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Start Date

4 year(s) full-time


Program Code

414491 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Entry Requirements
Selection Rank (Internal): 73.60 (for 2018)
Selection Rank (Guaranteed): 85.00 (for 2019)
TAFE/RTO (Guaranteed): DIP Lab Tech
View full entry requirements

One of the following:
SACE Stage 2 Biology
SACE Stage 2 Chemistry
SACE Stage 2 Physics
More info

Assumed Knowledge

Degree overview

  • Get ahead of the crowd with a highly regarded honours degree.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to work as a medical scientist in diagnostic pathology or research.
  • Study at the No.1 University in South Australia for teaching quality in Science and Mathematics1.
  • Choose to complete a research course or an extra clinical placement, depending on your interests.
  • Gain practical experience in on-campus, purpose-built laboratories.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Masters by Research and doctoral studies.
  • Study the only degree in South Australia accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).

1QILT: Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-17. Public SA-founded universities only.


Laboratory medicine students using campus laboratory facilities

This degree prepares you for a career in all areas of pathology, with training in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, molecular pathology, haematology and histopathology.

You will gain practical experience in our on-campus laboratories, and have the opportunity to practice these skills in real-world clinical settings when you complete industry experience across your third and fourth years. If you undertake the research course you will complete 13 weeks of clinical placement; if you undertake the Advanced Clinical Placement you will complete 26 weeks of clinical placement. This field placement can be completed in South Australia, interstate or overseas and will be offered in 13-week blocks.

The honours component of this degree focuses on research training, which will see you complete research preparation and project courses in your fourth year. 

What you'll need

Students who undertake activities where interaction with patients/the public is required for their degree, such as field or clinical placements/visits and in University clinics and gyms, must demonstrate they meet mandatory pre-placement conditional requirements. These include criminal history clearance, child related employment clearance and immunisation requirements. Please visit the Clinical Placement Unit for information on key requirements, and to access the full student checklists.

What you'll learn

Student testing in the campus laboratory

This honours degree prepares you for a career in all areas of pathology, with training in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, molecular pathology, haematology and histopathology.

During your first two years you will study natural and biomedical sciences, and during the third and fourth years you will strengthen your knowledge through theoretical learning and practical experience.

You will learn the theory and develop the skills required to perform a range of diagnostic tests including cross-matching for blood transfusions, identifying the organisms that cause infections and food poisoning, screening for cancer cells and detecting genes responsible for disease conditions. You will also learn how to examine blood for any changes in its composition or function, and monitor levels of blood chemicals including sugar, electrolytes, pH, metabolites, toxins, drugs, hormones and proteins.

During the final two years you will embark on a valuable field placement – this placement is pivotal to your learning and will comprise of either 13 or 26 weeks of real-world experience in a clinical setting.

You will also be required to complete supervised scientific research during your final year. This research will be conducted in our on-campus laboratory or at external laboratories.

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week. 



Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • quizzes
  • practicals
  • progressive tests
  • group assignments
  • practical reports

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities


This is a four-year, professional degree with honours. 

The honours component includes a minimum of one year of advanced studies in research and professional practice. You will receive First Class, Second Class or Third Class Honours, depending on your performance.

During the honours preparation, you will undertake training courses in research methods and ethics. Within the honours thesis course, you will undertake a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher and report on this project through a thesis and oral presentation.

You will graduate with industry experience and connections, and a higher level qualification than a bachelor degree. Your honours year will prepare you well for a career in industry or research.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Chemistry 100 CHEM 1006 4.5
Molecules to Tissues A BIOL 1007 4.5
Mathematics for Laboratory Sciences MATH 1039 4.5
Health and Society HLTH 1025 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Chemistry 101 CHEM 1007 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Molecules to Tissues B BIOL 1012 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Statistics for Laboratory Sciences MATH 1040 4.5
Professional Issues in Laboratory Medicine MEDI 1009 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Biochemistry BIOL 2014 4.5
Physiology BIOL 2035 4.5
Histology BIOL 2036 4.5
Microbiology BIOL 2051 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Immunology BIOL 2037 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Genetics BIOL 2016 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Pathophysiology MEDI 2003 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Essential Haematology MEDI 2005 4.5 Rule(s): 4
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Infectious Diseases MEDI 3003 4.5
Molecular Pathology BIOL 3006 4.5
Histotechnology MEDI 3002 4.5
Transfusion and Haemostasis MEDI 3012 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Clinical Practice A MEDI 3006 9 Note(s): 1,2,3,4 Rule(s): 2
Clinical Practice B MEDI 3007 9 Note(s): 1,2,3,4 Rule(s): 2
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Experimental Research Practice A MEDI 4014 9 Note(s): 1
Experimental Research Practice B MEDI 4015 9 Note(s): 1
Advanced Clinical Practice A MEDI 4012 9 Note(s): 1,2,3 Rule(s): 2
Advanced Clinical Practice B MEDI 4013 9 Note(s): 1,2,3 Rule(s): 2
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Specialised Microbiology MEDI 4006 4.5
Clinical Biochemistry MEDI 4001 4.5
Histopathology and Cytopathology MEDI 4005 4.5
Advanced Haematology MEDI 4004 4.5

Why Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine (Honours)

Laboratory medicine student using campus laboratory facilities

This degree is the only one of its kind in South Australia that is accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).

You will gain real industry experience in a clinical setting, and will benefit from our state-of-the-art on-campus facilities, including specialised laboratories.

This qualification will set you apart from your competitors and will provide you with advanced knowledge of and skills in research methodology and research practice.

Real-world connections

Practical field placements are a great opportunity for you to begin to build your network of industry contacts – in fact, some of our students actually secure employment before they graduate as a result of the industry relationships built during this time.

You will also work alongside experienced researchers when you complete research preparation and project courses during your final year. This affiliation will provide you with exceptional learning and networking opportunities.

We host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.


Your career

As a Medical scientist, you will support clinicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of disease, to conduct research into the causes and cures for disease, and to develop improved tests for disease detection. You may also recommend possible treatments, monitor dosage and effects, as well as track the progress of patients.

You should be inquisitive and have an analytical mind, and you will need to have the ability to absorb, connect and integrate information from various sources. Medical scientists use a range of intricate and sophisticated equipment, so a certain amount of manual dexterity is needed to conduct laboratory work effectively.

Medical Scientists are employed in a range of areas, including:

  • diagnostic pathology
  • histopathology
  • forensic science
  • immunology
  • virology
  • transfusion science
  • haematology
  • cytology
  • clinical biochemistry
  • medical microbiology
  • research laboratories
  • product manufacturing
  • public health and health management
  • veterinary medicine
  • universities and other educational institutions 

Most graduates (just over 90 per cent) secure work in the health sector, either with public pathology providers such as SA Pathology or the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, or for private laboratories such as Healthscope, Clinpath Laboratories, Abbott Pathology or Adelaide Pathology Partners.

As an honours students you may also choose to pursue a career in research - graduates with honours degrees are highly sought after by prospective employers, particularly within academia and research settings.

Professional accreditation and recognition

The program is fully accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS), and graduates are entitled to Graduate Membership of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists.

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB).

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Industry facts


To November 2020, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia - an increase of 250,200 jobs1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment 2017

What others are saying

My mother did this degree when she went to University and we’ve always had discussions about science and biology which really fuelled my passion to pursue this field.

Madeleine Jovanovich

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine

Madeleine Jovanovich

Madeleine Jovanovich

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine

I did a six month placement at SA Pathology’s Whyalla Laboratory and the first thing I noticed was how broad the work was. We were doing everything from basic blood testing to liver function, kidney function and transfusion analysis where we match blood products to patients.

Fiona Norris

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine

Fiona Norris

Fiona Norris

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine

My personal interests in biochemistry and genetics led me to study this degree. After completing placements at SA Pathology, I was lucky enough to gain full-time employment in the field of genetics and molecular pathology as a Medical Scientist and as an accredited parentage reporter.

Mike Attwell

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine
Employment: Medical Scientist, SA Pathology

UniSA_29122430B (2).jpg

Mike Attwell

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine
<br />Employment: Medical Scientist, SA Pathology

I have twenty years’ experience in diagnostic haematology and research laboratories, and I work closely with industry to coordinate clinical placement for students. I teach haematology and transfusion medicine within the Laboratory Medicine degree and conduct research in the field of haemostasis. I really enjoy being a part of producing the medical scientists of the future.

Dr Brian Dale

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Brian Dale
Portrait image for Dr Brian Dale

Dr Brian Dale

Program Director



Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Histopathology and Haematology laboratory.jpg

As a laboratory medicine student you will have access to on-campus purpose-built laboratories including:

  • Histopathology and haematology
  • Microbiology and immunology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student gyms, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help, we're here to assist. We provide a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • services offered through our student association, USASA

When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways


There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.

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