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Unit Overview


This unit examines the structural and functional consequences of human disease in body systems and the ways in which they are diagnosed and studied. Content will build upon students' knowledge of the normal anatomy and physiology of organ systems by providing an overview of how congenital diseases, infections, autoimmune & allergic disorders, neoplasms, metabolic disorders and progressively degenerative diseases develop and affect the function of the haematopoietic, cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, skeletal, muscular, nervous and integumentary systems. Students will gain an understanding of the application of laboratory tests and imaging techniques to diagnose and investigate human disease in body systems.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and identify pathological features of diseases of human organ systems and where appropriate relate these features to the clinical signs and symptoms of the disease; (2) apply the principles of cellular pathology to explain the aetiology and pathological processes involved in diseases of human organ systems; (3) describe pathology testing requirements and provide examples which connect the multi-disciplinary process of disease diagnosis; (4) apply laboratory methodologies to examine specimens associated with disease of human body systems; and (5) interpret, analyse and communicate clinical and laboratory findings.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) assignment; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Sonia Fernandez
Unit rules
PATH2221 Principles of Human Disease
PATH2210 Fundamentals of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Contact hours
lectures: 3 x 45 minute per week
tutorials: 2 hours per week for up to 8 weeks
practical classes: 3 hours per week for up to 4 weeks

Kumar, Vinay, et al. Robbins Basic Pathology. Available from: Elsevier eBooks+, (10th Edition). Elsevier - OHCE, 2017.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.