University of South Australia

Laboratory Medicine

Interested in Laboratory Medicine?

Make the diagnosis that could save lives as an accredited medical laboratory scientist.

Medical laboratory scientists play a significant role in Australia’s health system. Working in diagnostic pathology laboratories across Australia, they support clinicians by diagnosing, managing and treating diseases through testing patient samples, conducting research into the causes and cures of disease, and developing improved methods for disease detection.

Our Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine (Honours) was South Australia's first fully accredited degree with the Australian Institute of Medical and Clinical Scientists (AIMS). As a four-year honours degree, you will graduate ahead of the pack with sound knowledge and skills to enter the exciting world of diagnostic pathology, or continue into a rewarding career in research. Benefit from clinical placements in a real lab, study advanced courses, and undertake a research project or advanced clinical placement aligned with your career goals.

Prepare for a rewarding career in laboratory medicine with South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate careers in health.1

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22, Health Services and Support – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). SA public universities.

Key features

  • Learn how to diagnose and track the treatment of human disease and bring new discoveries to light.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to work as a medical laboratory scientist in diagnostic pathology or research.
  • Work alongside experienced researchers when you complete research preparation and project courses during your final year.
  • Study South Australia’s only degree accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).
  • Gain practical experience in on-campus, purpose-built laboratories and facilities with equipment used in a real-world diagnostic environment.
  • Be taught 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.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Why UniSA?

UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,1 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.

Our enterprising spirit has made UniSA a renowned centre of innovation in the sectors driving Australia's future forward, including health and biomedicine. This is your chance to position yourself with advanced scientific knowledge in an era of rapid change.

As an industry-connected university, you will benefit from valuable practical work experience opportunities matched to your career goals. You’ll benefit from 13 weeks of real industry experience in a clinical setting in your third year, providing real-world experience and networking opportunities. Graduate ahead of the pack with an esteemed honours degree, where you will learn advanced courses needed for accreditation, and can choose a project aligned with your career outcomes: either participating in advanced clinical placement, or undertaking a research project.

You’ll be taught by industry professionals and expert academics through a practical approach to learning, and will practice your skills in our purpose-built, on-campus facilities and laboratories that emulate a real-world laboratory environment.

1Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.

UniSA offers the following Laboratory Medicine degrees

Choose your level of study

Short programs

Are you after a career change or looking to upgrade your existing skills? Or perhaps you just have an interest in a particular subject area and want to further your experience, skills and knowledge. We offer a suite of short programs that will allow you to build your knowledge and skill set.

Designed in collaboration with expert academics, program content is industry-relevant and up-to-date. In the laboratory medicine area we offer the Professional Certificate in Practice Education and Supervision.

World-class partners for a world-class university

We are a globally connected university with over 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement.

SA Health logo

Your career

As a medical laboratory scientist, you'll support clinicians in the diagnosis, management, treatment of disease and help develop improved tests for disease detection.

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.

Your Career

Global networks

We are a globally connected university, our staff and students come from over 90 countries. We have more than 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement. Our students have completed placements and internships with organisations like:

  • SA Pathology
  • Healthscope
  • Clinpath Laboratories
  • Abbott Pathology
  • Forensic Science SA

Industry facts

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To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,000 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

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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

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Employment for medical laboratory scientists is projected to increase by 5.6% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

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 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

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

Why study at UniSA?

As one of the most innovative universities in Australia and Asia, there are many reasons to study with us. Here are just three:

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Accessible, helpful and flexible

We have six campuses, a 24/7 online learning environment, and we offer flexible study options like online and evening courses.

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Graduate success

UniSA is South Australia's number one university for graduate careers.*
*ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-21 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.

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A five star university

Five stars for research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness and innovation*
*2022 QS Stars Ratings