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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.


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)

University of Edinburgh 


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University of EdinburghThe University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts not only students but also staff from some 156 countries, creating a unique Edinburgh experience.

We provide a stimulating working, learning, and teaching environment with access to excellent facilities and attract the world's best, from Nobel Prize winning laureates to future explorers, pioneers and inventors.

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