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Start date

4 year(s) full-time


Program Code

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

Assumed Knowledge

2021: AUD$ 37,700 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

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

  • Get ahead of the crowd with a highly regarded honours degree.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to work as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in diagnostic pathology or research.
  • Study at the No.1 University in South Australia for graduate careers in Science and Mathematics.1
  • Choose to complete a research course or an extra clinical placement, depending on your interests.
  • Benefit from a degree that is informed by well-above world-class research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.2
  • 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).

1ComparED (QILT): Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017-19 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).


Laboratory medicine students using campus laboratory facilities

Studying the only degree in SA accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) will see you graduate with the knowledge and skills to enter the exciting world of diagnostic pathology or research. Your work will have a vital bearing on the welfare of patients, supporting clinicians in the diagnosis, management and treatment of disease, conducting research into causes and cures of disease, and developing improved methods for disease detection.

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. Students can undertake clinical placement in public and private pathology in metropolitan and regional locations, as well as veterinary, forensic science and translational research laboratories.

Students may additionally qualify to participate in overseas study tours to gain insights into diagnostic pathology and medical research in countries such as Myanmar.

The honours component of this degree focuses higher level studies which includes 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, 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 will study natural and biomedical sciences, and during the third and fourth years you will strengthen your knowledge through clinical courses 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.

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 Scientists (AIMS). This can be completed in South Australia, interstate or overseas.

At the start of your fourth year of study, you can choose to undertake Advanced Clinical Practice for 13 weeks or Experimental Research Practice for 13 weeks. In both options, you will work as part of a team in a diagnostic or research setting either in on-campus or external laboratories, learning how to manage specimens, perform tests and operate equipment. Many placements have also led to employment for previous students – our graduates are in-demand.

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
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
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 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. You will have the option to choose from Advanced Clinical Practice or Experimental Research Practice as part of the honours component in the degree.

Your honours studies can be completed in SA pathology, private pathology, veterinary pathology or Forensic Science SA. Examples of previous honours projects include:

  • Neonatal exchange transfusion at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital: a review of current practice.
  • In-vitro inhibition of the glycolytic process: is a chemical or mechanical methodology superior in the diagnostic setting?
  • Flow cytometric assessment of minimal residual disease in B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: a validation report.
  • Role of breast tissue preparation protocols and breast biomarker quantification in the diagnosis and treatment of a breast cancer patient.
  • A study into the optimization of DNA extraction for whole genome sequencing from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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.

Why Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine (Honours)

Laboratory medicine student using campus laboratory facilities

This degree includes courses in haematology, transfusion science, clinical biochemistry, clinical microbiology, histopathology and cytopathology.

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. Some students may also complete research projects in the new $247m UniSA Cancer Research Institute.

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 secure employment before they graduate because 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.


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 will 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 patience. There are also career opportunities that involve conducting research into the causes and cures for disease.

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 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 14.2 per cent by May 2024.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


To May 2024, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 252,600 jobs.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.1

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

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 student at the University of South Australia 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, laboratories, and areas 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 have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, 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 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, a 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

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

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

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. 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

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 

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
Employment: Medical Scientist, SA Pathology

UniSA_29122430B (2).jpg

Mike Attwell

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