What is a medical laboratory scientist?
Medical laboratory scientists are skilled health professionals who provide the laboratory-based tests and assays necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. 70% of diagnoses made by clinical staff (such as doctors) depend on laboratory tests. In fact, the practice of modern medicine would not be possible without medical laboratory scientists.
In addition to working in hospital and community diagnostic laboratories, medical laboratory scientists play important roles in other areas such as medical research, forensic science, and biotechnology.
Medical laboratory science covers a wide range of subjects. As a medical laboratory scientist, you can choose to become a specialist in one particular area after you graduate:
- Chemical pathology – Changes in blood chemistry relating to illnesses like diabretes, cancer, drug dependency, and heart disease.
- Haematology – Detection of diseases related to blood such as leukaemia and bleeding disorders.
- Histology and cytology – Microscopic analysis of tissues and cells to identify abnormalities observed in cancer biopsies and cervical smears.
- Immunology – Tests for changes in the immune response indicating infection, gluten and other allergies, and autoimmune diseases.
- Microbiology and virology – Detection of harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites causing diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, and skin infections.
- Transfusion science – The use of blood products and blood group identification is essential for organ transplantation, blood transfusion, and clotting factor deficiencies.
- Molecular diagnostics – Nucleic acid testing has a wide range of applications. The ability to detect gene abnormalities has significantly advanced diagnosis and treatment of many diseases.
Admission to the BMLSc programme
The BMLSc is a four-year degree, including Health Sciences First Year (HSFY).
All applicants seeking admission under the HSFY category must have passed all seven HSFY papers with at least a B- grade (65%) overall average. UCAT (the University Clinical Aptitude Test) is not required.
The Admissions Committee will firstly select from those applicants who are applying under Single Programme Preference. Thereafter if places are still available, the Committee will select from the applicants that have applied to multiple Health Sciences professional programmes.
There are other routes of admission for students who have completed two or more years of University study, or who are University graduates. International students should apply under the International category for admissions.
If scientific research is your passion, a postgraduate degree provides an opportunity to further your education. The BMLSc(Honours) degree is one option. If you gain your BMLSc with credit or distinction, you are eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science (PGDipMLSc). This is a one-year programme which can be undertaken in most areas of medical laboratory science.
If you then gain your PGDipMLSc with credit or distinction, you can undertake a further year of research and study to gain a Master of Medical Laboratory Science (MMLSc).
There are opportunities for high-achieving students to progress to a PhD through a further three-year programme of research and study.
How to apply
Application information for admission into the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLSc) programme is available on the Division of Health Sciences website:
Medical Laboratory Science: Guidelines for Admission
There are no subject requirements for entry into the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme, but we recommend you take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in Year 13.
If considering tertiary study before enrolling in HSFY, you are strongly advised to contact Health Sciences Admissions beforehand.