialisation.

On successful completion of this course you will be able to: 

  1. Identify organs, tissues and cells of the human body by light microscopy.
  2. Correlate the microscopic structure of the major organs, tissues and cells of the body with their function and ways in which they interact.
  3. Demonstrate a basic to intermediate skill relevant to histology techniques used in diagnostic pathology laboratories.
  4. Evaluate the relevance of various histology and cytology staining techniques and the requirement for quality assurance in diagnosis and patient care.
  5. Describe and demonstrate the use of laboratory instruments used in Histology and Cytology and explain their functions and the techniques for which they are used.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course include a range of blended learning techniques designed to engage and stimulate long-life learning in the topics covered. The theoretical and practical components of this course are highly integrated. Lectures, practical workshops, self-directed online learning activities, class discussions and feedback from learning activities will facilitate both group and independent learning. The histological techniques component will be delivered at an intermediate level and you will be assessed for competency in a range of these techniques.

Revision of microscopic slides is also offered to students in the form of online podcasts that can be freely downloaded and viewed off-campus. Access to scanned microscopic slides can be accessed both on and off-campus for your revision.

Over the semester, students will participate in 4-5 hours per week incorporating interactive lectures, practical workshops and online learning activities. In addition, you can expect to spend a minimum of 3 hours per week in independent study, including online work.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources in this course include lecture notes, practical workshop and online learning material. All resources are made available through the RMIT online Learning Management System (LMS). Prescribed textbooks and recommended references are available in the library and via the Pathology Museum (201.10.0). Scanned histology images are available (RMIT online resources) for further assistance 24/7.

Other resources
Please refer to the Resources Folder in the course learning management system (LMS).

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

On-going assessments tasks will be conducted during semester including in-class theory tests, workshop based assessments, histological techniques assessment and a final theory exam.

The theory assessments during the semester will test your understanding of the microanatomy and related of various tissue and organ systems in the human body. The practical assessments during the semester will test your understanding of identification of histological structures using light microscopy. This will also include testing your ability to perform histological techniques in a competent manner.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: In-class theory tests

Weighting 20%

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

Assessment Task 2: Workshop Assessments

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2

Assessment Task 3: Practical Exam

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2

Assessment Task 4: Histology Techniques Assessment

Weighting 15%

This assessment supports CLOs 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 5: Final Theory Exam

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2