Anatomical Sciences BSc (Hons) (and degree combinations)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Science & Engineering

Anatomical sciences are fundamental to many other aspects of the biological sciences. Our course provides a good general university training, ranging from classical gross anatomy to post genomic molecular and cell biology. 

We have a strong focus on practical, hands-on, experience.

Why study this course at Dundee?

The award-winning staff in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) are amongst the most experienced in the UK in the fields of human identification, forensic anthropology, craniofacial identification and the study of the human body. The core remit of the Centre is the study of anatomy and staff deliver high quality anatomy teaching at all levels, via whole body dissection which allows students to develop a sound knowledge of the human body.

The Centre was awarded a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in November 2013. Presented in recognition of 'world class excellence', the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are among the most highly-regarded awards for the UK’s universities and colleges.

Anatomy at Dundee was ranked 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology by the Times Good University Guide 2013.

What is Anatomy?

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body and the relationship of organs and tissues at a gross (whole organ) and microscopic level (histology). 

It forms the basis of studies in physiology, biochemistry and related biomedical sciences. Sub-disciplines of anatomy include: developmental biology (embryology), neuroanatomy, osteology (bones) and cell biology.

Practical Experience

A major feature of our degree programmes is the emphasis on hands-on practical human anatomy. We are continuously striving to improve our teaching and have been active in developing teaching software to help deliver both lecture and practical material.

Related Courses

There are regular meetings of staff-student liaison committees. While this provides a forum for formal contact, there is also opportunity for informal contact between you and academic staff, whom you will find friendly and approachable.

We use a variety of teaching methods, with lectures and practicals forming the core. In addition, we use workshops, tutorials, computer-aided learning, and field excursions, as appropriate to each module.

Typical Degree Programme

Levels 1 and 2

Our programme in Anatomical Sciences shares common core modules in Levels 1 and 2 from Life Sciences. From Level 3 onwards you will follow specialised modules for BSc Anatomical Sciences within the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). The Level 1 and 2 curriculum provides a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.

Please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpage for details of the common curriculum in Levels 1 and 2.

Level 3

At Level 3 you will study the following aspects of anatomy:

  • The specialised structure and function of different cells, tissues and organs of the human body.
  • The molecular switches that control this diversity as an embryo develops from a single cell.

Practical human anatomy is a substantial component of the Level 3 programme.

You can combine the study of human anatomy with physiological sciences in an Anatomical & Physiological Sciences degree.

Summer work placements

Many students take advantage of opportunities for summer work placements, normally between Levels 3 and 4, which are available as externally-funded competitive placements, or as voluntary laboratory work.

Level 4

Your studies at Level 4 will be at the level of current research in your chosen subject area.

Advanced study of topics in anatomical sciences currently include:

  • cell and developmental biology
  • genetics 
  • cancer research 
  • functional and applied anatomy 
  • cytoskeletal function 
  • cellular signalling 
  • human reproduction 
  • the cell division cycle 
  • protein targeting and secretion 
  • molecular oncology 
  • biomedical imaging 
  • functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system 
  • neuroanatomy

Your studies will involve extensive use of scientific literature and the opportunity to attend a regular programme of seminars given by invited speakers from Britain and abroad.

  • Research project - several formats are available including laboratory-based research under the supervision of a leading scientist, computer modelling, multimedia teaching packages, literature and electronic database review.
Integrated Masters (Level 5) - optional 

If you are interested in continuing your study into a fifth year, please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpage for details of the integrated Masters level.

All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures. Regular in-course assessments (e.g. practical reports, computer-based exercises, essays and data processing exercises) provide feedback on your progress and help you prepare for end-of-module examinations.

On-line assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access via a PC on or off campus. Peer assessment operates in many team projects.

As a graduate in anatomical sciences you will have an excellent grounding for a career in, or further training for, biomedicine and related fields including clinical laboratory medicine and forensic science.

Many of you will contribute to a better understanding of the basis of human disease, taking higher degrees and then going on to careers in biomedical research. You will also be welcomed into applied research and development in the biotechnology industries. Some of you will go on to teach in schools and universities.

We also have a good record of postgraduate entry to medicine, dentistry and physiotherapy.

A broad spectrum of employment is available to graduates in any discipline and your training in communication and transferable skills will be recognised and valued by a wide range of employers.

Hannah Raspe, BSc Anatomical Sciences

"The staff are really great, very helpful and enthusiastic about what they’re teaching. You can tell from the way that they teach that they really, really love what they do. Initially, I did Biological Sciences, but I changed after second year as I wanted to focus on anatomy. Recently, we’ve been focussing on full body dissection which has been a lot of fun. It might not be everybody’s thing, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot. The practical application of what you hear in lectures helps so much. It’s fascinating to learn how people work from the inside. I’m from Germany and I love Scotland. I chose Dundee because of the course. I really like it: the campus, the city - it was always a place I could see myself living in."

Vaisakh Puthusseryppady, Anatomical Sciences BSc

"I feel CAHID has trained me well to become a scientist. From scientific knowledge to other key skills, like how to reference, write reports, and things like that The course is exactly what I expected it to be. I had an interest in anatomy, but in a non-clinical context, so medicine wasn’t an option for me. I expected to study the structures and functions of the human body and that’s exactly what we’ve done. I wasn’t expecting to do actual dissections, so that was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect the Thiel-embalmed cadavers to look as lifelike as they did. I’m a visual learner, so that part of the course helped me quite a bit. It’s a hands on course and I’m really grateful that CAHID gave me the opportunity to learn in that way."

Learn more about careers in Anatomy from The Anatomical Society.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology (Higher, ILC Higher, IB Higher Level) plus Mathematics and Chemistry (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, ILC Ordinary Level at C or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with B in the graded unit with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with AAA to include Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Biology

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
GCE A-Level Minimum Grade: BBB
Typical Grade: ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology (AH or A-Level or IB Higher level) plus Mathematics and Chemistry (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, GCSE at C, or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country"
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HND with AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at AH Biology. Mathematics at SG 3 or Intermediate 2 (grade C)
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology at A. Mathematics at GCSE C
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in Biology

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 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Your personal statement should demonstrate an interest in the subject you are applying for and a commitment to the study of that subject. How did your interest in the subject arise, and do you have a particular career path in mind?

You should comment on your participation in both school/college/work and extracurricular activities and on the extent to which they have aided in your personal development and the acquisition of skills that will be of value to you as a life sciences student.

  • Do you have an enquiring mind?
  • Do you have good analytical skills and problem-solving ability?
  • Are you self-motivated and able to work independently?
  • Are you a good team player?
  • Do you have good communication skills?

If you are planning a gap year, comment on the intended activity and the benefits that you think you are likely to gain from the experience.

Give careful consideration to both the style and content of your personal statement as it can be an indicator of your ability to communicate as well as providing an account of your personal achievements and skills.

  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowAnatomical Sciences BSc (Hons)B110