Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2022

Course Code: BIOL5243C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.  

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.  

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:  

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:  


Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.  


School: 535T Social Care and Health

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3399 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Rauha Quazi

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4277

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


Course Description

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

This unit of competency applies to laboratory or technical assistants in all industry sectors. The unit of competency covers limited interpretation and analysis of results. Troubleshooting of equipment and procedures is not required.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL973019 Perform microscopic examination


1. Prepare samples for examination

Performance Criteria:

4. Compare your hair sample with one from a classmate. How is it similar? How is it different?
5. Estimate the thickness of your hair. Record its diameter in μm.


2. Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Carry and use a microscope correctly preventing damage to the equipment and ensuring operator safety
2.2 Perform pre-use and safety checks to ensure equipment is fit for purpose
2.3 Check lenses to ensure they are clean
2.4 Set up the microscope for optimum resolution and even illumination
2.5 Select the appropriate objectives and filter for the sample being examined
2.6 Place sample correctly on the stage


3. Observe and identify sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Recognise and identify significant sample characteristics
3.2 Perform required calculations accurately


4. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Ensure safety and minimise cross-contamination through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
4.2 Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with workplace safety protocols
4.4 Minimise generation of waste and environmental impacts
4.5 Collect and dispose of all wastes safely

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities


Online (Collaborate Ultra)

Practical Activities



Group work

Teaching Schedule

Semester Week


Laboratory Practical Class

Theory topic



11 April
Module 1

M1 Using the light microscope
Laboratory safety
Introduction to the microscope

Introducing the microscope 
Microscopes in the workplace
Handling laboratory material

AT2 Logbook
completed in
each prac class 

Some questions
can be answered
at home


2 May
Module 2

M2 Make wet preparations & draw cells
Wet prep yeast, cheek cells
Draw cells

Label & document samples


9 May
Module 3

M3 Measure objects
Calculate field of view
Measure hair

Scale | measuring
Field of view & measuring objects
Hair structure


16 May
Module 4

M4 Prepare permanent mounts | track organisms
Fix, stain, mount, store buccal smears
Observe blood cells

Fixing, staining & mounting cells
Storing samples long-term


23 May
Module 5

M5 Count cells
Count cells

Ways to count cells


Module 6

M6 Use the oil immersion objective
Check microscope set-up
Observing cells magnified at 1000X

 Oil immersion objective

AT3 Quiz


9 May

AT1 Prac Assessment

AT3 Knowledge Quiz
AT2 Logbook final fixes

AT1 Prac
AT2 Logbook


6 June

M8 Osmosis in Plant and animal cells

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may consist of quizzes, practical activities, laboratory reports & skills demonstration.

Assessment Tasks

Task 1-Microscopy Practical Test

Task 2-Maintaining a Logbook

Task 3-Knowledge Quiz

To pass the course you need to achieve a satisfactory result for every assessment.
You will be given only two attempts for each assessment to demonstrate you have the required skills.

A third attempt can only be offered after discussions between the teacher and the Program Coordinator and is not automatic.

Assessment Matrix

Enrolled students -Please consult CANVAS for assessment dates and information.

Other Information

This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment

CA Competency Achieved  
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

Submission of Assessment Tasks

It is expected that any work presented for assessment in this course will be your own. Plagiarism is when you present the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University.

Plagiarised material can come from, and be included in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation.

Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.

It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which means assisting or allowing another person to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher.

Extensions of time for submission of assessable work

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time by circumstances outside your control you may apply for an extension of up to seven (7) calendar days by filling in the application form at least one working day BEFORE the due date. The application form should be emailed to your Program Coordinator, Rauha Quazi,

Eligibility criteria for application and the form is available from the link:

If you require an extension of time longer than 7 days, you must apply for Special Consideration.

Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.

Special consideration

If you are unable to sit a test, exam or lab-based assessments due to unexpected circumstances (e.g., illness), you should apply for Special Consideration for the missed assessment. Information on applying for Special Consideration can be found from the link:

Applications for Special Consideration should not be submitted to the course or program coordinator.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview