Cellular Pathology - Standalone module

This course is for you if you need to 'top-up' your existing degree to become a registered biomedical scientist, or if you wish to obtain a comprehensive overview of the key concepts, techniques and current laboratory practice in cellular pathology (histopathology and cytopathology), including the role biomedical science plays in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of disease.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


Registration covers one academic year.

UCAS code(s)

Start date

Explore Cellular Pathology - Standalone module at Aston University

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    Key information, entry requirements and fees

    Key information

    Credit value: 10 credits

    Specific level: This is a Level 5 module, equivalent to a foundation degree.

    Mode of delivery: Distance learning

    Course type: Standalone module 

    Number of places available: Up to 15

    Applications: all applications are made online using our online application form. You will be required to confirm the name and mode of study (online) for each of the Biomedical Science top-up modules you will be applying for by listing them in your personal statement. This is a compulsory part of your application and missing information may result in a prolonged delay in processing your application. Our full list of available modules in this suite of courses includes:

    More information on each of these modules can be found here

    For those who are taking this module in order to 'top-up' your existing degree for IBMS registration, please refer to our entry requirements for more details on IMBS set deadlines.

    Start date: September 2023.

    Duration: Registration covers one academic year. Course delivery is scheduled over approximately 10 weeks, with an examination in May. Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around five hours a week studying throughout the duration of the course delivery, with an additional 50 hours spent on directed learning and revision prior to the May examination, equivalent to around 100 hours of study in total.

    Entry requirements
    • General entry requirements: In order to study this module you must have a non-accredited undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences or an undergraduate degree in a related field (such as biology or biochemistry). 
    • Taking this module in order to 'top-up' your existing degree for IBMS registration: Prior to registering for a top-up module (or modules) you need to contact the Institute of Biomedical Science. They will assess your degree in order to confirm that it is eligible for 'top-up' and to determine the additional subject areas in which you need further qualifications. We recommend you contact the IBMS by June in the year of application to ensure that you have confirmation of your module requirements in time to register for your modules with Aston University.
    • Degrees not eligible for Top-up: If your degree is not eligible for top up but you still wish to become a registered Biomedical Scientist, we recommend that you apply to take our accredited BSc Biomedical Science undergraduate degree.
    • Taking this module for professional development: No additional requirements apply
    • International students: We welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa. Unfortunately we are not able to accept applications from international students who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. We are also not able to accept international students to take the distance learning route. You will be asked to provide a scanned copy of your UK visa, and of your passport when you submit the online registration form so that we can check you are eligible to take the top up modules.

    For Sept 2023 Start: £750 per 10 credits


    Professional accreditation

    This course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).

    Speak to our Admissions Team

    If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

    Email: professionalcpd@aston.ac.uk

    Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm BST)

    Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

    Course outline and what you will study

    Module Learning Outcomes:
    Following completion of this module, students should be able to:

    • Discuss and appraise the organisation, role and function of cellular pathology laboratories within the NHS.
    • Discuss and apply your knowledge of how the concepts and processes of cellular pathology are applied in the diagnostic laboratory and how quality is controlled.
    • Discuss and apply your knowledge and comprehension of appropriate diagnostic tests to investigate various disease states.
    • Discuss and apply your knowledge of the underpinning scientific principles of investigations provided by clinical laboratory services.

    Module Content:

    • The gross structure and ultrastructure of normal cells and tissues and the structural changes which may occur during disease.
    • Reproductive science, including infertility and embryology.
    • The preparation of tissues and cells (fixation, embedding, microtomy) for microscopic examination.
    • The principles and applications of visualisation and imaging techniques (including microscopy) to aid diagnosis and treatment.

    This course is part of the School of Biosciences which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.

    Learning, teaching and assessment

    This module is available via distance learning. We welcome applications from international students who are already in the UK with a valid visa; however we are not able to accept those who wish to come to the UK solely to take this course. Students taking this course by distance learning must be based in the UK.

    Students must attend an online BMS Top-up Induction session in week zero (mid-September), at which we will show you how to access your university record and Blackboard (the Virtual Learning Environment). All course material, including recorded lectures, self-assessment quizzes, timetables, and some directed reading will be available on Blackboard online; coursework submission and feedback are also mainly via this route. Blackboard allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

    Distance learning, the study can be spread out over the term and a week-by-week study guide is available. Recorded lectures are made available after they are delivered to attendance students as detailed above.

    Assessment compromises of online examinations

    Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of life and health sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff currently practise or have practised professionally. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

    Biomedical Sciences Top Up Modules Course DirectorDr Jonathan Cox

    Module Coordinator: Dr A Vernallis

    Career prospects

    Our CPD courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.

    These modules will allow you to obtain the academic competences that are required to apply to the Health Professions Council for Registration as a Biomedical Scientist.

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