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MELS401 Advanced Diagnostic Chemical Pathology

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

The advanced study of chemical pathology and clinical chemistry.

Chemical pathology, also known as clinical chemistry or clinical biochemistry, involves the investigation of the biochemical and molecular changes that occur as part of the disease process. This involves the analysis of the biochemical components of various types of patient samples, such as blood and urine. This paper focuses on the laboratory-based analysis of clinical samples, utilising modern diagnostic instrumentation and techniques and the interpretation and integration of pathophysiology with laboratory results. There is a strong emphasis on attaining both the knowledge and practical skills to practise as a medical laboratory scientist in a chemical pathology laboratory setting. All aspects of the core diagnostic techniques are covered, including how these are performed, limitations and clinical applications.

Paper title Advanced Diagnostic Chemical Pathology
Paper code MELS401
Subject Medical Laboratory Science
EFTS 0.5
Points 60 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,209.00
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $20,781.50

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MELX 401
Limited to

Available to students who have passed all second- and third-year Medical Laboratory papers.


Teaching staff

Paper Convener: Cat Ronayne
Supervisor: Clinical diagnostic laboratory staff

Teaching Arrangements

This paper is a 15-week, distance-taught placement working in a clinical diagnostic laboratory within New Zealand, Australia or Denmark.

No textbooks are required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will have
  • An in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts of chemical pathology and how these relate to the biochemical abnormalities observed in disease
  • An in-depth understanding of the various laboratory techniques used during the analysis of clinical specimens and their limitations
  • An in-depth understanding of quality assurance and how this relates to the chemical pathology laboratory
  • The ability to interpret data from laboratory investigations and integrate these with relevant clinical information and pathophysiology
  • Attained the necessary skills to be fit for provisional registration for practice as a medical laboratory scientist

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system