University of Technology, Sydney

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96202 Principles and Use of Medical Terminology

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge necessary to understand information included in medical records. Within each body system, students are introduced to terminology used to describe the disease processes; their associated diagnostic and therapeutic procedures; and their correct English spelling and Australian pronunciation. Through working with de-identified medical records, students are provided with the opportunity to develop the ability to analyse, interpret, evaluate and communicate information extracted from heath records.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology, disease processes and treatment, including pharmacology, pathology, radiology and other clinical investigations, to understand information presented in a medical record
B. Apply knowledge in medical term construction to correctly pronounce and spell medical terms used by medical specialties in the diagnosis, treatment and management of health conditions
C. Analyse and interpret information presented in medical records
D. Evaluate the quality of information about the human body and functioning as recorded in a medical record
E. Apply knowledge of medical vocabularies and clinical terms to extract, investigate, evaluate and communicate health information to a target audience in order to develop insight for service improvement

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges (1.1)
  • Initiate and explain change management methodologies appropriate to improving healthcare outcomes (1.3)
  • Justify and demonstrate appropriate leadership styles and skills necessary to manage, evaluate and innovate healthcare services utilising contemporary local, national and international perspectives (2.1)
  • Develop and contribute to research and quality improvement activities in order to maintain knowledge currency and influence healthcare practice and policy (2.2)
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in challenging, complex and diverse situations (4.0)
  • Determine and recommend modes of communication necessary to optimise outcomes across differing audiences, purposes and contexts within healthcare practice (4.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

1. Critical thinking:
1.1 Critique, interpret and synthesise data and research findings to develop safe, effective and evidence-based solutions to healthcare challenges

2. Leadership:
2.2 Develop and contribute to research and quality improvement activities in order to maintain knowledge currency and influence healthcare practice and policy

3. Accountability:
3.2 Validate the importance of integrating stakeholder partnerships in all healthcare decision making activities

4. Communication:
4.1 Value and choose highly effective and sensitive communication with diverse populations to enable positive and sustainable change in healthcare practice, policy and research at an advanced level

Teaching and learning strategies

Pre-session learning
Students access online learning resources such as podcasts, videos and literature prior to attending face-to-face on-campus sessions to improve their confidence in approaching the proposed content, afford them time to construct questions, and facilitate discussion in class, resulting in shared learning, experiences and reflections. The specific sessions will be detailed in this subject outline and all resources will be located on UTSOnline.

Blend of online and face-to-face strategies
This subject benefits from both the real time delivery of content and access to resources via UTSOnline, including podcasts, videos and learning resources. The weekly three hour workshops provide a variety of activities for each content area. Students will learn the meaning of medical terminologies, the correct Australian pronunciation, and practice how to apply this knowledge in understanding and evaluating information presented in a medical record.

Case based scenarios and collaboration
Modified discharge summaries will be used as summative learning tool. Students will collaborate and use these scenarios to learn concepts and meaning of medical terms learned and to apply this knowledge in understanding and evaluating information presented in a medical record. Self, peer and teacher feedback is provided during the sessions to develop students’ judgement.

Assessment range
Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment modes, including a series of quizzes, a presentation, and a report of medical record review. Feedback will be provided on assessments to ensure students can identify areas for development and areas of sufficient expertise. Students are encouraged to use contemporary educational technology.

Early low-stakes feedback will be provided via two methods:

  • during the on-campus sessions, where students discuss material raised in the sessions, and ask questions of their peers and lecturing staff;
  • results for the first quiz (part of Assessment Item 1), worth 10%, will be received prior to the census date.

Continual feedback will be provided via four methods:

  • peer communication, individual and lecturing staff contributions to the session discussions;
  • assessment tasks, worth 40%, 30% and 30%.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction to medical terminology
  • The body as a framework
  • Internal workings of the body
  • Systemic conditions

Required texts

Mastering Medical Terminology Australia and New Zealand (2nd edition) by Sue Walker, Maryann Wood and Jenny Nicol, ISBN 9780729541114 (hard copy) ISBN 9780729581110 (ebook).

Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions 3rd (ANZ) edition, ISBN 9780729541381.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.