BSc Biomedical Sciences / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Anatomy RSM

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL20912
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This Research Skills Module is designed to develop your experimental design, report writing and practical skills. Working under the supervision of Anatomy staff you will develop a range of skills including morphometrics, histology, the comparative method and the use of imaging modalities. Working as part of a group you will design and carry out a research project to perform an in-depth study of an area of anatomy.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Body Systems BIOL10811 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Human Sciences EDM BIOL21061 Co-Requisite Recommended
Human Anatomy & Histology BIOL21291 Co-Requisite Compulsory
BIOL20912 Pre & Co-requisites are BIOL10811 & BIOL21291

BIOL20912 Pre & Co-requisites are BIOL10811 & BIOL21291


  • To give students the opportunity to make an ‘in depth’ investigation of an area of anatomy after gaining appropriate skills. 
  • To gain skills in experimental design; data collection and interpretation; and presenting anatomical findings.
  • To gain experience of scientific collaboration by working as a member of a team.

Learning outcomes

To be able to:

  • Use a diverse range of anatomical references and the primary literature
  • Appreciate anatomical variation and know how to evaluate it
  • Conceive and execute a study on a given aspect of human or comparative anatomy
  • Collect, analyse and present data in the format used for publication
  • Have an 'in depth' understanding of an aspect of human or comparative anatomy


  • Histology.
  • Interpreting transverse sections.
  • Interpreting radiographs.
  • Interpreting CT scans.
  • Geometric morphometrics.
  • Use of ultrasound.
  • Gross anatomy of the head, heart and respiratory tract.
  • Mini-project planning.


Students work in groups of 5 to produce a research study using histology, geometric morphometrics or dissection.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students have to analyse their quantitative data using appropriate statistical tests. They also have to consider which is the best way to present that data in writing and in graphical form.
Group/team working
Working in small groups to answer scientific questions.
Students are given a project outline. After that it is up to them to come up with scientific questions and devise ways to answer them through research.
The mini-projects are intended to be collaborative efforts for groups of five students. Nevertheless, some students may embrace a leadership role whilst undertaking them.
Project management
Establishing research questions and managing time, direction and methodology appropriately to answer them during the mini-projects.
Problem solving
You have to ask scientific questions and work out how to collect repeatable data to answer them, how to test that data, how best to analyse that data, and then how to interpret your findings.
You will carry out mini-projects which allow you to come up with and test scientific questions using methodologies appropriate to anatomical research including histology, dissection and geometric morphometric analyses.
Written communication
Communicating scientific research, questions, experimental design and research findings.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 50%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%


  • Cranial Morphometrics (10%)
  • Histology 1 (14%)
  • Histology 2 (6%)
  • Sectional Anatomy 1 (10%)
  • Sectional Anatomy 2 (10%)
  • Individual Mini-Project Report (50%)

RSM Attendance guidelines

Students are expected to attend all scheduled RSM sessions on time (N.B. Health and safety information will be delivered at the start of practical sessions, and students who are not present at the start may be asked to leave the lab). Students who arrive late will be marked as absent for that session. Failure to attend a session (an unauthorised absence) will result in a 10% (i.e. 10 mark) penalty being applied to the overall RSM mark (i.e. a student obtaining a mark of 65% overall will instead receive a mark of 55%). Further absences will result in further penalties (i.e. 2 absences = a penalty of 20% (as described above)).

Feedback methods

For the short practicals feedback will be provided during or after the sessions. Feedback on the mini-project report will be given during the latter part of semester 4.

Recommended reading

Recommended Reading

  • Detton, AJ & Grant JCB (2020) Grant's Dissector (17th edition). Wolters Kluwer Health
  • Gosling, JA (2008) Atlas of Human Anatomy (5th edition). Mosby
  • Kardong, KV (2019) Vertebrates: Comparative Anatomy, Function, Evolution (8th edition). McGraw-Hill
  • Lieberman, D (2011) The Evolution of the Human Head. Belknap Press
  • Moore KL, Dalley AF & Agur AMR (2018) Clinically Oriented Anatomy (8th edition). Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 2
Practical classes & workshops 58
Independent study hours
Independent study 40

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Stefan Gabriel Unit coordinator

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