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The University of Edinburgh: Clinical Anatomy

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Biomedical Sciences
Study type Taught


Who this programme is for The programme is tailored specifically for intercalating medical or dental students.

About the programme Human anatomy is a core component of undergraduate medical degree programmes, as well as programmes allied to medicine such as radiography and physiotherapy.

However, the relative amount of anatomy taught on these programmes is considerably less than in years gone by, and there are limited opportunities across the UK (and further afield) for medical and dental students to gain an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy beyond their core programmes.

We have established this programme not only to directly address this deficiency but also to offer an opportunity for graduate entry intercalating medical/dental students to significantly enhance their clinically-relevant anatomical knowledge and research skills.

Aims There are three main aims of the MSc Clinical Anatomy programme, providing you with:

  • the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of clinically-related human anatomy by dissection

  • a comprehensive understanding of the anatomical basis of clinical subjects, including surgery, radiology and histology

  • experience of undertaking a cutting-edge anatomically/clinically-related research project

The programme’s principal educational and clinical aims are specifically to give you thorough knowledge in all aspects of anatomy, including:

  • gross anatomy

  • embryology

  • neuroanatomy

  • anatomical imaging

You will also gain knowledge in clinical related subjects including radiology, histology and surgery, to the level of being competent to teach these elements to medical students and to students in professions allied to medicine.

Why Edinburgh The unique elements of this programme are:

Hands-on cadaveric dissection You will gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of human anatomy by dissection.

Bespoke modules covering anatomical aspects of radiology, histology and surgery The knowledge gained will enable you to:

  • understand and apply basic anatomical principles underpinning surgery, radiology and histology

  • locate and identify key anatomical structures, including major clinical phenotypes, on medical images

  • identify and interpret light microscopic histological images of core human tissues

A clinically-orientated research project This will provide you with an opportunity to gain a more in-depth working knowledge of a particular aspect of clinically-relevant anatomy.

Complementing these three strands will be a lecture-based Medical Law and Ethics course.

You will learn:

  • the health and safety of embalming procedures and handling bodies

  • the legal and historical aspects of anatomy in Scotland and the UK

  • an introduction to the ethics of using bodies in medical education

You will also explore clinical techniques used to image the body.

The research project gives you an opportunity to gain a more in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of anatomy and to present your findings by writing a dissertation.

Master of Science - MSc (PG)

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

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