SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B126380
Module Leader Gillian Gibson
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

SCQF 8 Physiology/Pathophysiology or similar subject

Summary of Content

The module is designed to provide information on the cellular changes that occur in the pathology of major systems and how the disease state may affect structure and function of the different systems. Information will include: a) An appreciation of changes in the cellular, tissue and organ morphology due to disease processes; b). Details of alterations in cellular, tissue and organ function due to disease; c). Cellular pathology techniques e.g. microtomy, microscopy, staining, immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence. A pathology focused data analysis style lab report will assess combined understanding of immunohistochemical techniques, their advantages and limitations and interpretation of histological samples.


Theory behind the preparation of tissues and cells (fixation, embedding, microtomy) for microscopic examination and an introduction to the use of artificial intelligence and digital pathology. Causes of disease and alterations in cell function leading to changes in cellular, tissue and organ morphology, in the following systems; Cardiovascular System: the cellular changes underlying the development of atherosclerosis, ischaemic cardiac muscle deterioration, cardiac failure & peripheral vascular disease. Respiratory System : Obstructive Lung Diseases - the effects of Emphysema and Asthma, Restrictive Lung Diseases - Adult respiratory distress syndrome, Chronic Intrinsic Restrictive Lung Disease. Pneumonia. Histopathological changes of the lung brought about by the above conditions. Renal System: General changes in renal function associated with renal pathology; pathological changes in glomerulonephritis, acute tubular necrosis; pre-, intra- and post-renal factors; chronic renal failure. Reproductive System: Cellular changes associated with male and female infertility cervical, testicular, ovarian prostatic and breast cancers. Molecular markers of reproductive tumours. Cytopathology using smears and fine needle aspirations. Immunocytochemistry as a diagnostic aid in breast cancer. Gastrointestinal Tract: Will include alterations of gastrointestinal function - motility disorders of the upper GIT including gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, gastritis, gastric ulcer. Alterations in the function of the hepatobiliary system - including jaundice, cirrhosis, cholecystitis. Endocrine System: Pathological changes in pituitary gland leading to alterations in pituitary hormone release and the related downstream pathological consequences at multiple target organs. Pathologies of thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and endocrine pancreas will also be covered. Relation of negative feedback to pituitary and hypothalamus and consequences of endocrine imbalance and disease on feedback. Laboratory Work: Will include practical sessions on microtomy, microscopy, staining, immunohistochemistry & immunofluorescence and subsequent analysis of data generated.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Define the principal causes of pathology and distinguish the cellular mechanisms underlying basic pathology.2. Critically evaluate the localised and systematic pathophysiological consequences and clinical features of a range of diseases.3. Perform basic pathology laboratory techniques and demonstrate ability to critically analyse, evaluate and interpret data.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be taught by formal lectures, laboratory and tutorial sessions, student-centred learning, data analysis, review and revision sessions. Student-centred learning involving library, textbook and electronic learning resources in managed learning environments will enhance the learning process. Laboratory sessions will analyse tissue and cell specific proteins using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and special histological stains, which will allow basic organ structure to be viewed using light microscopy.

Indicative Reading

Robbins Basic Pathology, 10 th Ed. Kumar K, Abbas A & Aster J (2018). Elseiver, Philadelphia ((ISBN 9780323480543) Porths Pathophysiology: concepts of altered health states. 10th Edition, Norris TL & Lalchandani R (2018). Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, USA. Wheater's Pathology: A text, Atlas and review of Histopathology 6 th Ed. (2019), O'Dowd G, Bell S, & Wright S. Elsevier, Philadelphia (ISBN 978-0-702-07559-9) Underwood's Pathology - a clinical approach 7th Ed. Cross SS (2019), Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier London (ISBN 9780702072123) Histology and Cell Biology: An introduction to pathology, 5 th Ed. Kierszenbaum A & Tres L (2019) Elsevier, Philadelphia (ISBN 9780323673211) Individual tutors may also recommend reading material. This will include relevant recent scientific papers and reviews.

Transferrable Skills

The student's personal transferable skills will be extended in the following areas: a) development of good laboratory practice, b) advanced data analysis and interpretation, c) use of computers for information retrieval from GCULearn and approved internet sources, d) communicating information in a logical and coherent fashion, e) developing an ability to retrieve information using the library and electronic resources, f) scientific laboratory techniques. Generic transferable skills will also be gained, such as; working in small groups, working independently, presentation and communication skills, IT skills, critical thinking.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 126.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 3.00 60.00 35% Exam
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 35% Data analysis