Intercalated degree in Functional and Clinical Anatomy (BSc)

This BSc was designed in response to student requests for an in-depth applied intercalation course in anatomy that features dissection.


The Functional and Clinical Anatomy intercalated course provides students from professional programmes with a detailed knowledge of human anatomy that is related to function and, ultimately, dysfunction. A major component of the degree is dissection and imaging. This programme was instigated in response to student demand and is designed to complement pre-clinical basic science teaching. It also utilises the excellent resources available with the School of Anatomy.

FCA Showcase from sxp on Vimeo.

What will I study?

In small groups, you will dissect a cadaveric subject and be expected to investigate anatomical variations, pathologies and evidence of procedures present in their subject, building this into an extensive research portfolio. This work will be supported by integrated functional and clinical seminars for each of the regions of the body.

Advanced Dissection and Research Portfolio

The dissection underpins the entire course and dictates which body region is discussed in the associated seminar. Over 24 weeks, you will dissect your subject in small groups, taking note of evidence of clinical intervention – often surgical, pathological and anatomical variation. Each cadaveric subject will be scanned prior to dissection and the MR images will be available to the group as part of preparation for sessions. Findings (both dissection and MR) will be investigated and may form all or part of the dissertation. In addition to the thorough exploration of diverse themes, such as anatomical variation and pathology, and ethics and law relating to body donation, this unit fosters transferable skills, such as manual dexterity and haptic sense. Advanced dissection is assessed by presentation, OSCE and a reflective log. The research unit is assessed by 10,000 word dissertation and poster presentation.

Functional and Clinical Anatomy I & II

These units comprise seminars led by a range of basic scientists and clinicians and integrated with timetabled dissection sessions to give an advanced perspective on the structural, functional and clinical anatomy of a given body region. Assessment is essay based.

Methods, Communication and Translation

In addition to critical thinking abilities, this unit will provide you with a basis in research skills ranging from design to communication. Ultimately, many of the skills taught will be translatable and aptitude for a number of key outcomes, such as lay articles, posters and so on, will be assessed and feedback provided. This unit provides support for the research dissertation.

A typical week for an FCA student

In this short video, Programme Director Dr Scott Paterson talks you through the structure of a typical week on this programme.

How will I be assessed?

Here, Dr Scott Paterson talks you through the various assessments encountered in the FCA programme.

How to apply

We welcome application from students who will have completed at least two years of a MBChB, BDS, BVSc or equivalent degree.

The course is open to applicants who are internal or external to Bristol. The admissions process is centralised.

How to apply

I would recommend this course to students who have a strong desire and commitment to investigate, discuss and understand anatomy. This course offers the opportunity to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy, to develop further anatomical interests, and to substantially enhance skills of written scientific communication, necessary for publication. [. . .] I’m very grateful for the academic and personal growth that this year has given me.

Sam Fitzpatrick (FCA Graduate 2019, First Class Honours)



Tel: +44 (0) 117 928 8334 or +44 (0)117 928 8929

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