Jul 10th 2017

Histology: Using Microscopy to Study Anatomy and Identify Disease (FutureLearn)

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Get an introduction to histology – the study of anatomy at a microscopic level – and find out how it is used to identify disease. This free online course will help you understand the basic principles of light microscopy, before introducing you to histology, concentrating on the structure, function and relationship of normal human tissues.

You will gain access to a virtual microscope, enabling you to compare normal tissues with pathological (or diseased) tissues, and find out how pathologists use histopathology, to examine tissues at a microscopic level and identify disease.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

• understand the basic principles of microscopy

• identify a number of the more common tissues from their histological appearance

• relate the structure of tissues seen under the microscope to their function

• identify gross abnormalities, such as neurodegeneration, inflammation and cancer.

This courses has been produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.


This course is designed for students studying human biology at school or university, medical laboratory scientists and anyone interested in biomedical science.

You will be making extensive use of a virtual microscope that will work on all modern browsers on both desktops and tablets. However, we recommend completing the course on a desktop for better viewing of the sections and to enable integration of microscopy with the course text, images and video in separate windows.