Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2019

Course Code: BIOL5228C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5362 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Amber Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Andrea McAdam


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 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:

MSL973007 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 workplace 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 workplace 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 workplace methods


4 Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Set up the light path to optimise 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 optimise performance

4.5 Place sample correctly on the stage


5 Observe, identify and report sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Recognise 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 workplace procedures


6 Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Ensure safety and minimise cross-contamination through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

6.2 Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with workplace safety protocols

6.3 Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment

6.4 Minimise 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 workplace procedures

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities include theory & laboratory classes To become competent in microscopy skills you need to attend a minimum of 80% of the laboratory classes.

Teaching Schedule

Semester Week

Date starting Monday

Theory topic

Laboratory work



11 Feb

 Orientation on Monday

 Print lab manual, obtain lab kit



18 Feb

M1-1 Introducing the microscope

M1-2 Handling laboratory material

Laboratory safety

Introduction to the microscope

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 1


 25 Feb

M2-1 Scale / measuring
M2-2 Labelling & documenting samples

Wet preparations

Draw cells

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 2


4 Mar

M3-1 Blood components
M3-2 Hair structure
M3-3 Field of view & measuring objects

Observe a human blood film Measure blood cells
Measure human hair diameter

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 3


11 Mar
Note no class MONDAY

M4-1 Ways to count cells 
M4-2 Staining & mounting cells

Count cells
Make slides of human cheek cells

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 4


18 Mar

M5-1 Microscopes in the workplace
M5-2 Storing samples

Track moving cells 
Progress check microscope set-up

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 5


25 Mar

M6-1 Oil immersion objective

Observing cells magnified 1000X

Log book + Quiz + Worksheet 6


1 April





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Laboratory logbook

practical skills test

written test

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1 Practical Assessment

Assessment Task 2 Log book submission

Assessment Task 3 Knowledge Test

Assessment Matrix

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

To pass the course you need achieve a satisfactory result for all assessments. Students may be given additional opportunities to demonstrate competence. 

Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension (see below) will not be corrected.

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 ( at least 24 hours before the due date. The application should be emailed to the program Coordinator (amber.mitton Students requiring longer extensions must apply for SPECIAL CONSIDERATION.

• For missed assessments such as tests- 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, 5 days of the scheduled time of the assessment

• Plagiarism is the presentation of 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 be drawn from, and presented 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 is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or 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.


NOTE: This course is equivalent to BIOL5243C (MSL973019 Perform microscopic examination)

Course Overview: Access Course Overview