Start date

4 year(s) full-time


Program Code

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

Assumed Knowledge

AUD$ 39,600 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024
AUD$ 42,000 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2025

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.5]
  • IELTS writing [6.5]
  • IELTS speaking [6.5]
  • IELTS listening [6.5]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Learn how to help diagnose and track the treatment of human disease and bring new discoveries to light.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to work as an accredited medical laboratory scientist in diagnostic pathology or research.
  • Graduate career ready from an in-demand degree, benefitting from extensive practical placements and hands-on learning.
  • Tailor your honours year to your career outcomes, either completing an experimental research course or an advanced clinical placement in a laboratory.
  • Practice your skills in our on-campus, purpose-built laboratories designed to emulate a real-world diagnostic pathology lab.
  • Study the only Honours degree in South Australia accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS).
  • Learn from a curriculum informed by well above world-class research in biochemistry and cell biology.1
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further learning, including Master of Research and doctoral studies.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,2 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 2Ranked #43, 2024 THE Young University Rankings.


Laboratory medicine students using campus laboratory facilities

Enter the exciting world of diagnostic pathology or research, where you will investigate the causes and cures for disease, and play an integral role in patient care.

Develop the skills to help diagnose, manage and treat disease, and conduct laboratory research with this four-year honours degree offering extensive practical experience and hands-on learning.

As a medical laboratory scientist, your work will contribute to people's welfare. Your unstoppable future career will see you supporting clinicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of disease. You’ll perform tests on blood, tissues and other samples, and develop improved methods for disease detection and treatment.

Benefit from 26 weeks of laboratory placements with a range of private and public laboratories during your studies. In your honours year, engage with an experimental research practice project or advanced clinical practice placement, and engage with specialist learning in microbiology, biochemistry, histopathology and cytopathology, and haematology.

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, a Working with Children Check 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’ll study natural and biomedical sciences, and during the third and fourth years you’ll strengthen your knowledge through clinical courses and practical experience.

You’ll 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’ll 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.

In your third year of study all students will complete 13 weeks of valuable field placements, which is more than what is required by industry to become an accredited medical laboratory scientist with the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS).

At the start of your honours year, you can choose to undertake Advanced Clinical Practice for 13 weeks or Experimental Research Practice for 13 weeks. In both options, you’ll work as part of a team in a diagnostic or research setting, learning how to manage specimens, perform tests and operate equipment.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Chemistry 100 CHEM 1006 4.5
Biology 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
Biology B BIOL 1012 4.5 Rule(s): 4
Quantitative Methods in Health MATH 1065 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
Chemical and 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

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, as well as to 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. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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. You’ll have the option to choose from advanced clinical practice placement or experimental research practice project, depending on your career goals.

Your honours studies can be completed in public or private pathology services, veterinary pathology or forensic pathology. Examples of previous honours projects include:

  • reviewing a hospital’s neonatal blood transfusion practice
  • comparing new and established diagnostic methods in the laboratory environment
  • using specialised cell analysis methods to investigate leukaemia characteristics
  • reviewing the role of tissue preparation protocols for breast cancer diagnosis and review
  • optimising DNA extraction for genome sequencing in the study of tuberculosis

You’ll graduate with industry experience and connections, ready for a career in industry or research.

Why Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine (Honours)

Laboratory medicine student using campus laboratory facilities

Graduate with the knowledge and skills to excel in the world of laboratory science by studying the only honours degree in South Australia accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS).

Learn from experts in the field as your study a curriculum informed by well above world-class research in biochemistry and cell biology.1 You’ll learn how to test and analyse blood, tissue and other samples as you develop knowledge in the critical areas of haematology, transfusion science, clinical biochemistry, clinical microbiology, histopathology and cytopathology.

You’ll also gain real industry experience in clinical settings and will benefit from UniSA’s purpose-built on-campus facilities, including our histopathology and haematology laboratories.

Graduating with an honours degree will set you apart from the crowd, ensuring you have a competitive edge and are well-placed for a career in industry, research or further postgraduate study.

Graduates are eligible for membership with a range of professional organisations including AIMS, the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) and the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM).

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Real-world connections

As a student, you'll learn in our purpose-built histopathology and haematology laboratories, and will complete up to 26 weeks of professional practice in real work environments. Practical field placements are a great opportunity for you to build your industry networks, and ensure you gradate confident to step into your unstoppable career from your first day.

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

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

Rural health placement

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine student Fiona, shares her experience of her rural placement at SA Pathology in Whyalla, supported by UniSA’s Department of Rural Health.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

As a Medical Laboratory Scientist, you’ll support clinicians in the diagnosis, management, treatment of disease and 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’ll need to have the ability to absorb, connect and integrate information from various sources. Medical Laboratory Scientists use a range of intricate and sophisticated equipment, so a certain amount of manual dexterity is needed to conduct laboratory work effectively.

Medical Laboratory 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
  • product manufacturing
  • public health and health management
  • veterinary medicine
  • universities and other educational institutions 
  • government policy
Where can my interest in science take me?

View our guide on Science Careers for more information.

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


Employment for Medical Laboratory Scientists is projected to increase by 5.6% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,500 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


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

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

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:


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 study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. 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 lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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 international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces 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'll have access to on-campus purpose-built laboratories including:

  • histopathology and haematology
  • microbiology and immunology
  • chemistry
  • biochemistry 

Your program director

I am privileged to lead a degree focused on developing independent research skills for students to graduate ready to meet the challenges and diverse roles of their profession or for further postgraduate study. This is achieved within a supportive learning environment where students work with world-class researchers and facilities in their chosen area of discovery and innovation.

Dr Connie Caruso

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Connie Caruso
Portrait image for Dr Connie Caruso

Dr Connie Caruso

Program Director


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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
Medical Scientist | SA Pathology

UniSA_29122430B (2).jpg

Mike Attwell

Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine
Medical Scientist | SA Pathology