Anatomical Sciences (PG Certificate / Diploma / PG Professional Development)
The Anatomical Sciences programme is a unique opportunity to explore aspects of human anatomy through the flexibility of online learning.
- Video: Louise McKay
- Louise explains what she enjoyed about the Anatomical Sciences programme and studying online
This is a postgraduate level qualification for medical, biomedical, allied health professionals and those in holistic practice with an interest in human anatomy. The programme is taught by leading academics who are passionate about teaching and research, who are making an impact on an international level.
Being a part of the University of Edinburgh’s Postgraduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences has been an excellent experience. The programme is really well-structured, with a diverse range of multi-media teaching.
What will you learn?
The Anatomical Sciences programme will develop your knowledge of:
- basic human anatomy covering several different body systems
- human development
Optional courses in year 2 allow you to focus on areas of your interest including:
- medical and anatomical visualisation techniques
- microscopic structure of tissues and organs
- how technology is used to replicate the human anatomical form and function
Year 1 (Certificate)
In Year 1 you will develop your knowledge of basic human anatomy and human development with courses in human anatomy, embryology, and neuroanatomy.
Through Fundamentals of human anatomy 1 you will develop an understanding of basic human anatomy, with focus on the musculoskeletal, respiratory and endocrine systems. In Fundamentals of human anatomy 2, you will continue explore the human body systems, focusing on cardiovascular, urinary, lymphatic, integumentary and digestive systems.
You will explore aspects of human development from ovulation through fertilisation, pre-and post-implantation to embryonic and fetal development of body systems. You will also look at what happens when typical human development is altered and how this manifests in commonly developed abnormalities.
You will develop your understanding of the nervous system, including gross anatomy of the central nervous system, gross anatomy of the peripheral nervous system, and spinal cord, spinal nerves, and autonomic nervous system.
Year 2 (Postgraduate Certificate)
On successful completion of Year 1, you will expand your anatomical knowledge in Year 2 with compulsory courses in advanced human anatomy. You will explore the upper limb, lower limb and thorax in Advanced Human Anatomy 1, and then the abdomen, pelvis, and head and neck regions in Advanced Human Anatomy 2.
In year 2 you will also choose two courses from the following options:
This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of the use of medical imaging techniques to study the anatomy of the human body.
This course will introduce you to the microscopic structure of tissues and organs. It will initially look at the histology of the basic tissues before going on to look at the histology of specific structures within body systems. Areas covered will include:
- Introductions to cell and tissue types
- Urinary & reproductive
This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of the use of visualisation techniques in relation to anatomy education. A range of topics focusing on how visualisation is used as a teaching method will include:
- the history of anatomical visualisation
- advances in technology including the use of MRI and CT scans
- the development of virtual reality
- how these developments aid or hinder anatomy education.
This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of how technology is used to replicate the human anatomical form and function in organs and in body systems. A range of topics including advancements in areas such the artificial heart, lungs, liver, kidney and limbs will be covered.
Full course information is available on the university Degree Programme Table.
|Year of study||
(September to December)
(January to March)
(April to June)
|Year 1||Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 1||Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 2||
|Year 2||Advanced Human Anatomy 1||Advanced Human Anatomy 2||Optional courses 1 + 2|
Intermittent study allows more flexibility in how you choose to study. With this option you will have up to 2 years to complete the certificate, and up to 4 years to complete the diploma.
The standard programme structure is still maintained in terms of the progression requirement. However, you can tailor your education to fit more closely with commitments in both your private and professional life. If you choose to study this programme on a part-time intermittent basis, you also pay your tuition fees on a course-by-course basis rather than paying for the entire programme at the outset.
Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course, without the time or financial commitment of a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout the year you may only start a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.
Why Choose Edinburgh?
- There is a long and distinguished tradition of anatomy teaching in Edinburgh, with the first Chair of Anatomy appointed here in 1705. Today our courses are taught by leading academics who are passionate about teaching and research, who are making an impact on an international level.
- Edinburgh is ranked 24th in the world for Life Sciences and Medicine and Biological Sciences and 18th in the world for Anatomy and Physiology (QS World University Rankings by subject, 2022).
- Our graduates are ranked 25th in the world by employers (QS World University Rankings 2022).
- The University of Edinburgh is 4th in the UK based on the quality and breadth of its research - known as research power - and is Scotland’s top ranked institution, according to Times Higher Education's REF 2021 power ratings.
These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.
- A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a medical, biomedical, or relevant bioscience topic.
- We may also consider your application if you are in a profession allied to medicine or have relevant work experience; please contact the programme team to check before you apply. You may be admitted to the Professional Development Programme in the first instance with a view to joining the Postgraduate Certificate after satisfactory performance.
Information about international qualifications and English language requirements can be found on the University Programme Degree Finder.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees are standard for all students regardless of location or nationality. We offer a 10% scholarship in postgraduate degree tuition fees for all alumni who have graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh.
A breakdown of fees can be found on the University Programme Degree Finder.
You will need to pay a £200 non-refundable deposit before an unconditional offer can be made. This contributes towards your tuition fees.
A full breakdown of the fees can be found on the University Programme Degree Finder.
Ready to find out more?
Speak to a current student
Want to speak to a current student about their experience of studying online? You can chat to a current student through our student portal, Unibuddy.