Applied Anatomy

Become an expert in anatomical principles and structures through inspiring lectures, seminars and practical dissection at the UK's only School of Anatomy.

High ranking

Bristol is a top 15 UK university for anatomy (Guardian University Guide 2023).

Practical experience

Applied Anatomy students get plenty of hands-on dissection experience of human and animal specimens.

Thriving community

The University of Bristol Anatomy Society lets students share their passion for anatomy through community outreach projects, social events and trips.

Applied Anatomy courses for 2023

Single Honours

Applied Anatomy at Bristol

Anatomy is the study of structure from cell to tissue to whole organism. Applied anatomy examines relationships between structure and function. This practical, hands-on course will give you a clear, three-dimensional, internal model of the anatomy of the human and animal body.

The UK's only School of Anatomy here at Bristol provides anatomy training for medical, dental and veterinary science undergraduates together in one facility. The expertise of teaching staff and wealth of varied resources across these subject specialities offer a learning experience unique to Bristol.

The school is home to a custom built Imaging Suite, providing students with the opportunity to study normal and abnormal tissue via a variety of diagnostic imaging modalities, the underlying principles of techniques and further applications.

Bristol offers so much, especially when it comes to dissection experience. Not many students get to learn anatomy by dissection, we were really lucky to be able to learn in this unique way at the School of Anatomy.

Tilly, BSc Applied Anatomy

Career prospects

Students looking at X-ray scans.

With its emphasis on applied learning and professional development, Applied Anatomy appeals to employers and provides you with a springboard for a variety of careers.

Our graduates enter a range of professions including research, education and graduate entry schemes or, with further study, professional programmes such as medicine, veterinary medicine or dentistry.

In the public sector, life sciences graduates are in demand in research institutes, government departments and the National Health Service, and there is increasing demand for life scientists to contribute to the public understanding of science as journalists and information and liaison officers.

Course structure

A teacher points at an anatomical illustration.

A deep understanding and appreciation of body structure can only be achieved by a hands-on approach including dissection. Practical-based teaching, involving dissection and study of human and animal specimens, is a large component of the course.

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

The second year covers detailed medical and veterinary anatomy with clinical relevance and application throughout. The dissection unit is an integral part of the course that allows you to specialise in medical or veterinary anatomy.

In the third year, a seminar-based course lets you get actively involved in expert-led discussion of the latest anatomical research. A highlight of this year is an original research project, which can be a clinically related anatomical investigation, a laboratory-based scientific study, or anatomically themed educational research.

Expert support

Students working in a laboratory class.

The Vesalius Clinical Training Unit (VCTU), which is at the forefront of postgraduate applied and clinical anatomy training and research, is part of the school.

Clinical experts and allied health professionals from the unit enrich our students' learning experience and collaborate with final-year research projects.

Applied Anatomy

Applied Anatomy courses for 2023

Single Honours

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, anatomical pathology and sports medicine. The initial, broad basis of the degree and later opportunity for specialisation will equip you for a wide variety of careers.

Why study Applied Anatomy at Bristol?

The UK's only School of Anatomy here at Bristol is notable for providing anatomy training for medical, dental and veterinary science undergraduates together in one facility. The expertise of teaching staff and wealth of varied resources across these subject specialities offer a learning experience unique to Bristol. The school is home to a custom built Imaging Suite, providing students with the opportunity to study normal and abnormal tissue via a variety of diagnostic imaging modalities, the underlying principles of techniques and further applications.

The school encompasses the Vesalius Clinical Training Unit (VCTU), which is at the forefront of postgraduate applied and clinical anatomy training and research. This ensures a regular presence of clinical experts and allied health professionals to enrich our student's learning experience and collaborate with final-year research projects.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Interested, enthusiastic and motivated students who are seeking a thought-provoking and challenging degree will thrive on our course.

If you are interested in anatomy but are perhaps undecided about your future career and want a good science degree with transferable skills that could open many doors, BSc Applied Anatomy will appeal to you. Our course offers the perfect opportunity for aspiring scientists, academics, researchers, educators and those wanting to go into postgraduate professional programmes.

How is this course taught and assessed?

You will learn to be anatomists and 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. Practical-based teaching is a large component of the course. Other material is delivered by lectures, seminars, group discussion and occasional demonstrations.

A personal and professional development enrichment theme runs throughout the course. This will equip you with essential, transferable, professional skills suitable for employment in any environment and will aid transition from school leaver to anatomist.

The overriding aim of assessment involves staff and students working together to achieve an understanding that assessment is not viewed as separate from learning. Given the applied nature of our degree it is especially important that we assess both skills and knowledge.

We use several different methods to assess units, including:

  • Written examinations (essays, objective testing, short answers and problem-solving)
  • Practical examinations
  • Laboratory/dissection reports
  • Essays
  • Reflective portfolios
  • Honours project dissertation
  • Poster presentations
  • Oral presentations
  • Peer review of group work (formative assessment only).

What are my career prospects?

With its emphasis on applied learning and professional development, BSc Applied Anatomy is designed to appeal to employers while providing our graduates with a springboard for a variety of careers.

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

In addition to all of the opportunities for graduate careers outside of life science, where the skills obtained in our course will be of considerable benefit, anatomy is a popular route to postgraduate medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine programmes.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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