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Unit information: Anatomy by Dissection in 2020/21

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Unit name Anatomy by Dissection
Unit code ANAT20005
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Craig Johnson
Open unit status Not open

Anatomical Science 1A/B


Human Anatomy or Veterinary Anatomy

School/department School of Anatomy
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The overall aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to further their existing anatomical knowledge and understanding by exploring the dissection of cadaveric specimens.

In this practical-led unit, students are invited to work in groups to plan and direct a full body dissection, working week to week through different regions, systems and species. Short learning opportunities will be placed at strategic points throughout the Unit to discuss the ethical considerations related to body bequests, the practicalities of embalming and tissue preservation, the species specific adaptations relating to comparative anatomy and variations. Appropriate health and safety issues are also addressed.

The nature of the material involved, with the pathologies, variations and abnormalities often disclosed on dissection, offers the opportunity for further research and investigation.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit students should be able to:

1) demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the body, particularly the anatomy underlying common clinical problems and procedures it may have undergone

2) identify, palpate and demonstrate surface markings and anatomical features

3) recognise and investigate evidence of surgical procedures

4) identify, examine and research pathologies encountered

5) recognise common anatomical variations and understand the significance of these

6) discuss the anatomical bases for clinical examination and clinical procedures

7) recognise the ethical and legal considerations of bequeathal programme/procurement of tissue within a dissection-based unit

Teaching details

  • Real time dissection
  • Topical learning opportunities relating to application of the anatomy

Assessment Details

  • 2 x 2000 word essays: TB1 25% and TB2 30%
  • Construction of a dissection guide TB1 10%
  • Reflection of constructed dissection guide TB2 10%
  • Unit wide reflection TB2 20%
  • Cadaver presentation TB2 5%

Reading and References



Textbook of Veterinary anatomy

Dyce, Sack and Wensing, Saunders, 4th edition, 2009. ISBN: 9781416066071

An Anatomy of Domestic Animals, systematic and regional approach

Pasquini and Spurgeon, Bowker, 11th edition, 1989. ISBN: 9780962311420

Guide to dissection of the dog

Evans and de Lahunta, Saunders, 8th edition, 2009. ISBN: 9781437702460

Clinical Anatomy and Physiology of exotic species

O’Malley, Saunders, 1st edition, 2005. ISBN: 9780702027826

Veterinary Neuroanatomy

Thomson and Hahn, 1st edition, 2012. ISBN: 9780702051982


Colour atlas of clinical anatomy of the dog and cat

Boyd and Paterson, Mosby, 2nd edition, 2000. ISBN: 9780723431688

Clinical anatomy of the horse

Clayton, Flood and Rosenstein, Mosby, 1st edition, 2005. ISBN: 9780723433026

Colour atlas of large animal applied anatomy

Clayton and Flood, Mosby, 1st edition, 1995. ISBN: 9780723417170

Human Dissection


Clinical Anatomy

Moore, Dalley, Agur. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 8th Edition, 2017. ISBN: 9781496347213

Grays Anatomy for Students

Drake, Vogl and Mitchell, Churchill Livingston, 3rd edition 2014. ISBN: 9780702051319

Clinical Anatomy By Regions

Richard S. Snell, Wolters Kluwer, 9th edition 2011. ISBN: 9781451110326


Human Anatomy, Colour Atlas and Textbook

Gosling, Harris, Humpherson, Whitmore and Willan. Elsevier, 6th edition, 2016. ISBN: 9780723438274

Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body

Rohen, Lutjen-Drecoll and Yokochi. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkens. 7th edition, 2010. ISBN: 9781609137854

McMinn and Abrahams’ Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy

Abrahams, Spratt, Loukas and van Schoor, Mosby, 7th edition 2013. ISBN: 9780723436973

These texts are common also to the Human Anatomy Units.

Dissection guides:

Gray’s clinical photographic dissector of the human body

Loukas, Benninger and Tubbs, Saunders, 1st edition, 2012. ISBN: 9781437724172

Clemente’s Anatomy Dissector

Clemente, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 3rd edition, 2010. ISBN: 9781608313846