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The University of Edinburgh: Human Anatomy

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


This 12-month programme offers a rare opportunity to learn anatomy from dissection and experience in teaching human anatomy. This is an ideal stepping-stone to a career in anatomy teaching and research.

With this highly regarded qualification you will gain major transferable skills through an intensive on-campus dissection course and develop teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

What will you study?

This programme has two main strands.

Develop your in-depth knowledge of human anatomy through dissection

Anatomical knowledge will be learned to a level to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students and professions allied to medicine. This strand will involve the dissection of a body in groups of three to five students over two semesters. This part of the course is largely self-directed, with regular "surgeries" when teaching staff are present to answer questions and help students with the dissections.

Learn to teach anatomy

The second strand is anatomy teaching, covering the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Alongside theoretical lectures and workshops in the first semester, you will focus on observing the teaching of anatomy to medical undergraduate students.

In the second semester you will be involved in preparing and carrying out teaching sessions to both small and large groups of students. You will compile an end-of-year teaching portfolio based on:

  • the theoretical material you learn

  • the observations you make

  • the practical experience you have gained

  • the experience that you will gain can be used towards an application as associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Embryology course

Complementing these strands will be a lecture-based embryology course. This will provide you with an understanding of normal human development and how normal development can go wrong, manifested in commonly observed congenital abnormalities.

You will also study:

  • Neuroanatomy

  • Embryology

  • Anatomy law and ethics

  • Medical imaging

  • 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


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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