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


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


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

Course Coordinator: Dr Desiree Anthony

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7899

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.2A.21A-1

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 outcome for the BP148 Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations) program (aligned to the Accreditation Standards of the Medical Radiations Practice Board of Australia, December 2013):

  • Apply an understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology that is appropriate to your division of registration (Standard 1.5a).

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 Advanced Pathology, and Imaging Anatomy and 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

The learning activities in this course include lectures, workshops, class discussions and feedback from class activities, self-directed online modules, and online/face-to-face quizzes. The course is supported by the Learning Management System.

Over the semester, students will participate in:

24 hours of lectures
6 hours of workshops
5 hours of online modules

The expectation for independent study is 35 hours.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources in this course include online learning exercises, lecture notes, workshop activities, references on selected topics and web based learning materials. All resources are made available through myRMIT. Prescribed textbooks and recommended references are available in the library and at the Pathology Museum.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be conducted in the form of progressive assessment tasks during semester (online quizzes, workshop assessments, mid-semester test) and a final exam.

The final exam and theory assessments during semester will test your understanding of the theoretical basis of human disease and your ability to apply that knowledge to given pathological presentations. The online quizzes and workshop activities during semester will test your understanding and ability to correlate theory with clinical presentation.

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task: Online Quizzes

Weighting 15%

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

Assessment Task 2: Mid-Semester Theory Test

Weighting 15%

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

Assessment Task 3: Workshops

Weighting 20%

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

Assessment 4: Final Exam

Weighting 50% 

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