Course Title: Advanced Laboratory Medicine

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Laboratory Medicine

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Prof Denise Jackson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7392

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.013

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites) 






Course Description

This capstone course has a vocational focus in a specific discipline of Laboratory Medicine. This course is taken as part of a major discipline stream in the final year of the program and is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to competently undertake investigations into a range of discipline specific diseases. A series of problem solving exercises examine the clinical presentation and laboratory investigation of a range of discipline specific diseases.

In addition, a laboratory based project will assist you to develop skills in biological research and scientific communication, including design and performance of experiments, analysis and presentation of experimental data, oral and written scientific reports that use these skills.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP147 Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Laboratory Medicine):

  • PLO1.  Knowledge capability
    Understand appropriate and relevant, theoretical concepts of scientific knowledge with the ability to use and apply the knowledge in a wide range of problem solving, challenging and interpretative situations within the professional laboratory medicine discipline.
  • PLO2.  Technical capability
    Ability to apply a range of diagnostic technologies and methodologies relevant to the fields of Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology, Histopathology, Cytopathology or Microbiology. These methodologies will identify pathological changes which deviate from the normal physiological range, use logical and systematic thinking to solve problems with diagnostic techniques and procedures, and apply high level analytical skills to the chosen area of clinical laboratory specialization.
  • PLO3.  Professional work practices
    Contribute to academic and professional work settings through responsible, self managed, independent work, interpersonal skills which support constructive interactions with individuals and teams, and understand the ethical and legal framework that underpins the field of diagnostic pathology.
  • PLO4.  Communication skills
    Ability to communicate effectively with individuals and groups within the diagnostic laboratory environment, and by using a range of media in professional and academic settings.
  • PLO 6. Research capability
    Determine and critique the credibility of selected sources, information and of data generated/provided, and reflect on the chosen research processes. Organise information and data to reveal patterns and themes. Analyse information/data critically and synthesise knowledge to produce coherent understanding of this data.

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

  1. Define the complex nature of events contributing to abnormal disease states in your discipline.
  2. Evaluate and perform laboratory techniques relevant to your discipline and determine the accuracy, precision, sensitivity and cross-reactivity pertinent to your assay.
  3. Describe the clinical presentation of a variety of discipline based disorders.
  4. Independently undertake a laboratory-based project that investigates a topic of relevance to your given discipline.
  5. Apply proper laboratory practice regarding data collection and recording, laboratory safety, time and project management, experimental design, accuracy and precision, analysis and interpretation of results.
  6. Analyse and interpret scientific literature, experimental data, prepare a minor thesis (literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion and bibliography).
  7. Report findings of a laboratory based project in an oral seminar.

Overview of Learning Activities

This is a discipline-based course from a major stream that is designed to prepare graduates for a career in laboratory medicine, or to pursue postgraduate research in the discipline. The syllabus is covered in a program of lectures, tutorials, laboratory based project and seminar. Tuition is primarily based on problem solving exercises which are designed to extend theoretical knowledge and to develop analytical and critical thinking skills.

Preparation of a reference list and project outline, project work under the guidance of a supervisor, participation in laboratory meetings, seminars, writing and editing a minor thesis in consultation with supervisor, preparation of and presentation of a seminar and a poster.

Total study hours: 10 hours per week (120 hours per semester face to face contact) including lecture (2 hours), 1 hour tutorial and 7 hours practical class. Students are expected to do equivalent hours of independent study each week around each of their assessment tasks and for active revision of their course.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course uses a combination of:

  • Texts
  • Practical manuals
  • Scientific journals
  • Internet based material/references 
  • Lecture notes/supplementary material available via Online@RMIT

You should obtain material appropriate to your individual topic, by discussion with your supervisors and by searching the appropriate data bases and literature eg: PubMed.

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).

This course has hurdle requirements. Students need to Pass both the theory and practical project component to PASS this course.

Assessment Tasks

Theory: 45%

Assessment Task 1: Final theory exam

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Assignments (Morphology or Case Reports or Quizzes depending upon discipline)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 3

Practical Project: 55%

Assessment Task 3: Literature review

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLO 6

Assessment Task 4: Laboratory work (submission of lab notebook and supervisor assessment)

Weighting 5%

This assessment supports CLOs 2 & 5

Assessment Task 5: Final project report

Weighting 25%

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 6: Oral presentation

Weighting 15%

This assessment supports CLO 7

Marking rubrics are available for oral seminar, literature review, laboratory work and final project report. Formative feedback is given to all students during the semester with assignments, literature review and discipline based quizzes.