Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2019

Course Code: BIOL5243C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3399 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4837

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Chris Andrews

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge to set up a light microscope for optimum resolution, to prepare routine samples and to observe, identify and report sample characteristics. 

This unit of competency applies to laboratory or technical assistants in all industry sectors. The unit of competency covers limited interpretation and analysis of results. Troubleshooting of equipment and procedures is not required.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL973019 Perform microscopic examination


1. Prepare samples for examination

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Log and label samples according to workplace procedures to ensure traceability

1.2 Follow documented standard operating procedures to prepare samples for microscopic examination 


2. Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Carry and use a microscope correctly preventing damage to the equipment and ensuring operator safety 

2.2 Perform pre-use and safety checks to ensure equipment is fit for purpose

2.3 Check lenses to ensure they are clean

2.4 Set up the microscope for optimum resolution and even illumination 

2.5 Select the appropriate objectives and filter for the sample being examined

2.6 Place sample correctly on the stage


3. Observe and identify sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Recognise and identify significant sample characteristics 

3.2 Perform required calculations accurately


4. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Ensure safety and minimise cross-contamination through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

4.2 Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with workplace safety protocols

4.3 Minimise generation of waste and environmental impacts

4.4 Collect and dispose of all wastes safely

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities


Practical work

Log book recording

Written questions

Teaching Schedule


Week No.

Prac No.


(Week starting)

Learning Objectives

Assessment Method




Introduction to Microscope

Set up microscope, name parts, focus, observe image, note effect of iris diaphragm, basic haematology, clean and put away microscope.

Log Book



Set up, estimate field of view, estimate size of object, draw, describe, compare cells. Bank note investigation. Log Book



Wet preparations
Wet preparation, observe moving objects, draw, note effect of condenser and iris diaphragm position.
Log Book




Examination of yeast

Blood film comparison (frog, human, dog, bird, alpaca)

Waste disposal activity sheet

Log Book



Forensic I Sample buccal cells, stain, observe, record. Maintain accurate record of samples Log Book



Forensic II Mount hair / fur specimens under coverslip, compare; match id, and maintain accurate record of samples Log Book




Oil immersion objective, sample and list order, Gram stain and shape id, cleaning oil lens

Log Book



Histology: Observing skin and Nerve tissues Log Book



Food Microscopy -Compare food samples, use iodine stain.

Log Book



Food Microscopy- Blue cheese, bread mould structure, fixed smears Log Book



Plant Physiology -Osmotic effect on plant cells
Microscopic observation- Osmotic effect Human/Plant blood cells
Log Book




Flower anatomy, onion cells

Log Book




Task 1-Practical assessment

Individual assessment: microscope set-up

Practical assessment

Direct Observation




Task 1-Practical assessment

Individual assessment: microscope set-up

Practical assessment

Direct Observation




Microscopic observation of starch cells

Examine prepared microscope slides; correlate features with function, observe

Retest  Individual assessment: microscope set-up if necessary

Logbook/Direct Observation





Task 2 - Logbook submission

Task 3 -Knowledge test


Logbook submission 

Knowledge Test

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may consist of quizzes, practical activities, laboratory reports & skills demonstration.

Assessment Tasks


Assessment Task 1 Practical Assessment  (S /NYS)

Assessment Task 2 Log book submission (S/NYS)

Assessment Task 3 Knowledge Test    (S /NYS)

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment

CA Competency Achieved  
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

To pass the course you need achieve a satisfactory result for all assessments. Students may be given additional opportunities to demonstrate competence. 

Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension (see below) will not be corrected.

APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK - A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form ( at least 24 hours before the due date. The application should be emailed to the program Coordinator ( Students requiring longer extensions must apply for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.

• For missed assessments such as tests- you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence prior to, or within, 5 days of the scheduled time of the assessment

• Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview