Tutor of the Month #5: Victoria McCulloch
Each month we profile one of our fantastic postgraduate tutors. This February we chat to Victoria McCulloch, tutor on the online PgCert/PgDip in Anatomical Sciences.
1. Please tell us a bit about your academic background and how you came to be a tutor on the PgDip/PgCert Anatomical Sciences.
My background is in Anatomy, but I also love art, so after finishing my undergraduate degree I undertook an MSc in Medical Art and an MSc in Medical Visualisation and Human Anatomy.
After finishing my studies and interviewing for different jobs in anatomy, I was contacted about a post working on content creation for the new Anatomical Sciences online programme back in 2016.
It was an excellent opportunity, not only to get a teaching job at Anatomy@Edinburgh, but to have one on a brand-new programme that is the first of its kind.
2. Which area of expertise do you teach? How will students benefit from learning about this particular subject?
Alongside teaching all aspects of human anatomy, my area of expertise and area of interest is arts-based learning, so I created a brand-new course for the programme, Visualising Human Anatomy, where students learn about the history of art and anatomy, and the importance of visualisation techniques in anatomy education.
Human anatomy is a visual subject, so students benefit from learning how art and visualisation techniques, such as medical illustrations and virtual reality, aid in how people learn anatomy, and gives the students the knowledge to use these techniques in their future careers.
3. What do you feel are the main advantages of online learning?
Online learning allows people to study with flexibility, allowing them to fit their studies around their professional or home lives, as well as allowing for students to continue their education during a pandemic.
You can study anywhere in the world, and meet people from different countries, backgrounds and professions online through discussion boards and group work, making new friends and learning from your peers.
The online programme also allows for us to share our knowledge with students all over the world, and share our passion for human anatomy.
4. What do you enjoy most about being a tutor?
The human body is fascinating, and being a tutor on the programme gives me the opportunity to talk about anatomy with our students. I enjoy putting content together, creating videos and finding weird and wonderful facts about our anatomy to add in to my teaching.
I also enjoy working out how to help students visualise how something works. Teaching anatomy online is different to having the students in the Anatomy Teaching Laboratory on campus, so we find new ways to help them visualise the anatomy and the relationships between different structures.
5. Why would you recommend the Anatomical Sciences programme to potential applicants?
The Anatomical Sciences Pg Cert/ Pg Dip online learning programme is the first of its kind, allowing people to explore human anatomy online at a postgraduate level, whilst allowing for flexibility of study.
Our programme attracts a diverse group of students who are both interested in anatomy and want to study to enhance their professional knowledge. We offer a range of courses throughout the programme, including elective courses of interest; Visualising Human Anatomy, Artificial Organs and Imaging, so there is something for everyone.
We also have a large team of Anatomists contributing to the programme, who all have different areas of interest and research, so our students benefit from the different teaching styles and learn from their expertise.