Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

Course Code: ONPS5656C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3305 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Christine 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

there are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course


Course Description

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


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination


1. Interpret test requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment involved
1.2. Identify hazards associated with the sample, preparation methods and equipment and implement enterprise control measures


2. Set up work area for preparation and examination of samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Collect equipment and arrange the workspace so that equipment can be used safely and efficiently
2.2. Perform pre-use and safety checks to ensure equipment is fit for purpose and report faulty or unsafe equipment to appropriate personnel


3. Prepare samples for examination

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Log and label samples according to enterprise procedures to ensure traceability
3.2. Check suitability of the original and prepared sample for the examination and report unsuitable samples to appropriate personnel
3.3. Prepare and store the sample for examination following enterprise methods


4. Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Set up the light path to optimize resolution
4.2. Select the appropriate objectives and filter for the sample being examined
4.3. Ensure that the lenses are clean
4.4. Adjust settings and alignment of the light path to optimize performance
4.5. Place sample correctly on the stage


5. Observe, identify and report sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Recognize and identify significant sample characteristics
5.2. Perform required calculations accurately
5.3. Prepare and view control samples and check that results are consistent with expected values
5.4. Identify and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.5. Record and report data in accordance with enterprise procedures


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Ensure safety and minimize cross-contamination through the use of personal protective clothing and safety equipment
6.2. Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with enterprise safety protocols
6.3. Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment
6.4. Minimize generation of waste and environmental impacts
6.5. Collect and dispose of all wastes safely
6.6. Report hazards and incidents to designated personnel using enterprise procedures

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Lectures, practical activities, worksheets.

Teaching Schedule


Week NoDate(week starts)Topic
11/9/14 Introduction to microscope image orientation, iris diaphragm, estimating size
28/9/14Wet preparations of pond and sea water, examine yeast
Forensics: Sample buccal cells, stain, observe, record. Examine hair samples

Skin tissue

Microbiology, Gram stain and shape id, oil immersion.

56/10/14Food Microscopy, compare food samples, iodine stain, fixed smears, mould structure.
613/1014Plant Physiology, osmotic effect on plant cells.  
720/10/14Practical Assessment 10%/ Stereomicroscopes
827/10/14Histology, Haematology, Mycology/ Theory Exam 40%


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Tests

Assessment Tasks


1. Practical assessment (use of microscope)-10%
2. Maintaining a Log book (4 practical sessions will be marked and all post prac question sheets)- 50%
3. Theory Exam- 40%

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Assessment Information

  • To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment (exam, prac reports, and assignments etc.). For example, if there are two tests you need to have an average of 50% to pass. But you also need to have passed the other assessments as well. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the tests but fail the prac reports).
  • 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 (available online at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51. Students requiring longer extensions must apply for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.
  • Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.
  • For missed assessments such as exams- 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, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination
  • If you miss an assessment task due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame

Course Overview: Access Course Overview