Subject Guide

Pathology Degree

Uni Compare  · Dec 7th 2023

A Pathology degree is a degree that focuses on the way various pathogens or diseases can affect the human body.

Pathology Degree

This degree is a science-based subject and it is a degree that links in to the same teachings as a Biology degree or a Biomedical Sciences degree. A Pathology degree will look at a human beings, but will also look at animals and insects as well, which means you can also look at jobs working with animals as well as human beings.

Pathology Degree

What is a Pathology degree?

A Pathology degree is a degree that takes an in-depth look at organisms and diseases. A Pathology degree looks to arm students with the knowledge that may one day be able to cure some of the biggest diseases and pathogens that affect the world today.

Pathology looks at these diseases in a very thorough way, looking at the molecules and cells that make up various diseases and tissues.

A Pathology degree is often studied as part of a joint honours degree with a Pharmacy degree or a Medicine degree, as it allows students to understand the process of creation of medicine and how the subject of Pathology can help with other areas of Medical Sciences.

What can you do with a Pathology degree?

A Pathology degree opens up a number of jobs in the world of medical science or Medical Technology.

The most common career for a Pathology degree graduate is to become a Pathologist. A Pathologist is someone who will diagnose and treat diseases in patients and animals. A common misconception, especially on the internet, is that Pathologists only ever deal with dead bodies, which is not entirely true. Though many Pathologists do work with dead bodies (which is more common under Histopathology), they also devote just as much, if not more, time with the living as well. Pathologists will deal with different subsections as well, such as:

  • Chemical Pathology: Laboratory-based and dealing with patients.
  • Haematology: Diagnosing disorders of the blood.
  • Histopathology: Dealing with cells and tissue samples, specifically geared towards cancer management.
  • Microbiology and virology: Prevention of diseases in hospitals.
Francis Camps was a famous English Pathologist who studied at Marlborough College.

A lot of students also look at the possibilities of becoming doctors or surgeons as well. A doctor is someone who is able to give an overview of a problem afflicting a patient, but also aware of the implications that a pharmaceutical-based recovery might take; whereas, a surgeon is someone who deals with actually operating on patients, performing more complicated procedures that cannot be done as part of a routine outpatients procedure.

It is also possible to become a Crime Scene Investigator. A Crime Scene Investigator is someone who investigates the crime scene and preserves evidences and the immediate area. They may occasionally be involved with the post-mortem aspects of a crime, but this is rare. You will be charged with taking photographic evidence, collecting physical samples from a scene and evidence.

Another common career path is to become a Cardiologist. A Cardiologist is someone who specialises in conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. A Cardiologist will occasionally be asked to take part in procedures affecting the heart and may be asked to run an operation or other procedures.

Pathology Degree

What A Levels do I need?

You will need science-based subjects for a Pathology degree. Entry requirements change depending on the university you apply to and the entry requirements for that specific year (as they change all the time), but almost all universities will insist that you have a science-based A Level prior to application, preferably in either Chemistry or Biology, though some may make an exception for Physics too.

As for grades, this will depend on the university, but most will want around an AAB, given how advanced the subject is.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment for a Pathology degree will depend on the university, but most Pathology degrees tend to have practical and theory-based elements.

The practical elements of the degree will be operating on cadavers and carrying out lab-based experimentations. You will need to show that you can carry out various tasks under test conditions and as part of practical-based controlled assessments.

For the theoretical elements, you will have one-on-one meetings with your tutors, work assignments, controlled assessments, coursework, dissertations and examinations as well.

Pathology looks at these diseases in a very thorough way, looking at the molecules and cells that make up various diseases and tissues.

What skills will I learn with a Pathology degree?

A Pathology degree will equip students with a number of key skills for later in life.

Research skills are vitally important, especially when it comes to science-based subjects, so a Pathology degree is a great place to start to learn new skills or develop new skills around research. Research is important as it often informs the decisions you make regarding diagnosis or for experiments. You will need to focus on ensuring that the information you're trying to find will be accurate and is related to what you're doing.

Writing is important as well, as you will often be required to set detailed instructions and will be required to report on your findings as well. Writing down what you find, how you found it or even what your hypothesis is for a certain outcome is very important.

Listening skills are important as well and in some cases, it may be the difference between life and death. In a lab or in a procedure, you may be putting yourself in danger and listening carefully to the instructions you're given could be what keeps you alive. You also need to make sure that you're doing exactly what has been asked of you. Time lost is money lost, so if you spend your time doing the wrong thing, you could make life very difficult for yourself.

Pathology Degree

Will it get me a job?

No degree will guarantee any student a job, but a Pathology degree is a degree that is likely to find you more jobs than you think.

For a lot of students, leaving university is an uncertain time and ends up leaving you with annoying, underpaid or sometimes unpaid internships. This can be a daunting prospect for a number of students, but all students after university will experience this in some way, so don't let it get you down!

A Pathology degree is a degree that takes an in-depth look at organisms and diseases.

If your degree included a placement year, then there is a really good chance that you will have some useful contacts to speak to as well, so we recommend that you give them a ring where possible and see what they can do for you.

Famous alumni

Francis Camps was a famous English Pathologist who aided the police in the capture and investigation of serial killer John Christie and the suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. Camps studied at Marlborough College.

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