University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Study in Pathology is offered by the Discipline of Pathology in the School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Units of study in this minor are available at standard and advanced level.

About the minor

Pathology is central to developing an understanding of the burden of disease and providing foundational knowledge for clinical medicine. It encompasses structural alterations in tissue, changes in cellular and tissue function and ultimately the effect of these altered functions on underlying mechanisms that promote major acute and chronic diseases.

The Pathology minor examines pathogenic mechanisms that can provide knowledge on the cause of disease; this knowledge can lead to the identification of molecular targets for pharmacological development in humans and animals. This is important, as an understanding of pathological mechanisms allows us to think about how biological systems can be manipulated to treat and ultimately prevent disease. This minor draws together studies in histology, anatomy, cell biology, immunology, biochemistry, and physiology.

Requirements for completion

A minor in Pathology requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units
(iii) 6 credit points of 2000-level core units according to the following:
(a) 6 credit points of 2000-level MIMI coded units or
(b) 6 credit points of 2000-level MEDS coded units for students in the Medical Science stream
(iv) 6 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(v) 12 credit points of 3000-level minor core units

First year

CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A and 6 credit points from a selection of BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems and BIOL1XX8 Human Biology (MEDS1X01 is only available to students enrolled in the Medical Science stream).

The minor in Pathology begins in first year with a study of chemistry relevant to the life sciences, and a choice of human biology or biology that takes you from molecules to ecosystems and positions human health and disease in this context. Chemistry and biology are foundational to the study of immunology and pathology.

Second year

MIMI2X02 Microbes, Infection and Immunity and 6 credit points from a selection of BCMB2X01 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and IMMU2X11 Immunobiology.

For Medical Science stream students: MEDS2004 Microbes, Infection and Immunity and IMMU2X11 Immunobiology. (MEDS units are only offered to Medical Science stream students).

In the second year of your Immunology minor you will study microbes, infection and immunity, which provides key knowledge and skills in immunology, pathology, infectious diseases and microbiology. Alongside this essential learning you have the opportunity to further develop your understanding in biochemistry and molecular biology or in immunobiology.

Third year

Core: CPAT3X01 Pathogenesis of Human Disease 1 and CPAT3X02 Pathogenesis of Human Disease 2.

In your third year of the minor you will undertake units of study in pathology. Building on your second year studies in microbes, infection and immunity, you will investigate the scientific bases of the pathogenesis of disease, evaluate diseased tissue and learn techniques for disease detection in pathology.

Contact and further information

Discipline of Pathology
Level 5 (East), Charles Perkins Centre hub (D17)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Professor Nicholas King
T +61 2 9351 4553

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Pathology will be able to:

  1. Exhibit an integrated knowledge of the role of the immune system in both the cause of disease and the underlying mechanism of disease progression.
  2. Exhibit a broad understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of pathogenesis of a diverse range of diseases and the pathophysiological responses to disease.
  3. Critically evaluate the application of a range of pathological techniques/skills.
  4. Observe and describe pathophysiological responses of relevant organs to disease and explain their effect on organ function.
  5. Communicate concepts and findings in pathology across a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  6. Apply pathological concepts and approaches to a diverse range of disease contexts and solve complex pathological problems.
  7. Design, evaluate and test diagnostic pathology assays using knowledge of industry standards in assay development and regulation.
  8. Develop creative and innovative approaches to problem solving in pathology research and work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and collaborative contexts.
  9. Evaluate how therapeutic approaches that target cells and molecules of our immune and other organ systems lead to breakthroughs in human disease detection, treatment and management, and examine how these are handled from different community and cultural perspectives.
  10. Work effectively with colleagues from different areas of specialisation to address interdisciplinary problems in pathology.