Course Title: Introduction to Pathology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Pathology

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
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,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: Dr Roula Kyriacou

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7484

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.10.006

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)




Course Description

This course will introduce the concepts of injury and departures from normal structure and function in the human body, as occurs in disease. The various pathological processes and their importance in the basis of human disease will be studied. Correlation with clinical presentation will also be made, with particular reference to cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP321 Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations) (aligned to the Accreditation Standards of the Medical Radiations Practice Board of Australia):

Standard 1

  • Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology to practice (1.a)
  • Understand and apply the different methods of imaging and treatment (1.c)

This course contributes to the following program learning outcome for the BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine) and BP280 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chiropractic) programs:

  • Provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework (PLO 1)
  • Gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment (PLO 2)
  • Practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner (PLO 3)
  • Demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity in the provision of specialized health care (PLO 4)
  • Communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals) (PLO 5) 

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy):

  • Provide patient-centred care as a competent, safe primary healthcare professional (PLO 1)
  • Gather and interpret health information, and employ clinical reasoning to develop differential diagnoses, to inform assessment and management (PLO 3)
  • Manage all aspects of clinical practice to comply with ethical, legal, and regulatory standards in an evolving healthcare industry (PLO 5)

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

  1. Relate the general principles, terminology, and modes of spread of disease to the study of Pathology.
  2. Apply a basic understanding of morbid anatomy to examination of pictorial material and gross specimens displaying pathological processes.
  3. Apply the diagnostic procedure in pathology, through introduction of the differential diagnostic methods at the clinical level.
  4. Correlate basic disease states studied at a cellular and gross anatomical level with the overt clinical signs and symptoms seen in those disorders.
  5. Relate ways in which pathology contributes to the understanding of patient presentation in a clinical setting.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will use a range of learning activities including recorded lecture and flexible learning resources organised into learning modules and provide the theoretical basis required for the successful completion of lectorial classes and other assessments. Throughout the course you will be able to work both independently and in groups to aid development of your theoretical knowledge of pathology and its application to patient presentation, diagnosis and treatment.

Self-Directed Learning: You are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities to develop and consolidate knowledge throughout this learning experience. The activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent learning skills to support your commitment to lifelong learning as a health care professional and a university graduate. The self-directed learning activities will also support your knowledge of the material covered in the formal learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Where possible all selected material will be digitally available to you. RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems accessed via your myRMIT site.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be conducted in the form of progressive assessment tasks during semester that will test your understanding of the theoretical basis of human disease. Case studies, workshop/tutorial activities and an assignment will test your ability to apply that knowledge to given pathological presentations and to correlate theory with clinical presentation. This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Case Study based assessment

Weighting 15%

This assessment task provides formative feedback and supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Mid-Semester assessment

Weighting 15%

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

Assessment Task 3: Workshop/Tutorial Learning Activities

Weighting 20%

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

Assessment Task 4: Assignment

Weighting 50%

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