Postgraduate study

Human Anatomy MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Human Anatomy

My favourite aspect of this programme was actually learning anatomy by dissection. You get to dissect a full cadaver over the course of the year.

Mohamed Elajnaf MSc Human Anatomy Graduate 2018

In this program you will:

  • Learn anatomy through dissection
  • Gain knowledge and experience of anatomical teaching
  • Take additional modules on neuroanatomy, embryology, anatomy law and ethics and medical imaging.
  • Contribute to world leading anatomical and/or biomedical research

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.

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 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.

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. The experience that you will gain 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, an introduction to the ethics of using bodies in medical education and explore clinical techniques used to image the body.

The programme is made up of five courses plus a summer dissertation project. The courses “Basic Human Anatomy, Imaging, Embryology 1” and "Basic Human Anatomy, Imaging, Embryology 2" make up the majority of the degree with 40 credits each. The teaching Anatomy course is 20 credits whereas 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, Imaging and Embryology 1 (40 credits): Provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy of the upper/lower limbs and thorax, incorporating; gross anatomy, surface anatomy, medical imaging, and embryology.
  • Anatomy Law and Ethics (10 credits): Divided into 3 parts: Health & Safety of anatomy and body handling, the legislation that governs the activities of anatomy departments both in Scotland and throughout the UK, and the ethics of using human material for the teaching of anatomy.

Semester two:

  • Basic Human Anatomy, Imaging and Embryology 2 (40 credits): Provides students with an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy of the abdomen, pelvis and head & neck, incorporating; gross anatomy, surface anatomy, medical imaging, and embryology.
  • Neuroanatomy (10 credits): Gross Anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous systems, sensory and motor pathways, cranial nerves, spinal cord, spinal nerves and autonomic nervous system.

Semesters one and two:

  • Teaching Anatomy (20 credits): Theoretical and practical aspects of teaching anatomy to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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:

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHuman Anatomy1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

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.

Ana Celia Valenzuela Gonzalez, Human Anatomy

Jamie Brockman, Human Anatomy

Mohamed Elajnaf, Human Anatomy

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a medical, biomedical or relevant bioscience subject, or other subject allied to medicine. We will also consider applications from those with a UK 2:1 in any degree, with relevant work experience, for example professions allied with medicine or research laboratory (preferably in a biomedical context). Please contact the programme team to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fee deposit

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.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fee deposits can be paid here using the University's online payment facility, ePay:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHuman Anatomy1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Office
  • College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
  • Chancellor's Building
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 31 July 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Postgraduate Office
  • College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
  • Chancellor's Building
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB