BSc Applied Anatomy

Anatomy is the study of structure from cell to tissue to whole organism. Applied anatomy examines structure-function relationships in the context of related subjects such as diagnostic imaging, pathology and other aspects of medicine.

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Why study anatomy at Bristol?

Bristol's BSc Applied Anatomy delivers a comprehensive grounding in the subject in your first year with many opportunities to specialise in years two and three as your interests and career aspirations develop.

As a graduate, you can apply for professional programmes such as medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry, or use your skills to develop your career in research education or on a graduate entry scheme.

You will be based at the School of Anatomy (SoA) at Bristol which is unique in the UK for providing anatomy training to medical, dental, veterinary and science undergraduates within a single, purpose-built facility. The expertise of teaching staff and wealth of resources across these subject specialties offer a special learning experience for aspiring anatomists.

The School of Anatomy is also home to the Vesalius Clinical Training Centre (VCTC), which is at the forefront of postgraduate applied and clinical anatomy training and research.

This means that you will also benefit from studying in a vibrant environment where the presence of clinical experts and allied health professionals will enrich your learning experience and provide many collaborative options for your final year research projects.

The School of Anatomy is a dynamic place to learn from a friendly team of experts passionate about the field of anatomy.

What will I study?

Undergraduates will develop a clear, three-dimensional, internal model of the anatomy of the human and animal body.

We believe that a deep understanding and appreciation of body structure can only be achieved by a hands-on approach including dissection.

A vertical enrichment theme, Personal and Professional Development, runs throughout the programme. This equips you with essential transferable professional skills suitable for employment in any environment and aids your transition from school leaver to anatomist.

Year one

The first year introduces the principles of comparative anatomy and relates the structure to the function of the major mammalian body systems.

Teaching involves some animal dissection and study of human and animal specimens.

First year anatomy units explore the core concepts of anatomy that underpin vertebrate design. The first year physiology and neuroanatomy units are compulsory and aim to provide comprehension of inherently linked structure function relationships. 

Year two

The second year covers detailed medical and veterinary anatomy, studying cadaveric material, with clinical relevance and application throughout. 

The units emphasise clinical relevance and application throughout.

A highlight of the year is the dissection unit. This is an integral part of the course, which allows you to specialise in medical or veterinary anatomy by dissection.

Year three

In the third year you follow a seminar-based course where you are actively involved in expert-led discussion of the latest anatomical research.

A highlight of this year is an original research project, which can be clinically-related anatomical investigation, a laboratory-based scientific study or anatomically-themed educational research.

Instruction in experimental design, statistical methods and scientific communication provides training for research alongside valuable transferable skills.

Third year teaching explores two key themes: advanced function of, and aging and dysfunction of, the mammalian body.

What can I do with an Applied Anatomy degree?

With its emphasis on application and focus on professional development, Bristol’s Applied Anatomy degree is designed to appeal to employers whilst providing our graduates with a springboard for a variety of exciting careers.

Anatomy is a popular route to postgraduate medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine courses and you will find that your transferable skills are also in demand beyond the world of life sciences.

For those committed to a career as a research scientist, further study for a higher degree at the University of Bristol or elsewhere is the normal route.

Aspiring educators can also follow this route for university teaching careers.

In the public sector, life sciences graduates are in demand in research institutes, government departments and the National Health Service.

There is also increasing demand for life scientists to contribute to the public understanding of science as journalists and information/liaison officers.

Anatomy is destiny.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

Form follows function.

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)
Two anatomy students in lab coats are studying a scan of a skull on a monitor. One of the students is holding part of a human skull.
The SoA is a dynamic place to learn from a friendly team of experts passionate about the field of anatomy.

Those who have dissected or inspected many [bodies] have at least learnt to doubt; while others who are ignorant of anatomy and do not take the trouble to attend it are in no doubt at all.

Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1662-1771)

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1893-1986)
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