Course Title: Histology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Histology

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:




Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

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:

PLO 1. 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.
PLO 2. 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 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 and communicate this through oral and written media. 
  3. Perform competently some histology and cytology techniques and explain at an introductory to intermediate level their uses in a professional laboratory.
  4. Evaluate, the relevance of various histology and cytology staining techniques in specific diseases and the requirement for quality assurance within a global context.

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, online practical workshops, self-directed online learning activities, tutorials 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.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

On-going assessment tasks delivered online will be conducted during semester including a mid-semester assessment, practical assessments, and a final theory assessment.

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: Mid-Semester Assessment
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2

Assessment Task 2: Practical Assessment
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Histology Techniques Quality Assessment
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 3 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Final Theory Assessment
Weighting 25%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.