Pathology is a scientific discipline which involves the study of diseases, such as infections and cancers, at the genetic, molecular, cellular and organ levels. It's also a medical specialty that focuses on making diagnoses, but contrary to popular belief, it's not all about blood tests. Pathology examines:
An understanding of pathological process is also essential to guide the development of new diagnostic tests and novel treatments for a range of diseases including cancer and COVID-19.
Undergraduate study in pathology involves the examination of various disease processes such as inflammation (including infections), wound healing and cancer. You'll become familiar with examining both macroscopic specimens and the microscopic differences between normal and abnormal cells, tissues and organs.
In our 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 COVID-19.
Students may gain advanced training by undertaking a postgraduate research program within a pathology research unit. These units are involved in basic and applied research vital to our understanding of common disorders such as infectious diseases, atherosclerosis, asthma, colorectal cancer and arthritis, as well as the educational effectiveness of innovations in teaching.
You could pursue a career as a medical researcher (including in government, industry or university laboratories), laboratory technician, pharmaceutical sales representative, medical-scientific liaison or regulatory affairs officer. Please note that graduates with a major in pathology are not pathologists. A pathologist is a medical doctor with specialist training in pathology. However, a major in pathology will provide a strong foundation for students interested in applying for postgraduate medical programs.
You can study pathology in the following undergraduate degrees:
Gain research experience and enhance your career prospects with an honours degree. These programs are designed to connect your undergraduate study with supervised independent research. An honours degree also provides a pathway into further study, such as a Masters by Research or PhD. You can take honours as a standalone degree or as part of an embedded honours program.
Embedded honours program
Standalone honours program
You can study pathology in the following postgraduate research degrees: