Pathology is the study of human disease at the molecular, cellular and organ systems levels.
Studying Pathology will allow you to learn about diseases caused by genetic, infectious, immunological and environmental injury, including how diseases affect cells and organ systems, and how diseases can be detected and treated.
At Otago, the study of Pathology is included in health professional courses as well as the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science programmes.
Why study Pathology
Understanding human disease is key to the development of effective treatments. Students who complete Pathology papers at the University of Otago will have an integrated knowledge of the biology of disease.
Our undergraduate Pathology papers at Otago provide a foundation for basic and translationally focused post-graduate research and graduate entry into professional programmes.
A single discipline Pathology minor will produce graduates who can blend biomedical science with clinical knowledge to respond to global health challenges.
No specific secondary school subject requirements, however Year 13 Biology and Chemistry are recommended. Calculus and Statistics are also useful.
Pathology at Otago
Pathology is offered as a minor for a three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.
A Pathology minor in the BSc programme integrates with other papers offered in the BSc programme and integrates well with other majors in Biomedical sciences, as well as with a range of other subjects.
Pathology is also offered as part of the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (BBiomedSc) degree. We also offer core papers in the Molecular Basis of Human Disease major in the BBiomedSc Programme. Pathology papers are also available as options in four additional BBiomedSc majors.
Teaching is delivered in lectures and laboratories. Laboratories provide hands-on experience and demonstrate the principles that underpin the understanding of the pathogenesis of disease.
Postgraduate study in Pathology
There are currently various options open to students seeking to further their education in Pathology at 4th year and beyond.
Students who have completed any of the majors in the BBiomedSc programme can enrol in a BBiomedSc(Hons) in the Department of Pathology. The BBiomedSc(Hons) can be in any of the majors, including the Molecular Basis of Health and Disease. Some students who have completed a BSc in appropriate subjects may also be permitted to complete a BBiomedSc(Hons).
Students who have completed a BSc in Genetics can complete a BSc(Hons) in Genetics that includes a research project based in the Department of Pathology.
Further postgraduate study includes options such as a Masters in Biomedical Science, a Masters in Science (subject to joint supervision with a department that offers the MSc), or a PhD.
- 400-level study
- MSc/PhD study
Pathology research at Otago
Our staff undertake internationally-recognised Pathology research.
This research is focused on three thematic areas:
- Translational Cancer Research
- Developmental Biology
The types of medical and scientific problems that this research addresses include:
- Cancer cell biology
- Genomics and molecular markers for cancer
- Cancer drug resistance
- Cancer immunology
- Stem cell biology and cell fate determination
- Epigenetics of human disease
- Genetics of early development
Otago graduates who include Pathology papers within their qualifications find employment in a wide variety of areas.
Recent developments in fields such as biotechnology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology and medicine have increased the demand for graduates with a background in Pathology.
Graduates can opt to follow a traditional academic research pathway, or work in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Graduates are also employed as managers and advisers in government agencies.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages:
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc)
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Minor subject requirements
Pathology as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree
Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree
ANAT 241 Human Biology: Cells to Systems
BIOC 221 Molecular Biology
PATH 201 Foundations in Human Pathology
PATH 301 Advanced Pathology
PATH 302 Cancer Biology
Note: Prerequisites for constituent papers are: