PATHOL 3003 - Essentials of Pathology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

In Essentials of Pathology the basic pathological processes are reviewed and we look in more depth and at a wider variety of common pathological conditions than in Biology of Disease II. General topics covered include the nature and causes of cell injury and death; adaptive cellular changes; inflammation, healing and repair, thrombosis, embolism and infarction and neoplasia. More detailed attention is given to cardiovascular, pulmonary and gastrointestinal diseases and common cancers and the pathology is correlated with major clinical symptoms and signs. In addition, tutorials and practical classes provide an opportunity for students to examine macroscopic and microscopic specimens illustrating the pathology covered in lectures. A background knowledge of basic anatomy, histology, physiology, microbiology and immunology and genetics is expected.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PATHOL 3003
    Course Essentials of Pathology
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PATHOL 2200 and/or ANAT SC 2109 or ANAT SC 2500 or PHYSIOL 2510 or PHYSIOL 2520
    Assumed Knowledge Basic anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology and immunology and genetics
    Restrictions Available to B Health Sci, B Sc & B Psych (Hons) students only
    Course Description In Essentials of Pathology the basic pathological processes are reviewed and we look in more depth and at a wider variety of common pathological conditions than in Biology of Disease II. General topics covered include the nature and causes of cell injury and death; adaptive cellular changes; inflammation, healing and repair, thrombosis, embolism and infarction and neoplasia. More detailed attention is given to cardiovascular, pulmonary and gastrointestinal diseases and common cancers and the pathology is correlated with major clinical symptoms and signs. In addition, tutorials and practical classes provide an opportunity for students to examine macroscopic and microscopic specimens illustrating the pathology covered in lectures. A background knowledge of basic anatomy, histology, physiology, microbiology and immunology and genetics is expected.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Corinna Van Den Heuvel

    Course Coordinator: Corinna Van Den Heuvel
    Phone: +61 8 8313 1456
    Location: Room N305a, Medical School North

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    The course timetable will be available on the MyUni site.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand essential basic pathological processes including inflammation, atherosclerosis and neoplasia.
    2 Acquire the ability to relate these basic pathological processes to the pathogenesis of common and important diseases
    3 Gain knowledge and understanding of the predisposing factors, causes, pathogenesis, morphology, potential complications and how they arise, natural history of, and the main symptoms and signs of such diseases
    4 Correlate clinical features with causes and mechanisms of disease
    5 Understand how knowledge of pathological processes can be utilised in the investigation, management and prevention of disease
    6 Use and understand terminology for the field of pathology correctly and contextually
    7 Recognise and describe basic macroscopic and microscopic features of both basic pathological processes and selected diseases using the correct vocabulary
    8 Acquire, read, interpret and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner
    9 Acknowledge and reference sources of information appropriately
    10 Work in groups and individually in the pursuit of scientific knowledge
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The recommended textbook is EITHER of the following:

    Rubin's Pathology, Clinicopathologic Foundations of Medicine, 5th edition, 2008 or 6th edition 2011 edited by Rubin, Strayer, and Rubin (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins).

    Essentials of Rubin’s Pathology, 5th edition, 2009 edited by Rubin and Reisner (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins).

    Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th edition, 2005, Kumar, Abbas and Fausto (eds) or 8th edition, 2010, Kumar, Abbas, Fausto and Aster (eds), Elsevier Saunders is also suitable (for those that may already have a copy). An electronic version of this textbook can be accessed via the University of Adelaide Library catalogue, free for university students. Other pathology textbooks may be suitable. Please check with the course coordinator.

    It is also expected that you have access to a copy of Wheater's Basic Histopathology, a Text, Atlas and Review of Histopathology, 5th edition, 2011 (or an earlier edition), published by Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. This is an excellent aid to the learning of microscopic pathology.

    Pathology Museum
    To further your understanding of pathology, and in particular the macroscopic changes of disease, it is essential that you utilise the collection of specimens in the Pathology Museum, room N318 on the 3rd floor of the north wing of the Medical School building.

    The specimens are grouped in organ systems and there are accompanying catalogues that provide clinical information, a description and diagnosis for each specimen. Sample specimens of common and important pathologies are also highlighted in the catalogues. It is useful to examine a number of examples of a particular condition to gain a better understanding, since disease, like the people it affects, is highly variable. Examples of different pathologies can be found using the index. You may find it beneficial to use pathology and other textbooks (e.g. anatomy) when studying in the museum. Please return specimens to their appropriate position on the shelves following their use.

    The catalogues are not to be removed from the museum. The entire catalogue is available on the Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology’s web pages at ( A student identification number is required for access. You will also find other pathology learning resources at this website.

    The Museum is open during normal working hours (approx. 8.30am–5.00pm each weekday) including over the mid semester break. It is not a common room and eating, smoking and drinking are not allowed. It is only for the use of students enrolled in courses in which pathology is studied and students should demonstrate a professional respectful attitude when using it.

    Photography is strictly forbidden and specimens cannot be removed from the museum without the consent of the Head of Discipline. 

    The rules of the museum are stated in a notice on the front door. Any student caught breaking the rules will face disciplinary action.

    Mr Chris Leigh (ext 33126) in room N122 (1st floor) looks after the museum. Please report any breakages or leaking pots to him.

    If you have difficulties in understanding a specimen, do not hesitate to ask one of the academic staff for help.

    Images from practical classes will be available in folders that may be borrowed after the class for examination in the pathology museum.

    Recommended Resources

    Various online resources as outlined below in ONLINE LEARNING.

    Some additional books that you may find useful include
    Robbins and Cotran Atlas of Pathology (1st ed.) by E. C. Klatt (Saunders Elsevier). This book provides more examples of macroscopic and microscopic pathology images.
    Color Atlas of Anatomical Pathology (3rd ed.) by Cooke and Stewart (Churchill Livingstone) has numerous images to aid in the understanding of macroscopic pathology.
    Other histology, anatomy and physiology textbooks.
    For review of histology, Wheater's Functional Histology: A Text and Colour Atlas (5th ed., 2006) by Young, Lowe, Stevens, Heath (Elsevier) is a good book. This book is also available electronically (free to students) via the Barr Smith Library’s access to MDConsult at 

    Online Learning

    All course correspondence including important course information and regular announcements will
    take place through MyUni. All lecture notes, practical class notes, lecture audio recordings etc are
    available on MyUni.

    There are a wide range of pathology based web sites. These contain tutorials, images of
    macroscopic and microscopic pathology and links to a range of related sites. A selection of web
    addresses (in no particular order) follows.

    School of Medical Sciences web pages
    A variety of resource material, including the catalogues for the Pathology Museum, is available via
    the School of Medical Sciences web pages:
    https:// A student identification number is required for access.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lecture / Large group sessions
    There will be 3 lecture / large group sessions each week. Presentations will commence at 10 minutes past the hour and will last for 40 to 50 minutes. A lecture will be presented in most sessions. The timetable can be found as a separate document on MyUni. Lecture notes should be downloaded from MyUni prior to the lecture as printed handouts will not be distributed at lectures.
    If you do not understand any part of a lecture, do not hesitate to ask for clarification from the lecturer either during the lecture, afterwards or by email.
    Lecture notes only aim to provide an outline of a topic. Further reading of a textbook is expected for you to gain wider and deeper knowledge and understanding.
    Multiple choice tests, clinical scenario sessions and question and answer (Q and A) sessions will fill several of the lecture time slots (see timetable for exact dates and times).
    Multiple choice tests will take place throughout the semester (refer timetable for more information).
    These tests will cover practical, lecture and relevant basic health science material. The MCQ tests make up a total of 15% of your final mark for the course. Attendance at these sessions is compulsory. Approximately 15 MCQs will be in each test.

    Practical classes
    There will be one practical class each week lasting approximately 1.5-2 hours. The practical classes begin in week 3 and will be held in Room S210b, 2nd floor, Medical School South. The main aim of the practical classes is for you to observe and understand the macroscopic and microscopic features of basic pathological processes and many of the common and important diseases covered in lectures, and to learn how to describe and identify them using appropriate terminology. Topics for each practical class can be found in the course timetable. It is important to read the course timetable carefully as in week 4 there will be no practical class as I will be overseas attending a conference. Practical class notes should be downloaded from MyUni prior to the class. Practical handouts are uploaded onto MyUni as annotatable PDFs so if you wish you can directly input your practical answers straight onto the forms via computer, ipad etc. I promote the use of ipads and laptops during the practical classes. Printed handouts will not be distributed at the classes.
    You are expected to prepare in advance for the practical classes by reviewing relevant lecture and textbook, including histopathology atlas, content, and looking at the specimens in the museum and histopathology Power Point Presentations on MyUni. Most of the practical handout can be attempted prior to coming to the practical class.

    Discussion of answers to questions posed in the practical class notes will take place at the end of the class.
    Attendance at the practical classes is COMPULSORY and a roll will be taken during the class. Macroscopic specimens used in practical classes are from the Pathology Museum. All catalogues with detailed information about each of the specimens can be found at the pathology resources website: Power Point presentations with related histopathology images for self directed learning and self assessment will also be posted on MyUni.
    The material covered in practical classes is assessable and the practical examination will comprise questions on, including descriptions, of photographs of macroscopic and microscopic pathology.

    Small group tutorials to examine macroscopic specimens and to clarify topics covered in the lectures and practical classes will be held each fortnight (during weeks 3, 5, 8, 10, 12). Please see the tutorial roster for times and locations of your selected tutorial group. Tutorials will begin in week 3. Participation by each student within the tutorial group is expected.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    Students are reminded that the overall workload for a full time student as stated in the University of Adelaide Calendar is an average of 48 hours per week per teaching period (i.e. semester). This includes contact and non-contact hours and includes general study and research time for assignments. General Pathology IIIHS is a 6 unit course and thus represents half a full time load. You should thus be putting in an average of 24 hours of study each week (including contact hours) for this course.

    Each week you are expected to:

    • attend teaching sessions (lecture/large group sessions, practical classes, tutorials)
    • read lecture notes and relevant sections of textbooks that relate to lecture and practical material, ensuring that you understand the information, and taking additional notes as necessary
    • revise relevant normal structure and function and other relevant basic health science to aid your understanding of the pathology
    • prepare for practical classes and tests
    • utilise the Pathology Museum by looking at specimens and folders of images from the practical classes
    • utilise other available learning resources e.g. websites and Histopathology Power Point presentations on MyUni
    • work on assignments
    • and earlier, rather than later in semester, start to learn the material for examinations
    Learning Activities Summary
    A complete up to date course timetable can be downloaded from MyUni.
    Specific Course Requirements
    In order to pass Essentials of Pathology, students are required to have completed all components of the assessment (i.e. literature review assignment, the mid-semester examination, 2 MCQ tests and the end of semester written theory and practical examinations).

    Students must achieve a grade of at least 40% in each of the end of semester theory and practical examinations, and achieve an overall grade of at least 50% for the course.

    Students must have also attended at least 7 of the 8 practical classes and 4 of the 5 tutorials. Absence at more than 1 of 8 practical classes and 1 of 5 tutorials will require the provision of appropriate paperwork documenting medical and/or compassionate reasons for non-attendance at the relevant session. Students failing to meet these requirements may either fail outright or be required to sit supplementary examinations.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    MCQ tests Summative 15% 1-8
    Mid-semester examination Summative 10% 1-8
    Literature review based on a research topic Summative 20% 9-10
    End of semester examination comprising practical (20%) and theory (35%) components Summative 55% 1-8
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment comprises several parts:
    § 2 x MCQ tests distributed throughout the semester each worth 7.5% totalling 15%
    § A mid semester examination worth 10%
    § A literature review based on a research topic to be completed during the semester worth 20%
    § An end of semester examination comprising practical (20%) and theory (35%) components

    All assessments are summative. Tests and examinations will be graded using marks. The total possible mark for each will be specified on the test / examination. Marks for individual questions in the tests / examinations will be stated on the question paper. The marks give a guide as to how much you should write in your answer. Don’t assume that, for example, 3 marks means that only 3 points/facts must be covered in the answer. Three marks just means that you need not give as much or as detailed information as for a 10 mark question for example.
    Results from the MCQ tests, mid-semester examination and literature review will be placed into the Grade Centre in MyUni.

    Literature review assignment
    Students will be required to download a literature review assignment during the course. Topics will be made available at the beginning of semester. Students are to select one topic. Only a limited number of students (maximum of 9) will be allowed to do each topic. To choose a group, select Groups from the list on the left handside of the Essentials of Pathology MyUni site then select "view sign up sheet to join a group" then read the list of literature review topics and once you have made your selection you click the "sign up" button under the topic. Once you have done this it is final and cannot be changed. You are unable to remove yourself from the selection.

    The literature review should be between 2,500 and 3,000 words. Only articles from peer reviewed journals may be used as reference sources. Where possible, original rather than review articles should be used and referenced. The review is due on Friday June 6th. All assignments are to be submitted via Turnitin on Myuni.
    Further information regarding this assessment piece, including the referencing style to be used, is provided in a separate document that can be downloaded from MyUni.  You are encouraged to submit a dot point plan to the person who set your topic one month prior to submission date for them to give you some feedback.


    1 Staff will clearly indicate the deadline (date and time) for coursework submission in the course information contained within MyUni. In addition, assessment deadlines will be announced via MyUni at least 7 days prior to the submission deadline.
    2 Unless otherwise indicated, coursework should be submitted electronically via MyUni. Any students experiencing technical difficulties should contact the course coordinator at the earliest opportunity.
    3 Coursework received after the deadline will be penalised as follows: 10% of total available points will be penalised per day (24 hour period or fraction thereof). An automatic zero mark will be applied after 7 days.

    For example, coursework submitted any time after the deadline up to 24 hours late and marked as a 75% would become 70% (i.e. a 5% penalty). A 55% grade would become a 50%. 4 The deadline time will be strictly enforced according to the digital time displayed Weekends and public holidays ARE included as penalty days. 5 Coursework submitted to any location other than those specified will not be accepted. This includes submissions to personal staff email addresses. Submission dates may be extended under exceptional circumstances. Please refer to the Modified arrangements for coursework assessment policy. You need to see the course coordinator at the earliest opportunity if you feel that you require an extension. Upon receipt of an application for extension, staff may: Refuse permission for extension, specifying the appropriate reason(s); or Grant permission for extension without penalty; or Grant permission for extension with a penalty as guided by this policy.

    Mid semester examination
    A 1 hour written examination will be held during the semester at a time to be confirmed at the start of the year usually in week 6 or 7.
    Questions will cover material covered in lectures and practical classes (excluding visual recognition of macroscopic or microscopic pathological features) from weeks 1 to 6. The format will be similar to the final examination and will use a combination of short, medium and longer answer questions. Questions will require you to demonstrate understanding of and integrate information from a variety of sources. If students are unable to attend this examination for significant compassionate or medical reasons, appropriate forms should be obtained from your faculty office or the appropriate web site, completed and submitted in the appropriate time frame and a supplementary examination will be organised if necessary.

    MCQ tests
    Throughout the semester there will be a total of 2 MCQ tests. These tests will assess lecture, practical and relevant basic health science material. They are designed to promote continuous learning of course content and preparation for the practical classes and to provide feedback on your level of knowledge and understanding as you progress in the course.
    The MCQ tests are each worth 7.5% of your final mark for the course.  If you are unwell and are unable to attend one of the tests you must provide me with a copy of the medical certificate ASAP.  No alternative arrangements to sit the test can be made which means that the remaining MCQ test will be out of 15%.

    End of semester examination
    The end of semester examination will comprise a 3 hour written theory paper and a 2 hour written practical paper, including questions on both macroscopic and microscopic pathology images.
    Previously the theory exam is held in the morning at Wayville Showgrounds followed by the practical exam that same afternoon in the computer suite in the Plaza building. Questions in the written theory paper and practical examination will be based on material covered in lectures and practical classes. The examinations aim to examine the depth of a student’s understanding of the topics that have been covered during the semester.
    Past written theory end of semester examinations can be found in the University library’s electronic database of past exam papers. Note that the course changed in 2007 so some questions in examinations prior to that time may be on topics no longer covered. Sample practical questions will be posted on MyUni.
    Submission of the literature review is through TURNITIN on MyUni.

    Generally there is a 2-3 week turnaround time for staff to mark assessment pieces. We will endeavour to return work with appropriate feedback as quickly as possible. If a student requires further clarification and feedback they can contact the course coordinator.

    Penalties will apply for late submission of assignments unless an extension with appropriate reasons and supporting documentation (e.g. medical certificate) is provided to the course coordinator BEFORE the due date and time of submission.

    Otherwise, submission up to 3 days late will result in a loss of 50% of your assignment mark and submission later than this will result in no marks being awarded. Only significant circumstances, such as the death of a close relative or friend, major psychological difficulties or major changes in personal circumstances beyond the control of the student will be considered in the granting of extensions for compassionate reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.


    On Medical or Compassionate Grounds
    To request a replacement/additional assessment on Medical or Compassionate grounds, appropriate forms should be obtained from your faculty office or the appropriate web site, completed and submitted in the appropriate time frame. Students are advised to refer to the university’s policy on examinations (see below). Academic staff will make the final decision regarding the offer of a replacement/additional assessment. Sitting a replacement/additional assessment is offered on this basis will result in a formal mark being awarded, i.e. pass, credit or distinction. Both written theory and practical replacement/additional assessments may be offered.

    On Academic Grounds
    Replacement/additional assessments will be offered to selected students on academic grounds.
    Those sitting these will be required to achieve a grade of at least 50% in either a written theory examination, written practical examination or both, depending on which of the examinations the student did not meet the necessary requirement to pass the course, and obtain an overall mark of at least 50% for the course. Successful completion of supplementary examinations offered on this basis can only result in a final mark for the course of 50%.

    Examinations are timetabled by the university and held during the official university examination periods and students are expected to be available to sit examinations at these times. Students who fail to sit on the set date and time without satisfactory medical or compassionate reasons submitted in writing in the appropriate time frame, will be deemed to have failed Essentials of Pathology. Only one sitting for replacement/additional assessment is offered.

    Examinations WILL NOT be rescheduled for students on holidays or away attending weddings etc.
    Information provided in applications for replacement/additional assessments or extensions for assignments will be treated in confidence.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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