Postgraduate study

Clinical Anatomy MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

COVID-19

We are committed to offering a high-quality experience to all our students. We are working to minimise the impact of COVID-19, but we have reluctantly decided that we will be unable to offer this programme for entry in 2020.

We anticipate that this degree will be available again for entry in September 2021, but we are not currently in the position to confirm that. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.

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The programme is tailored specifically for intercalating medical or dental students.

Human anatomy is a core component of undergraduate medical degree programmes, as well as programmes allied to medicine such as radiography and physiotherapy. However, the relative amount of anatomy taught on these programmes is considerably less than in years gone by, and there are limited opportunities across the UK (and further afield) for medical and dental students to gain an in-depth knowledge of human anatomy beyond their core programmes.

We have established this programme not only to directly address this deficiency, but also to offer an opportunity for graduate entry intercalating medical/dental students to significantly enhance their clinically-relevant anatomical knowledge and research skills.

There are three main aims of the MSc Clinical Anatomy programme, providing you with:

  • the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of clinically-related human anatomy by dissection;
  • a comprehensive understanding of the anatomical basis of clinical subjects, including surgery, radiology and histology;
  • experience of undertaking a cutting-edge anatomically/clinically-related research project

The programme’s principal educational and clinical aims are specifically to give you a thorough knowledge in all aspects of anatomy, including:

  • gross anatomy
  • embryology
  • neuroanatomy
  • anatomical imaging

You will also gain knowledge in clinical related subjects including radiology, histology and surgery, to the level of being competent to teach these elements to medical students and to students in professions allied to medicine.

The unique elements of the this programme are:

Hands-on cadaveric dissection

You will gain a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of human anatomy by dissection.

Bespoke modules covering anatomical aspects of radiology, histology and surgery

The knowledge gained will enable you to:

  • understand and apply basic anatomical principles underpinning surgery, radiology and histology
  • locate and identify key anatomical structures, including major clinical phenotypes, on medical images
  • identify and interpret light microscopic histological images of core human tissues

A clinically-orientated research project

This will provide you with an opportunity to gain a more in-depth working knowledge of a particular aspect of clinically-relevant anatomy.

Complementing these three strands will be a lecture-based Medical Law and Ethics course. You will learn the health and safety of embalming procedures and handling bodies, the legal and historical aspects of anatomy in Scotland and the UK, and gain an introduction to the ethics of using bodies in medical education. You will also explore clinical techniques used to image the body.

The research project gives you an opportunity to gain a more in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of anatomy and to present your findings by writing a dissertation.

This programme is a one-year, full-time MSc. It consists of 120 taught credits, with a 60 credit dissertation component.

The credit rating for each of the courses is set at SCQF Level 11.

Semester 1

  • Basic Human Anatomy, Imaging and Embryology 1 (40 credits)
  • Surgery, Radiology and Histology 1 (10 credits)
  • Anatomy Law and Ethics (10 credits)

Semester 2

  • Basic Human Anatomy, Imaging and Embryology 2 (40 credits)
  • Surgery, Radiology and Histology 2 (10 credits)
  • Neuroanatomy (10 credits)

Semester 3

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

By the end of the programme you should be able to demonstrate:

  • extensive and detailed working knowledge and understanding of clinically-relevant human anatomy, to a level allowing you to teach anatomy to both undergraduate and postgraduate students;
  • to relate normal processes of embryology and development to anatomy observed by dissection;
  • an appreciation of the health and safety aspects of handling bodies for dissection;
  • a thorough understanding of the use of bodies and the law;
  • an understanding of the ethics of using bodies for medical education;
  • a critical knowledge of the anatomical basis of radiology, histology and surgery;
  • an ability to work independently on an anatomically- or clinically-based research project.

We anticipate that you will return to your medical/dental studies on completion of the programme, and utilise your new knowledge and skills to accelerate your clinical career, and widen your career options.

Students should note that if you intercalate on a masters programme it could affect future funding entitlements for your medicine degree.

You should consult with your funding body to confirm how you will finance your intercalated year and if there are any implications for funding your remaining undergraduate medical degree.

Applicants must be currently studying for a MBChB, MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery), BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), or equivalent and have gained either of the following:

  • a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, or;
  • at least three years of study and 360 credits gained from a MBChB, MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery), BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), or equivalent.

You must demonstrate successful completion of all assessed work at a pass level of 60% or above, at first attempt.

Personal statements will be considered a key criterion in the assessment of your application. Your personal statement should demonstrate your knowledge and experience of research and the research process.

Due to limited places, entry to this programmes is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.

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

For 2020 entry we accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

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:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Old Medical School (Anatomy), Teviot Place, Doorway 3
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

UK intercalating applicants must submit a letter of confirmation from their University with their application stating permission to intercalate on this programme from their Head of Undergraduate Medical or Dental Education.

International applicants may be required to provide details of the medical or dental curriculum they are studying in order to confirm eligibility.

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

Further information

  • College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Old Medical School (Anatomy), Teviot Place, Doorway 3
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG