BMSC13016 - Advanced Histopathology and Cytopathology

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Identification of the characteristic histopathological and cytopathological features of human organ systems and the hallmarks of pathological dysregulation of tissue organisation is fundamental to the work of the medical laboratory scientist. In this unit you will study normal and abnormal histopathological features of a range of tissues along with normal and abnormal cytopathological features of a range of cells. The relationship between cellular injury, immune response, tumour formation, infection and pathological dysregulation of tissue organisation will be explored in relation to clinical cases you may encounter. You will be provided with the knowledge and skill to perform microscopic examination of tissues and cells. Case studies will include new developments in immunohistochemistry and fluorescence imaging. Attendance at residential school practical activities in Rockhampton is a requirement of this unit.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


BMSC12001 Histological and Cytological Techniques

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 40%
2. Case Study 20%
3. Examination 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 44.44% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluations; Self Reflection
Some students found the case study assessment description and guidelines were ambiguous.
Revise assessment 1. Discuss with peers to improve the description of this task.
Action Taken
Assessment 1 was revised to contain more rigid guidelines and a more rigorous marking rubric.
Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluations
Enjoyable residential school and engaging teaching staff
Maintain residential school format and teaching/supportive staff as much as possible.
Action Taken
Residential school format and support were maintained.
Source: Student Unit and Teaching Evaluations
The practice viva was very generous and useful
Keep offering students the option to practice answering questions orally.
Action Taken
The final assessment is no longer an oral test, and was reverted back to an invigilated examination (to ensure accreditation requirements were maintained).
Source: SUTE and in-class feedback
Students found the Moodle Lessons format to be conducive to engaging with the material.
Maintain the flipped-classroom format of teaching.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE and self reflection
Students would like to have a written copy of the Moodle Lessons material.
The powerpoint slides were provided to the students in addition to the Moodle Lessons, but their location on Moodle may not have been obvious. In future offerings, it will be reiterated during the first week of classes where weekly content can be found in the unit.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE and face-to-face feedback
A thoroughly enjoyable unit with a well structured residential school.
Maintain the format of the unit and residential school.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Distinguish histopathological and cytopathological specimens according to body system, pathology and artefactual morphology
  2. Analyse the features of inflammatory disease processes and the range of tissue responses
  3. Perform techniques and explain the principles, mechanisms and requirements of use for special stain procedures and specialised fixation techniques
  4. Describe the neoplastic process, grading systems for staging malignant neoplasms and correlation with gene expression
  5. Discuss the principles, mechanisms, requirements and the application of use for special stain procedures and specialised fixation techniques of new molecular and hybridisation techniques in histology and cytology.

The learning outcomes achieved are linked to the objectives of the accrediting body, Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS).

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Case Study
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10