Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Anatomical Sciences (Online Learning) PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

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.

Kaumal Baig Anatomical Sciences Graduate
Kaumal Baig               Anatomical Sciences Graduate

The Anatomical Sciences programme is a unique opportunity for students who want to explore aspects of human anatomy through the flexibility of an online learning programme.

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 draws upon the highly regarded teaching and research staff within the University.

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) (1 year part-time, 2 years intermittent study)

In Year 1 you will develop your knowledge of basic human anatomy and human development with courses in human anatomy, embryology, and neuroanatomy.

Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 1 and 2

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 to explore the human body systems, focusing on cardiovascular, urinary, lymphatic, integumentary and digestive systems.

Embryology

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.

Neuroanatomy

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 Diploma) (2 years part-time, 4 years intermittent study)

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 regions 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:

Imaging

This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of the use of medical imaging techniques to study the anatomy of the human body.

Histology

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
  • respiratory
  • urinary & reproductive
  • digestive
  • circulatory

Visualising Human Anatomy

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.

Artificial Organs

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 as the artificial heart, lungs, liver, kidney and limbs will be covered.

Please note that Diploma Optional Courses availability will be subject to student demand. Course availability and allocations will be finalised in consultation with students.

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 23rd in the world for Life Sciences and Medicine and Biological Sciences and 16th in the world for Anatomy and Physiology (QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023).
  • Our graduates are ranked 26th in the world by employers (QS World University Rankings 2023).
  • 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.

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

How does online learning work?

Online programmes are delivered through the University's Virtual Learning Environment, LEARN. Our award-winning, online learning technology is fully interactive, and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to the University of Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

During term time, you should be prepared to spend an average of 20 hours a week engaged in course materials, be that reviewing lecture notes and case studies, interacting with fellow students and the programme team on the discussion board, researching areas of interest or preparing assignments. As there are no set times for study, to be successful you will need to be self-motivated and determined.

Although the programme involves independent study, you will also have the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from all over the world. Indeed one of the most important aspects to successful online study is the ongoing support and sharing of information achieved through interactive discussions and input from expert tutors.

How will you learn?

All of our courses use innovative teaching methods to provide students with key transferable skills in addition to a solid foundation of anatomical knowledge. Learning is delivered through:

  • weekly materials, written notes, recommended reading
  • recorded lectures are also available for you to watch or listen to in your own time
  • opportunities to connect regularly with your course organiser and programme team to address concerns and monitor progress
  • individual assessments including essays, data presentations, proposals and presentations that will reinforce what you have learnt
  • group assignments and online discussions with your peers will expose you to different perspectives and new ways of thinking about a problem or topic
  • independent study and reflection

Each of the taught courses has a set of modules that are released to students on a timed basis from our virtual learning environment.

A typical module structure consists of:

  • a recorded lecture to introduce the topic
  • interactive content (video/animated/narrative)
  • a set of resource links to course reading – library and research.
  • a discussion board facilitated by a tutor.
  • a set of questions (MCQs) which students can take at the end of each section - these are formative and do not contribute to the final mark.

You will have access to online student services including:

  • library resources
  • well-being and student support services
  • technical support
  • study skills support

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

Part-time

Studying part-time means you will complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Year 1 and the Postgraduate Diploma in Year 2.

Year of study Semester One Semester Two Semester Three
Year 1 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 1 Fundamentals of Human Anatomy 2 Neuroanatomy, Embryology
Year 2 Advanced Human Anatomy 1 Advanced Human Anatomy 2 Optional Courses 1 & 2

Intermittent Study

Intermittent study allows more flexibility in how you choose to study. With this option you will have up to two years to complete the certificate, and up to four 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 Diploma

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 2 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.

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
PgDip (ICL)Anatomical SciencesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgCert (ICL)Anatomical SciencesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgCertAnatomical Sciences1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
PgDipAnatomical Sciences2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
PgProfDevAnatomical SciencesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24

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.

This programme has been designed not only to help you gain a highly regarded qualification, but also to provide you with a set of major transferable skills, which will be relevant to your current career, further study or simply increase your long-term career prospects.

Being a part of the University of Edinburgh’s Postgraduate Certificate in Anatomical Sciences has been an excellent experience.

I decided to apply for the programme as I had always found anatomy fascinating as an undergraduate, both theoretically and artistically. Studying Anatomical Sciences with the University of Edinburgh has allowed me to appreciate the whole breadth of the beauty of anatomy, as I had only been confined to the head and neck previously.

I graduated from University College Cork, Ireland with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree in 2017. Since then I have been enjoying my clinical work and continued postgraduate study with Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. I am currently working as a senior house officer in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the NHS. I have also gained experience with anatomical art and scientific illustration since being an undergraduate student.

The programme is really well-structured, with a diverse range of multi-media teaching. I found the tutors extremely helpful and friendly, and looked forward to hearing from them every Monday morning. Being given access to Acland’s Atlas of Anatomy videos was an excellent feature of the course, and helped me with visualising the course content. The course also allowed me to develop my scientific writing, and I found feedback on my essays very personalised and comprehensive.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time studying Anatomical Sciences with the University of Edinburgh and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about anatomy. Thank you to my classmates and tutors for making it an incredible learning experience!

Kaumal Baig, Anatomical Sciences Graduate

Introduction from Programme Director

How does online learning work?

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band D.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

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 Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Deposit

You will need to pay this non-refundable deposit before an unconditional offer can be made.

  • £200 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

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
PgDip (ICL)Anatomical SciencesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Anatomical SciencesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertAnatomical Sciences1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipAnatomical Sciences2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevAnatomical SciencesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Jennifer Paxton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5250
  • Contact: j.z.paxton@ed.ac.uk
  • BMTO - University Of Edinburgh Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 23 August 2024

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

  • Programme Director, Dr Jennifer Paxton
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5250
  • Contact: j.z.paxton@ed.ac.uk
  • BMTO - University Of Edinburgh Medical School
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG