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Human Anatomy MSc

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MSc Human Anatomy - 1 Year (Full-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £200 before an unconditional offer can be made. This will be offset against tuition fees upon entry to the programme.

You will be responsible for securing funding to cover all your tuition fees, additional fees and living costs for the duration of your studies. For guidelines on living costs see:

Funding opportunities

See Scholarships and Student Funding Services for other funding opportunities:

Contact information
Gordon Findlater (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 2997
Address: Postgraduate Office
College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
Chancellor's Building
Little France
EH16 4SB

Our programme aims to improve your theoretical and practical knowledge of human anatomy through an intensive on-campus dissection course, as well as the development and learning of theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree with an excellent or very good classification (equivalent to first or upper second class honours in the UK) in a medical, biomedical, or relevant bioscience topic; personnel in professions allied to medicine will also be considered.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the 'Enabling Skills' sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

The application deadline for the next intake is:

Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2016 3 August 2016

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

This programme has two main strands. One is the in-depth study of the anatomy of the human body. 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 four 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.

The other is anatomy pedagogy, covering the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Next to theoretical lectures and workshops the first semester will focus on observing the teaching of anatomy to medical undergraduate students. The second semester will focus on being involved in preparing and carrying out teaching sessions to both small and large groups of students. The learned theoretical material, the observations and practical experiences will be compiled in an end-of year teaching portfolio that can be used towards an application as associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Complementing these strands will be a lecture-based embryology course providing 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, the health and safety of embalming procedures and handling bodies, the legal and historical aspects of anatomy in Scotland and the UK, and an introduction to the ethics of using bodies in medical education.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of six courses plus a summer dissertation project. The courses "Teaching Anatomy" and "Basic Human Anatomy 1 & 2" make up the majority of the degree with 40 credits each. The other courses are 10 credit courses that are spread out over two semesters as follows (10 credits equal 100 hours of work):

Semester one:

  • Basic Human Anatomy 1: Gross anatomy of the Limbs and Thorax (20 credits)
  • Embryology: From ovulation of the egg to fetal development of all body systems (10 credits)
  • Body Handling/Anatomy and the Law, divided into 2 parts: Health & Safety of anatomy and body handling, and the legislation that governs the activities of anatomy departments both in Scotland and throughout the UK (10 credits)

Semester two:

  • Basic Human Anatomy 2: Gross anatomy of the Abdomen, Pelvis, Head & Neck (20 credits)
  • Neuroanatomy: Gross Anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems, sensory and motor pathways, cranial nerves, spinal cord, spinal nerves and autonomic nervous system (10 credits)
  • The Human Body, Ethics, Society and the Law: Ethical principles, perspectives and arguments relevant to biomedical sciences (10 credits)

Semesters one and two:

  • Teaching Anatomy: Theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy to undergraduate and postgraduate students (40 credits).

Summer period:

  • Dissertation Project: 10,000 word dissertation and oral presentation (60 credits)

Teaching is by lectures, seminars and tutorials. Courses are assessed by either, or a combination of, oral examinations, essays, multiple choice question exams, extended matching question exams, presentations and practical anatomy exams.

You have the option to finish after the second semester graduating with a Diploma in Human Anatomy, or to gain your masters by completing a summer dissertation project that can be either library-, practical- or laboratory-based.

More information on anatomy at the University can be found on our website:

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you gain a highly regarded qualification in anatomy and the teaching of anatomy. It will provide you with a set of major transferable skills such as dissecting experience, teaching experience, expertise in health and safety and anatomy law and ethics.

This programme can therefore open up possibilities in for example anatomy teaching, anatomy laboratories, further studies in medical and biomedical sciences, further research leading to a PhD, and many more increasing your long-term career prospects.

Further information

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