VSC310 Principles of Pathobiology (8)

This subject provides an introduction to the study of disease processes in animals. The mechanisms by which infectious and non-infectious agents cause developmental, degenerative, circulatory, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases in animals will be studied. Genetic, microbial, parasitic, immunological, metabolic, nutritional and toxic causes of disease will be considered. Students will be introduced to the host defence and immune system and will develop the descriptive skills so necessary in gross and microscopic pathology.

This is a Key subject in the Bachelor of Veterinary Biology, Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) Degree


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC310. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Bachelor of Veterinary Biology,
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science and
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)


VSC223 and VSC227

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe, using appropriate examples, disease processes in animals including the mechanism of entry of aetiological agents, cell injury, circulatory disturbances, inflammation, repair and regeneration and host defence mechanisms;
  • be able to recognise bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and parasites, explain the importance of the host-pathogen-environment relationship in the disease process;
  • be able to describe the key morphological features of the major classes of microbial agents and parasites;
  • be able to use examples to outline the importance of how life cycles are relevant to the epidemiology of key classes of parasites;
  • be able to summarise the important mechanisms that result in neoplastic and developmental disorders;
  • be able to observe, recognise and describe normal and abnormal gross and histological specimens from different organs and tissues;
  • be able to write, using correct scientific terminology, accurate gross and histopathological descriptions and reports.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Pathological processes
  • Aetiological agents
  • Cell injury and adaptation or death, inflammation, repair and regeneration with some emphasis on the process of wound healing and species variation (eg proud flesh in horses)
  • Host-pathogen-environment relationship
  • Neoplastic disorders
  • Developmental disorders
  • Normal and abnormal macroscopic and microscopic cells, tissues and organs of the different body systems.
  • Sampling techniques: biopsies, needle aspirates, tissue collection.
  • Slide preparation and staining techniques.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of VSC310 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Mid-semester exam
Assignment 3
Assignment 4
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.