Course Title: Anatomical Pathology 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Anatomical Pathology 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Janine Danks

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7332

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.005

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Anatomical Pathology is a key discipline of Laboratory Medicine. This course facilitates you to develop understanding of the microscopic structure, organization and function of human cells and tissues in health and disease, and develop laboratory expertise in the basic techniques used for your microscopic study. It will also provide an introduction for the further advanced study of anatomical pathology.

This course focuses on developing theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for histopathological techniques and cytological interpretation and diagnosis in a variety of specimens. You are also expected to develop a deep understanding of the quality assurance and quality control measures in related to ISO15189 accreditation in routine anatomical pathology laboratories.

The key topics covered in this course are:

Histopathology: The principles and aims of histological preparation including: technical faults, fixation of cells and tissues, processing of specimens, microtomy, staining via various routine and specialised methods for light microscopy, and the rationale and application of immunohistochemical staining.

Cytopathology: i.) Accurate observation and detailed descriptions of cells in of normal, benign, premalignant and malignant conditions in gynaecological (Liquid-based cytology cervical preparations and the Human Papilloma virus molecular testing; and non-gynaecological specimens of the respiratory system. And ii.) the principles of routine cytological preparation and staining techniques.

Quality assurance and quality control measures in related to ISO15189 accreditation in routine anatomical pathology laboratories will also be covered

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC158 Master of Laboratory Medicine:

1. Knowledge capability

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.

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.

3. Professional work practices

Have a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity, ethical issues and legal framework that underpins the field of laboratory medicine. Contribute to professional work settings through effective interpersonal and teamwork skills to support constructive interactions.

4. Communication skills

Ability to communicate effectively with individuals and groups within the diagnostic laboratory environment. Acquire, organise, critically analyse, interpret and present information to media in professional settings on current issues in laboratory medicine.

5. Reflective capability

Ability to reflect and integrate based upon experiences in relation to theory and work practices to demonstrate creativity in the identification of problems and their solutions. Identify personal skill deficiencies that require further professional development.


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

  1. Recognize and describe the regulatory and safety procedures for specimen reception, identification and handling in anatomical pathology.
  2. Discuss and explain the principles of and perform: fixation, microtomy and various staining techniques for histopathological specimens. This includes the selection and application of immunohistochemical methods.
  3. Describe in a comprehensive and systematic approach the cell and tissue morphological features found in anatomical pathology specimens in different disease states.
  4. Relate the knowledge of the principles and procedures involved in the collection, processing, cytopreparation, screening, interpretation and reporting of common cytology specimens.
  5. Relate the use of molecular and immunological tests in cytopathology to different pathological diagnosis.
  6. Critically discuss quality assurance and quality control measures in relation to ISO15189 accreditation in Anatomical pathology laboratories.

Overview of Learning Activities

The syllabus is covered in a program of weekly combined 1-hour lectures/tutorials and 4-hours practical exercises in anatomical pathology designed to facilitate the acquisition and understanding of knowledge and related laboratory skills. T

he theory and practical components of the course are highly integrated throughout two phases of this course. The first phase is the study of Histopathology component in the first 8 weeks. This is followed by the second stage of an intensive training of Cytopathology in the remaining 4 weeks. Weekly lecture notes together with selected prior Histology course learning are accessible via Canvas for your independent learning.

Online learning material focusing at firstly the quality assurance and quality control measures in Anatomical pathology laboratories, and secondly the molecular and immunological tests in cytopathology will be presented as online modules in Canvas to be learned independent learning and discussed at the weekly face-to-face tutorial.

Every week, you will be expected to undertake one hour of lecture, and four hours of practical classes. There will be extra online study material that you have to learn from. Other than these 5 hours of face-to-face contact time, you can expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours per week on independent study for this course.

Overview of Learning Resources

There are numerous resources available online on myRMIT, including lecture notes, a study program, relevant journal articles and external links to useful websites. You will have access to digitized cytology teaching slide sets and using Imagescope app online to maximize the cytopathology learning experience.

Overview of Assessment

This Course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Histology test

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2 & 3

Assessment Task 2: Rat cut-up report

Weighting 40%

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

Assessment Task 3: Practical test

Weighting 20%

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

Assessment Task 4: Final theory examination

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6