Key Facts

Course Title: Medical Science (Anatomical Sciences)
Course type: MMedSci
Mode of Study:Full Time
Contact Details:Mike Mahon or Luke Welsh
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Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Medicine


This award has been designed to facilitate the learning of the generic skills and knowledge essential to successful higher clinical practice and careers in academic medicine by applying the principles of the scientific method to studies in both anatomical research and clinically-applied anatomy. Anatomy encompasses all levels of structural organisation, topographical, neuroanatomical, histological, cellular and developmental, as well as providing a basis for studies in radiological imaging and pathology. This approach allows students to integrate recent advances in molecular genetics, cell biology, microscopy, imaging and computer simulation to biological and clinical problems concerning the human body.

Aims of the Course

To provide a thorough grounding in the methods and approaches to scientific enquiry and research in the anatomical sciences.

Entry Requirements

You will need to be undertaking a Keele or other UK undergraduate Medical Degree course and wishing to take a year out of your studies to pursue a thorough grounding of scientific enquiry in the anatomical sciences and research methodologies relevant to experimental and clinical sciences.

Anyone applying from a country where English is not the first language is required to show evidence of English language competence, obtaining at least an IELTS score of 6.5 (with no subtest lower than 5.5) or hold a previous degree which has been taught and examined in English.

A comparative IELTS score to other English Language qualifications is available on the International website.

Course Content

A total of 180 credits are required to achieve the MMedSci (Anatomical Sciences) Intercalated.

One third of the credits are associated with the major dissertation/project, one third are anatomy-related taught modules with practical content, and one third comprises a combination of core generic methodology modules and a choice of modules in areas of cell and molecular biology or applied clinical science.

Course Modules

Four core modules which are compulsory:

Applied Morphological Techniques and Imaging (30 credits)

This module, taken early in the semester, introduces some of the key research techniques employed in anatomical, experimental and pathological investigations, including whole body methods, optical, confocal and electron microscopy, histochemical and immunocytochemical staining methods, and quantitative techniques such as morphometry and stereology. In general, half-day theory sessions are followed by practicals and visits to various research and pathology laboratories and seminars involve critical analysis of the literature and applications to project design and research grant funding.

Applied Clinical Anatomy 1 (15 credits)

Applied Clinical Anatomy 1 is a six-day module spread over semester 1, covering practical, theoretical and applied aspects of the anatomy and development of the muscular, nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The unit includes anatomy prosection practicals, anthropometry, ultrasound imaging and critical analysis of the research literature particularly in the field of neuromuscular anatomy, variations, anomalies, and applied anatomy.

Applied Surgical Anatomy (15 credits)

Applied Surgical Anatomy is spread over both semesters, provides students with the opportunity to acquire a thorough knowledge of anatomy as applied to surgical diagnoses and procedures as a foundation for understanding and developing the scientific and evidence base of current practice. Activities include anatomy dissection labs, small group work and presentations, case-based discussions and critical appraisal work on the anatomical and surgical literature and self-directed learning.

Research Methods in Health (15 credits)

The aims of this module are as follows:

  • To develop the students’ understanding of the philosophical and methodological bases of health and social research
  • To enable the student to make an informed and appropriate choice of research design and methods
  • To equip the student with critical appraisal skills
  • To provide the student with the methodological foundation for a research dissertation

THREE OPTIONAL modules, ideally ONE from each of groups A, B, and C By discussion with the course tutors:

Group A

Statistics and Epidemiology (15 credits)
Medical Education (15 credits)

Group B

• Stem Cells: Types, Diagnoses and  Applications (15 credits)
• Cell & Tissue Engineering (15 credits)

Group C

Physiology of Neuromusculoskeletal Tissue (15 credits)
Psychosocial Aspects of Pain (15 credits)
Concepts of Neurological Rehabilitation (15 credits)
Physiology and Pharmacology of Pain (15 credits)
Assistive Technologies in Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (15 credits)
Dynamic Ultrasound Imaging (15 credits)



This may take the form of one long (9 month) dissection or laboratory-based research topic written up to include a literature review, methodologies, results and discussion. Alternatively, this could comprise a short dissection or laboratory research project and a related medical education research project written up as above. Some short exploratory anatomy lab research projects may be undertaken in the style of Applied Clinical Anatomy 2.


Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching takes place in the anatomy dissecting rooms and surgical training suite, multiuser and physiotherapy laboratories, seminar rooms and IT facilities. A wide range of clinical and scientific staff contribute to the courses.

The taught modules are assessed in a variety of ways including, for example, written assignments/essays to hand in, powerpoint presentations, anatomy viva, ultrasound practical skills assessment. The research project requires writing a mini thesis to include literature review, methods, results and discussion.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.