Medical Art MSc

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • School: Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID)

Medical art encompasses a wide range of applications from patient communication and information to medical teaching and training. It is also used by the pharmaceutical industry to aid in explanation of their products and by television companies in the production of documentaries.

This highly innovative one-year taught Masters course employs highly specialised tutors from scientific backgrounds alongside experienced medical art supervisors.

Medical Art at the University of Dundee

An MSc in Medical Art helps you to develop specialist practice within the contemporary medical art field. 

MSc in Medical Art at the University of Dundee

Why study Medical Art at Dundee?

The MSc in Medical Art is a unique Master’s Programme created in response to the need for transition from a variety of undergraduate degrees to specialist practice within the contemporary medical art field. The MSc aims to provide expertise for those intending to work at the leading edge of the medical art profession and is a supportive environment to nurture innovative and creative ideas. Course lecturers work closely with the NHS, the Institution of Medical Illustrators and the Medical Artists’ Association.

What's so good about studying Medical Art at Dundee?

Did You Know?

  • Our students benefit from top-class art school and medical science facilities
  • The MSc is the only one of its kind in the UK
  • It combines traditional skills with cutting-edge technology
  • Tutors are practicing medical artists
  • Access to full body dissections
  • Opportunity for self-directed research



A video introduction to Medical Art at Dundee

Who should study this course?

This course will benefit artists with specific interests in the medical and forensic applications of visual art.

It will also provide a postgraduate qualification for police artists, and medical artists working in the NHS, who are seeking validation or further specialisation of existing skills to conform with medico-legal procedures and for registration with relevant professional bodies.

The course is delivered through a variety of methods including lectures (both face to face and online), practical sessions in the studio and dissection room, and small group discussions with an encouragement into debate and theoretical solutions to current problems.


Medical Art is the depiction of anatomy, medical science, pathology and surgery.  This may include illustrations, diagrams, 3D models or animations for use in medical education, specialist training, public communication, medico-legal evidence and medical research. 

Semester 1 (60 credits)

In semester 1 the focus is on learning anatomy through dissection, prosection study, illustration and facial sculpture and applying this to life art practice.  Students will also be introduced to research methods and digital media.

    Anatomy 1 - Head and Neck (15 credits)

    Anatomy 2 - Post Cranial (15 credits)

    Life Art (10 credits)

    Digital Media Practice (10 credits)

    Research Methods (10 credits)

Semester 1 may be also be taken as a stand-alone PGCert entitled ‘Anatomy for Artists’.


Semester 2 (60 credits)

In semester 2 the students specialise in medical art through two subject specific modules.  Medical Art 1 consists of a series of lectures and workshops giving students an overview of contemporary medical art practice while teaching a variety of practical skills including digital illustration, 3D modelling and working with CT and laser scan data.  During Medical Art 2 students will gain experience of working with other professionals. They will observe surgery and work with anatomy staff within CAHID to produce two self-direct projects.  Students will also undertake a module in Medico-Legal Ethics in order to gain an awareness of the legal and ethical issues surrounding professional practice in medical art.

    Medical Art 1 – Image Capture and Creation (25 credits)

    Medical Art 2 – Communication and Education(25 credits)

    Medical-Legal Ethics (10 credits)

On successful completion of Semesters 1 and 2 there is an exit award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Art.


Semester 3 (60 credits) - dissertation and exhibition resulting from a self-directed project undertaken either at the university or as a placement. 

A variety of assessment methods are used including: Anatomy spot-tests, portfolio assessment, written examinations, oral presentations, written coursework and exhibition presentation. 


This programme aims to provide professional training to underpin your first degree, so that you can enter employment at the leading edge of your discipline. Career opportunities in medical art are varied and will depend on individual background and interests.

In medical art potential careers exist in the NHS as well as industry.  Medical art and visualisation is a rapidly changing and broad discipline.  Possible careers include:

    NHS medical illustration departments producing patient information and illustration services for staff


    3D model making (including clinical/surgical skills trainers) companies

    Digital art and animation studios

    Publishing houses

    Illustration studios

    Medico-legal artwork

    Freelance illustration and fine art applications

    Special effects and the media/film world

    Academia – teaching or research

    PhD research

Miriam Waite, graduated 2014
Medical illustrator, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, NHS

"The most impressive aspect of this course is that even after spending the most diverse, enjoyable and rewarding year in education, you are not cast into the big wide world unsupported. An amazing leg-up into the industry is provided in the internship schemes available after the MSc, giving you the opportunity to make those valuable connections that help get you a job. Loved it."


Short term internships in medical institutes throughout will be offered to selected students following graduation. Internship institutes offer these internships based on the reputation of the course and its tutors and include various NHS trusts and private companies.

Year of Entry: 2015

Entry Requirements: First or upper second class honours degree in Art/Design or related medical/anatomical science. All applicants must provide evidence of artwork, in the form of a portfolio on CD, which you should submit with your application. Relevant professional experience will be taken into account if you have no graduate qualifications.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.


English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2015/16
Scottish students £8,200 per year of study
Applicants for this course may be eligible for a PSAS tuition fee loan
Rest of UK students £8,200 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
EU students £8,200 per year of study
Applicants for this course may be eligible for a PSAS tuition fee loan
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Although there is no official deadline for applications, places are awarded on a first come, first served basis.   For this reason we recommend applying before the end of May to ensure a place.

Around 10 – 15 pieces of art in any media and either two and/or three dimensions.  It is recommended that you include at least some artwork created from direct observation, such as life drawing or portrait sculpture.  They should be presented digitally on a CD or DVD.  If you live locally you may bring a portfolio of original artwork to the department.

If you have professional experience in a related or relevant field then this will be taken into consideration.

Unfortunately the minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 grade.  However, exceptions to this may include illness or a personal crisis that prevented you from reaching your potential.  This must be confirmed by a supporting letter from your tutor/.s

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS

Course Contact

Mrs Caroline Erolin
Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification
+44 (0)1382 388352