Study Medical Laboratory Science

What is medical laboratory science?

The advancement of modern medical practice relies on the work of medical laboratory scientists. Medical and clinical research is vital for increasing our understanding of disease processes and improved diagnosis, monitoring and treatment.

In this vitally important role, you will use cutting edge technology and instrumentation to perform testing on biological samples. Common focuses are on microscopy and molecular and genetic analysis techniques, however there are wide ranging opportunities within the field.

Medical laboratory scientists have a keen understanding of the relationship between microbiological, haematological, immunological, molecular and chemical testing for disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring.

As a result, they frequently collaborate with specialists in other fields, most commonly health practitioners, researchers and clinicians.

Medical laboratory science involves working as part of a multidisciplinary team, and those in the field continue to learn as new technologies are developed.

The diverse range of specimens they work with means that many medical laboratory scientists are knowledgeable in several related areas of science including microbiology, histology, molecular biology, haematology and transfusion science.

The field involves a cross-section of extensive theoretical and medical knowledge that combines with practical research and laboratory-oriented abilities for a career that is diverse and ever-changing.

Discover JCU's
Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences

Hone your analysis and communication skills and contribute to research and clinical practice that can improve patient outcomes.

What does a medical laboratory scientist do?

Medical laboratory scientists work across clinical and healthcare settings. Your work could be focused on sample testing and aiding patient diagnosis, or you could conduct research in one of the many areas of health that require medical laboratory experience.

Contribute to the vital work being done within blood donating and blood-based research. Your pathology skills will enable you to draw, test, bank and examine blood samples within a variety of situations.

Medical laboratory scientists are frequently on the frontline in identifying sources and causes of infection. You comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, pathology, physiology, microbiology, virology and genetics can assist in understanding the origins of disease, whether on an individual or a global scale.

In addition to blood testing, medical laboratory scientists also analyse a range of medical specimens, including urine, saliva and a range of biopsy samples. Play a role in the diagnosis of disease or locate patterns amongst samples and assist in vital medical research.

Quality assurance is a core aspect of medical laboratory science. No matter which area you work within, you’ll benefit from a commitment to accuracy and clear processes. Tests, checks and balances are all vital to ensuring effective outcomes in a medical laboratory.

Medical laboratory science is a field in which you can put your management skills to work. Most medical laboratories involve many moving parts and deal with numerous samples every day. Those skilled at organisation, collaboration and managing people are highly valued within the field.

Well-developed communication skills are also essential. Medical laboratory scientists communicate in a variety of written forms, as their results are communicated to requesting clinicians. Working within the research space, you’ll also develop the confidence to communicate your findings verbally, particularly when called upon to explain data or provide opinions.

What jobs are there in medical laboratory science?

Medical laboratory scientists frequently work in hospitals or private laboratories. They are often at the forefront of rapidly advancing scientific work in diagnostic pathology. When you study Medical Laboratory Science at JCU, you’ll become adept at providing advanced diagnostic capacities to a variety of industries.

You may find yourself working in public and private hospitals, laboratories, clinics and government agencies. Embrace available opportunities across Australia and overseas.

When you study a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, majoring in Medical Laboratory Science at JCU, you’ll be equipped for further study, training or work in fields such as:

  • Clinical embryology
  • Clinical science
  • Clinical trial coordination
  • Cytology
  • Hospital science
  • In-vitro fertilisation
  • Laboratory science
  • Research.
A man wearing a blue medical lab coat and safety goggles sits at a stainless steel bench holding a sample container.
A woman wearing a white lab coat holds a sample container behind a transparent window and examines it.

Why study Medical Laboratory Science at JCU?

When you study Medical Laboratory Science at JCU, with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, you’ll receive the practical learning you need to apply your degree to any of the varied opportunities available within the field. Graduates are flexible, innovative and understand how the real-world applications of their qualifications are set to evolve in the future.

Embrace the opportunities that come with studying a degree with multiple transfer and entry points to similar courses. Your biomedical science studies may unearth an interest in medicine, pharmacy, clinical practice, research and more. The Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences has been structured to ensure the subjects reflect the learning outcomes present in many of these study areas. Benefit from the flexibility to take on a particular specialisation or transfer into a course specific to that area.

At JCU, you’re more than just a number. Small class sizes and supportive lecturers mean that you’ll receive an education that is tailored to your needs. Access a range of study supports and build your skills alongside those committed to ensuring your success.

Receive hands-on experience in the lab from your first year. Learning alongside experienced academics and industry experts, you’ll get a feel for several areas of the biomedical sciences, empowering you to decide what you specialise in. You may have the opportunity to hone your skills further through training within JCU’s world-class research centres, including the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.

When you study the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences on-campus at JCU Townsville Bebegu Yumba campus, Douglas, you’ll have access to our active student community. The Biomedicine and Medical Laboratory (BMML) Society is a student-run organisation for students undertaking degrees within biomedical science, medical laboratory science and clinical science. Connect with your peers and receive valuable academic and social support. You’ll begin to build a network that could support you for years to come.

Be ready today for tomorrow with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences from JCU. With flexible study options and a supportive community, you’ll find that there’s a place for you at JCU.

JCU Medical Laboratory Sciences (now Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences) alumni Blake Hughes.

Blake Hughes


Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, majoring in Medical Laboratory Science
[formerly known as the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (Honours)]

“I first started Medical Laboratory Science with a keen interest in a broad range of subjects offered. This interest only increased when I stepped into the lab. The instruments and facilities available at JCU match those of a real medical laboratory. This helped me go into my placements with confidence and experience.”

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