Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit's objectives are achieved by a combination of lectures, tutorials, self directed learning (using study guides); case based learning (using examples drawn from routine clinical laboratory practice (e.g. students deriving reference intervals from raw data); participation in case/slide reviews, peer review meetings, external quality assurance programs; participation in developing protocols for evaluating new technology, educational meetings and journal clubs; composing written reports on laboratory test results, their interpretation and relevance; preparation of posters or educational pieces for presentation to peers or at scientific meetings; and regular meetings with topic tutors and/or unit coordinator(s).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth), PathWest LaboratoriesFace to face

Students are able to (1) analyse, summarise and communicate findings in the style appropriate for different target audiences

; (2) describe the design of research studies and identify the strengths and weakness of different study designs; (3) describe the concept of ethical research and the role of informed consent, institutional review boards and therapeutic equipoise

; (4) describe the principles of evidence based laboratory medicine and assess the quality of the evidence; (5) describe pathology funding and budgeting, staff management and development and the implications of service design and delivery models; (6) describe the requirements of a laboratory information system, including the role of laboratory middleware and instrument interfaces and recognise the application of other informatics and software programs in the clinical laboratory; (7) describe the requirements for sample handling and processing in a routine diagnostic laboratory; (8) describe the theory of reference intervals and derive these using parametric and nonparametric approaches, identifying outliers and partitioning the data appropriately; (9) defend the laboratory approach to quality control, including familiarity with Westgard rules and describe the concept of error detection and false rejection as applied to QC rules; (10) interpret quality assessment reports and recognise the limitations of quality assessment schemes; (11) describe the standardisation of laboratory methods and the traceability hierarchy; (12) explain laboratory quality systems including internal audits, management review and document control practices; (13) discuss TQM and Lean Six Sigma principles; (14) discuss NATA and TGA laboratory accreditation programs; and (15) describe OSH regulations and follow laboratory safety protocols..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) written assessments; (2) seminar; 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 Christine Bundell and Dr Clayton Fragall
Unit rules
92510 Master of Clinical Pathology (ID 383)
or 54540 Master of Infectious Diseases (ID 1899)
PATH5511 Clinical Laboratory Skills 1 (ID 3685)
and PATH5514 Clinical Laboratory Skills 2 (ID 3687)
Contact hours
4-5 lectures per week and a 3-hour tutorial every 3 weeks
  • 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.