Functional and Clinical Anatomy MSc

This programme offers the opportunity to study functional, comparative and clinical anatomy to a higher level of critical understanding. The programme is designed for ambitious clinicians who will have studied anatomy at undergraduate level to extend their knowledge and understanding of the subject in a functional context in an academically stimulating environment whilst maintaining their clinical careers rather than having to interrupt their career path. Students come from all parts of Great Britain including: Wales, Dublin, Belfast, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Lincoln as well as locally.

The quotation below was taken from an article two of our students submitted to the British Medical Journal about this programme. 

Rhys Morris, Priam Heire

Article from BMJ

“We highly recommended this course to ambitious clinicians from a diverse range of specialties who are keen to build on a number of essential and desirable skills. Beyond improving anatomical knowledge, the programme helps participants develop an analytical approach to research, manual dexterity through dissection, and presentation skills. As it is part time, this course can be done during foundation or specialty training without the need for a prolonged period out of full time work. This obviates the loss of income associated with other full time postgraduate degrees and the risk of potential deskilling through time spent away from clinical areas.”

This programme offers the opportunity to study functional, comparative and clinical anatomy to a higher level of critical understanding. Advanced skills in learning as well as practical skills used during this programme will support your career development and introduce you to higher skills for clinical practice. It has been designed to allow participating students to maintain their clinical experience whilst studying for a highly relevant MSc level qualification.

Why study this course

This course will allow you to:

  • develop a level of dissection skill that is both informed by and continues to enhance your understanding of anatomy and its variability between individuals
  • take the opportunity to study developmental and comparative functional anatomy to a higher level of critical understanding
  • develop a capacity for, and a habit of, using analytical and critical approaches in reading research literature as part of independent learning
  • develop advanced skills of independent and collaborative learning that will support your academic work and introduce you to higher levels of clinical practice
  • gain experience of learning in laboratories and clinics where internationally-recognised research and treatment are being developed

On completion of the Functional and Clinical Anatomy Masters course you will have gained:

  • knowledge and understanding of the detailed functional anatomy of the body that will inform your understanding and decision making in complex clinical practice
  • a knowledge of the embryological development and growth of the regions and systems of the body and their implications upon its functional anatomy important in decision making in clinical practice
  • an understanding of the consequences of pathological states upon functional anatomy and the anatomical causes of pathology
  • experience and understanding of methodologies and paradigms used in medical research that will enhance your ability to embark upon appropriate and significant research both within the course and in future clinical practice

These will give you the opportunity to work in clinics and laboratories where internationally recognised research and treatments are being developed.

The flexibility in choosing a dissertation project gives students the opportunity to explore an area of interest and may result in further publications or posters to improve their CV.


There are five compulsory modules:

  • Functional anatomy of the trunk and lower limb
  • Functional anatomy of the upper limb, head and neck
  • Dissection and decision making
  • Research methods and appraisal of published work
  • Dissertation based upon research

You will take two optional modules, these include:

  • Anatomical and immunological basis of transplantation
  • Anatomical basis of trauma management
  • Inflammatory disease of joints

These modules will give you the opportunity to work in clinics and laboratories where internationally recognised research and treatments are being developed.

Fees and funding

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. As part of the UK’s Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement, the government has reconfirmed its commitment to loans for postgraduate Masters degrees as part of the 2015 Spending Review.

The government-backed student loans will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.  Detailed criteria and information regarding the application process is expected in early 2016. The key information to date is summarised here.

Fees 2016/17

Home/EU students
£4,185 per year for two years. This fee is applicable to UK/EU students and international students working in a UK/EU hospital.  

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For information about all Home/EU and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

For other funding queries contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

MBChB, MBBS or equivalent certificate in medicine, BDS or equivalent certificate in dental science

Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Learning will be through lectures, seminars and small group sessions, with practical experience in clinics and laboratories – all these with a high staff to student ratio. You will produce a detailed and thorough dissection of a human cadaver; this will develop your manual skills as well as inform your higher level of understanding in topographical anatomy. 

You are encouraged to contribute directly to planning the course content and required to continuously evaluate the taught modules. In addition, student representatives are elected to the course advisory panel.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

Explore our facilities and take a tour by moving around our 360-degree panoramas:


Assessment methods

The programme will be assessed using a variety of methods, which will include essays, extended matching set questions and short notes questions and a viva, with formative assessments offered in each of these forms. A final dissertation and presentation based upon original research is required for completion of this MSc.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead: 

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance 

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.

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University accommodation for postgraduates is located across the University's three student villages, all of which are within walking distance of the main campus. We have a range of accommodation types, including flats with study bedrooms, sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities; flats with ensuite study bedrooms; and studio apartments where you have exclusive use of both kitchen and bathroom facilities.

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