Molecular Tests and Techniques for Histopathology MED5458

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge of the currently available molecular tests and theories behind molecular biological techniques, by pathologists, pathology trainees who are undertaking histopathology training under the Royal College of Pathologists Curriculum for Specialty Training in Histopathology, and those who are in the relevant health professions.


Online delivery of core taught materials (lectures, videos/quizzes etc) supported by weekly tutorials.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Portfolio of case based work drawn from weekly tutorials (50%)


Oral Presentation ca. 15mins with a further 10mins for questions (50%)

Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with knowledge of the essential molecular biology techniques, including sequencing, PCR, microarrays, in situ hybridisation and mutation detection, and the commonly used molecular tests in the current diagnosis, and understanding of the underlying principles.


The course also aims to develop the students' proficiency in the core skill areas, including critical assessment of sampling approaches appropriate for each molecular test and technique, critical evaluation of analytical processes, and recognition and awareness of databases and bioinformatics that support the current and future molecular tests.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Provide a critical overview of the molecular biology techniques that are relevant in molecular pathology diagnosis.

2. Critically discuss the currently available molecular tests and how the results are interpreted.

3. Critically discuss the ethical issues surrounding the molecular pathology diagnosis.

4. Critically evaluate the methods of sample collection and preparation.

5. Illustrate the important contributions of databases and bioinformatics in current and future molecular diagnostic tests.

6. Communicate effectively with clinicians and scientists regarding molecular tests and techniques that are relevant in molecular pathology diagnosis.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.