Academic Item Menu


Pathology is a scientific discipline which involves the study of diseases, such as infections and cancers, at the genetic, molecular, cellular, and organ levels. Pathology examines:

  • How and why diseases develop;
  • The disease process - what happens to our bodies when we are ill; and
  • The effects of diseases, including their symptoms and complications.

It has been estimated that pathology plays a critical role in more than 70 percent of clinical diagnoses and many of the decisions around the optimal treatment for patients. For example, the diagnostic skills of pathologists allow patients to know if they are pregnant, anaemic, diabetic, at risk of heart disease, or if their lump is cancerous.

Undergraduate study in Pathology involves examination of various disease processes such as inflammation (including infections), wound healing and cancer. Students become familiar with examining both macroscopic specimens and the microscopic differences between normal and abnormal cells, tissues and organs. In modern teaching facilities, much of the study of microscopic abnormalities is undertaken using computer-based “virtual” microscopy. Courses offered in Pathology allow in-depth study of many fascinating and important disorders such as meningitis, tuberculosis, auto-immune diseases, congenital diseases, a variety of cancers, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, asthma, musculoskeletal diseases and the human version of 'mad cow disease'.

Study Level


Minimum Units of Credit


Specialisation Type


Specialisation Structure

Students must complete 66 UOC.

Expand All Collapse All

Level 1 Recommended Elective

Recommended elective course (this course is not required but is recommended as a good foundation course for the Pathology major):

MATH1041 Stats for Life & Soc Sciences (6 UOC)

Additional Information


Students interested in pursuing Honours in Pathology should refer to program 4500 I Science (Honours) and the Pathology Honours handbook entries.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

Helpful utilities like sharing or printing this page
Share Link via Email
Download PDF