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Unit information: Anatomy by Dissection in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

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%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ANAT20005).