Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GC052 (External)

Study as
Part-time only

Degree overview

  • This qualification is for professionals who are looking to undertake advanced training in the dissection and preparation of human tissue for surgical pathology.
  • Learn in our virtual classroom environment and record competency in your workplace while keeping a workbook.
  • Combine online coursework with supervised on-site training in your workplace.
  • Perform surgical pathology dissection in a real-life clinical setting.


UniSA campus laboratory facililtiesAdvance your skills in the dissection, sampling and preparation of tissues for histopathological examination and diagnosis.

The program is available to those employed in a National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) accredited laboratory. Therefore, training will take place in your Australian-based workplace, in accordance with the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) requirements. This will be a pivotal part of your learning to complete the Surgical Pathology Workbook requirements. 

What you'll learn

Laboratory medicine student using campus laboratory facilities

You'll develop competency in:

  • The dissection, sampling and preparation of tissues
  • Specimen recording
  • Data storage and retrieval
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Occupation Health Safety and Welfare (OHS&W)
  • Equipment used
  • Macro and microphotography.

On-site training by a recognised supervisor, under the NPAAC requirements within your clinical setting will be a pivotal part of your learning.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Tissue Structure in Health and Disease BIOL 5008 4.5
Surgical Pathology Project BIOL 5006 4.5
Surgical Pathology Workbook BIOL 5007 9 Note(s): 1

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. 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: 

  • Delivery of case study reports
  • Seminar presentations and discussions on topics relevant to surgical pathology preparation (both external using virtual classroom software)
  • Recording competency development within surgical pathology preparation workbooks.

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

Why Graduate Certificate in Surgical Pathology Preparation

Why this Degree

Study the only qualification in Australia focusing on job expansion for Scientists and Technicians within surgical pathology preparation.

Competency development in the practice of surgical pathology preparation is a key focus of your studies. You’ll get to advance your knowledge, while putting your newly learned skills into practice under supervision in your workplace. This course is only available to study part-time, over a maximum of 12 months, and is only available within Australia (to satisfy NATA/ NPAAC workplace training requirements. 

Real-world connections

The practical on-site laboratory experience is a great opportunity for you to continue to build your network of industry contacts.

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

Online study

Online study

Part, or all, of this degree can be studied online. This means that you can:

  • study online, including accessing videos and course resources
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use discussion forums for team work and communication

With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment, you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. 

Please note that for some degrees, some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. Any applicable requirements will be detailed on individual course pages.

Career outcomes

Your career

This graduate certificate can extend your employment in surgical pathology across the following settings, both private and public:

  • Pathology diagnostic laboratories
  • Research settings
  • Forensic pathology.

Industry facts


Employment for health professionals is projected to increase by 15.2% by November 2025.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020


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

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019


To November 2025, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 249,500 jobs.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • Check you meet the full entry requirements for this program.
  • 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.


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

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and spaces that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets should you need, from dedicated student accommodation to private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages or explore our student accommodation by urbanest 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 services provide you with all the support you need at university. You can access a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling, career advice, social support services, as well as those through our student association, USASA. 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 advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

This qualification has been developed in conjunction with diagnostic pathology providers to facilitate the upskilling of the anatomical laboratory workplace. Students will deliver case studies and selected topics relevant to surgical pathology in an online environment. This is complemented with competency development within the clinical setting, preparing graduates to dissect and prepare human tissue for surgical pathology.

Mr Colin Gordon

Program Director

Portrait image for Mr Colin Gordon
Portrait image for Mr Colin Gordon

Mr Colin Gordon

Program Director


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