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Unit information: Advanced Dissection in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Advanced Dissection
Unit code ANAT30006
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Scott Paterson
Open unit status Not open



Methods, Communication & Translation, Functional and Clinical Anatomy, Research Portfolio

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 by hands-on dissection of a cadaveric subject and to provide a basis for the research portfolio. Working in small groups, students will take turns over the course of the unit to lead the group dissection, and are wholly involved in selection, planning, and performing of the dissection. The nature of the material involved, with inherent pathologies, variations and abnormalities that often disclosed on dissection, offers the opportunity for further research and investigation. Students will be expected to maintain the dignity and respect of the cadaveric subject at all times but will gain a huge amount of knowledge from their ‘silent teacher’.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of body structure
  2. demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of body tissues in normal and pathologic states
  3. identify, palpate and demonstrate surface markings and anatomical features
  4. recognise anatomical structures and pathology on MR scans, comparing imaging and dissection findings
  5. recognise and investigate evidence of surgical procedures
  6. identify, examine and research pathologies encountered
  7. investigate anatomical variations and understand the significance of these
  8. discuss the anatomical bases for clinical examination and clinical procedures
  9. recognise the ethical and legal considerations of bequeathal programme/procurement of tissue within a dissection-based unit
  10. demonstrate team working and leadership skills

Teaching details

As most interactions with patients involve surface anatomy, the rationale behind these teaching sessions is to learn from the 'outside inwards'. Cadavers will be used to study surface anatomy, then these landmarks will guide dissection. Online tutorials (the flipped classroom) and interpretation of MR scans will prepare students for practical dissection sessions. Class based discussion and break out ad hoc teaching will respond to pathologies and variance as they are discovered.

Students will be given anonymised information on their cadaveric subject such as age, cause of death, known procedure and occupation.

Assessment Details

1 Group oral medical history presentation Our Cadaver's History. 20%

2 x summative Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), in the January and Summer assessment periods. 40% EACH

Reading and References

Discoveries and observations made during the course of dissection will drive further reading to a large extent. The flipped classroom will aid preparation for dissection. However the following textbooks will provide an advanced level overview of regional anatomy.

  • Last’s Anatomy, Sinnatamby. Churchill Livingstone.
  • Gray’s Anatomy, ed. Standring. Churchill Livingstone.
  • Human Sectional Anatomy, Ellis, Logan & Dixon. Butterworth Heinemann.