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MELS208 Introduction to Diagnostic Pathology

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

An introduction to diagnostic pathology, which examines professional, cultural and ethical issues and includes modules on microbiology and immunology, clinical biochemistry, haematology, transfusion science, histology, molecular diagnostics and clinical genetics.

MELS 208 provides an introduction to the profession of Medical Laboratory Science through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. In this paper you will begin to develop a sense of professional identity as you explore the role of the Medical Laboratory Scientist in patient health care. You will acquire new theoretical knowledge and laboratory skills. You will learn about the scientific principles underlying diagnostic laboratory tests and also how the tests are applied in selected patient diagnoses. Bioethics and cultural competence, with special reference to the Treaty of Waitangi, are important aspects of becoming a professional Medical Laboratory Scientist and are included in the paper.

Paper title Introduction to Diagnostic Pathology
Paper code MELS208
Subject Medical Laboratory Science
EFTS 0.3565
Points 45 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,968.22
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $14,526.66

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MELS 207, MELS 221
Limited to
For students enrolled in the second year of the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree
Teaching staff

Paper Convener: Dr Braeden Donaldson
Dr Judith Bateup
Dr Louise Bicknell
Dr Heather Brooks
Mandy Fisher
Professor Mac Gardner
Dr Jenny Grant
Dr David Markie
Sr Research Fellow Rob Weeks

Paper Structure
The paper consists of a series of modules reflecting the different sub-disciplines of medical laboratory science along with general aspects of practice. Module topics are: medical microbiology, virology and immunology; medical laboratory practice; diagnostic chemical pathology; histopathology; diagnostic haematology; transfusion science; molecular diagnostics.
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions
Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Ethics, Self-motivation, Teamwork, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Through exposure to the diagnostic laboratory environment and the type of work involved in the practice of laboratory medicine, students will develop a sense of professional identity, appropriate attitudes and ethical awareness.
  • Each module will provide a solid foundation for the third-year, discipline-specific papers.
  • The style of teaching encourages self-directed learning, collaboration and communication with peers, staff and health professionals.

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 36
Tuesday 09:00-10:50 37-38
Wednesday 09:00-10:50 31
E1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 38
Friday 16:00-16:50 30, 33


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 08:00-08:50 9, 36
Monday 10:00-10:50 34
Monday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 19, 37-40
Monday 11:00-12:50 28-33, 41
Monday 14:00-15:50 41
B1 Tuesday 09:00-10:50 40
Tuesday 10:00-10:50 34, 36, 39
Tuesday 14:00-14:50 18
C1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 40
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 34, 36-37, 39
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 18, 21
D1 Thursday 14:00-14:50 34, 39
Thursday 14:00-15:50 40
E1 Friday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 19-21


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-17:50 31-33
Monday 14:00-17:50 29-30, 36-38
B1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 12, 19, 21
C1 Thursday 09:00-12:50 10-12


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 20-21
Monday 14:00-16:50 40
B1 Tuesday 09:00-10:50 28-33
Tuesday 14:00-16:50 10, 22
C1 Wednesday 09:00-10:50 32
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 38
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 19-20
D1 Thursday 09:00-10:50 9
Thursday 14:00-15:50 28-29, 31-33, 36-37
E1 Friday 11:00-11:50 18