Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Four students walk through campus
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Anatomy Laboratory

BSMS > About BSMS > Anatomy lab

Anatomy laboratory

Located in the Medical Teaching Building on the University of Sussex campus, the Anatomy Laboratory is an integral part of learning at BSMS. It is also utilised by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex’s health professional programmes, and hosts a considerable number of external events including surgical training courses.

The Anatomy Laboratory is licensed under The Human Tissue Act 2004, regulated by the Human Tissue Authority. The licence holder is the Registrar of the University of Sussex and the day-to-day responsibilities for the licence reside with the 'Designated Individual' (Prof Claire F. Smith, Head of Anatomy).

Prof Claire Smith discusses a model of a skull with students in anatomy lab



At BSMS, anatomy is taught using a wide range of teaching and learning methods.

Within years 1 and 2, undergraduate students dissect specified regions of the human body aided by structured guides. They gain a complete understanding of the relationship between structure and function within the body and how such knowledge forms the basis of clinical medicine. In year 2, students progress to studying more intricate details of the body, learning from expertly prepared, prosected specimens.

Living anatomy is a very important part of the course, with students learning the basis of clinical examination from the knowledge they gain of important surface landmarks. We link anatomy with modern imaging techniques, with students utilising portable ultrasound machines to understand how anatomical structures can be viewed clinically.

Throughout the teaching of anatomy, physicians, surgeons and radiologists participate in lectures, tutorials, clinical symposia and practical classes, enabling students to observe the strong underpinning of clinical medicine with the basic medical sciences.

In partnership with Nuffield Health Brighton, our anatomy demonstrators are qualified doctors currently training in surgery or radiology. They work with our students both within the dissecting room and in small group tutorials, bringing their clinical experiences to the course.

At BSMS, we believe that anatomy learning is not just limited to formal teaching sessions. We offer a range of technology enhanced learning opportunities, including access to 3D printed material, in-house produced Vodcasts, and access to leading commercial software.


Anatomy features in a number of postgraduate courses, including the MSc in Cardiology and MSc in Radiology. Many leading consultant surgeons, radiologists and anesthetists from the trust hospitals also utilise our facilities for surgical courses and research projects related to anatomical examination to confirm, or even refute, dogma in surgical practice.

Read more about our postgraduate courses >

Students in the anatomy lab

"The anatomy teaching is one of the best aspects of the course. Our lecturers are amazing and dissections help you to appreciate what you are learning in a way that no text-book can teach. Regular imaging practicals also give us a taster of anatomy's relevance."

- Mark Abel, postgraduate student

Hire our facility

The Brighton and Sussex University Anatomy Laboratory Suite was refurbished in 2018 and now holds both a Human Tissue Authority Anatomy Licence and a Public Display Licence, so that quality teaching and training sessions can be held for students and professionals alike.

A group of BSMS students in the dissection suite looking at plastic anatomical models with an anatomy demonstrator

The facilities include three state-of-the-art dissection rooms, which can accommodate a total of 160 learners and are located in the Medical School on Falmer Campus.

We can provide a range of specimens for courses including: cadaveric full body and prosections. We use a range of techniques, including fresh frozen, soft fix and traditional fix, to suit your needs. Our dissection rooms are also set up with the latest large screens and video streaming and operating theatre lights to aid learning.

With our full time, dedicated staff, we can help to individually tailor your course to your leaning outcomes, and can lead or support sessions and teaching. Additionally, we have a team of anatomy demonstrators who can offer their assistance if required.

If you are interested in using our facilities to explore new surgical techniques or to improve student learning then please follow the link below to provide us with your details and we will contact you shortly. All use of the facilities is subject to a charge. Full draft costings are always provided prior to hire agreement.

Enquire here >

Become an anatomy demonstrator

Anatomy demonstrators are essential members of our teaching team and play an important role in our students’ development through guidance, support and delivery of high quality anatomical teaching.

We expect all demonstrators to be enthusiastic teachers, good communicators, have excellent interpersonal skills and possess the ability to effectively and cooperatively work within a team. The anatomy demonstrator role is an attractive 12-month fixed term post for those wishing to develop teaching, clinical and research skills. The post offers mentorship through MRCS examinations and the opportunity to study for a fully funded Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Medical Education.

Read more about Medical Education >

Post Title: Medical Anatomy Demonstrator
School/department: Montefiore Hospital, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 
Hours: Full time
Contract: fixed term for 12 months 
Salary: £29,000 plus study budget and end of year bonus

Applications are invited for the posts of Medical Anatomy demonstrators. These fixed term posts are available with the fantastic collaboration between top private health providers and BSMS. 

The posts are aligned to a Private Health Care Providers where the individuals will work as Resident Medical Officers (RMO). The Montefiore Hospital in Hove, a 36 bed acute private hospital. 

RMOs are required to also take part in a 1:5 rotation as Resident Medical Officer at their respective hospital, covering day or night shifts in accordance with the working time directive. RMOs will be allocated to the employer based on subject speciality. Successful candidates will liaise with all consultant users (most of whom work within Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust) and will have a fantastic opportunity to see a wide variety of surgical procedures and techniques. Post holders will also support the nursing team and be a pivotal link between consultant and patient in all specialties, including urology inc. gender reassignment surgery (Nuffield Hospital only), gynaecology, ENT, ophthalmology, general surgery and orthopaedics. As a key member of the team, they will be given a private en-suite room, access to the internet for study and communication purposes, free meals and free parking whilst on duty. Opportunities to learn and develop skills within the successful candidate’s chosen area of interest will be strongly encouraged out of hours or, as able, during shifts by arranging theatre sessions with the support of the consultant users. The successful candidate will also be awarded a professional study budget of £700 towards the Basic Surgical Skills course or other additional study requirements to improve their log book of surgical skills.

When not undertaking RMO duties you will work as an essential member of Brighton and Sussex Medical School teaching team. You will play an important role in our students’ development through guidance, support and delivery of high quality medical and anatomical teaching. We expect all RMOs to be enthusiastic teachers, good communicators, have excellent interpersonal skills and possess the ability to effectively and cooperatively work within a team. The post offers mentorship through MRCS or other examinations and the opportunity to study for a fully funded Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Medical Education.

All applicants must have full GMC registration and have a valid certificate in both ALS and EPLS before commencing the role.

The post runs to August and fits in with the NHS training system. 

Applications in the form of a covering letter expressing the candidates’ reasons for applying for the post, together with a supporting CV, should be sent to Professor Claire Smith, Head of Anatomy, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex Campus, Falmer BN1 9PX. Email:

Further particulars are available from Matron at The Montefiore Hospital on 01273 828117 or Professor Claire Smith, Head of Anatomy, Brighton and Sussex Medical School on 01273 877890.

We will apply to the Criminal Records Bureau for disclosure on the successful candidate.

Visit Montefiore Hospital website > 

We are also working in collaboration with Nuffield Health. Please contact them directly about current opportunities to become an anatomy demonstrator/RMO at BSMS. 

Visit Nuffield Health Careers Website >

At BSMS we also work with a number of clinicians and allied health professionals who wish to demonstrate on an occasional basis. If you are interested in this please email: >

Students in anatomy lab

Body donation

We are very grateful to those who are generous enough to donate their bodies for science and medical education. Brighton and Sussex Medical School arrange this through the London Anatomy Office.

Medical schools still need the generosity of individuals to gift their bodies to them. Despite all the advances in technology, donated human bodies are essential in the teaching of future generations of doctors and allied healthcare students. These students need to learn the intricacies of the human body and the skills, and attitudes that are associated with patient treatment. Medical students systematically work through donors to learn about the human body in health and disease. Qualified specialists such as surgeons frequently visit the anatomy department to help them prepare for complex surgical cases. They use donated human bodies to practice and develop new surgeries and treatments for conditions. 

The anatomy department is regulated by the Human Tissue Authority and regularly inspected. Respect is at the heart of everything we do. We understand that donating your body to science is a large step and we encourage you to discuss it with family and friends. To donate your body please contact the London Anatomy Office on the details below and they will be happy to advise and to send you all you need. 

You may wish to learn more about body donation and understand some examples of what medical schools can and can’t do with your body. You might also like to learn more about what happens to your body when the medical school have finished their teaching and research. There are several sources for you to look at.

Visit the London Anatomy Office website >

The Human Tissue Authority provides advice on donating your body here >


Professor Claire Smith has written a book called The Silent Teacher the Gift of Body Donation, which is available from all good bookshops and online retailers.

If you are considering donating and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

T: +44 (0)1273 877890



Guidance for institutions and anatomists

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced medical educators to adapt the delivery of teaching sessions to online platforms. This has raised some challenges for medical educators in the UK, where the distribution of cadaveric images is widely considered to breach the dignity of the donor. Anatomists do, however, frequently share images of sensitive, cadaveric material (including plastinated and potted specimens) with healthcare professions students when delivering face-to-face teaching sessions. Concerns are thus mounting as to how to ensure online cadaveric anatomy teaching is as safe and secure as possible and causes no detriment to the donor, the donor’s family, the wider profession, and the licensed educational institution providing anatomical instruction.

We have produced a guide for institutions and anatomists when utilising cadaveric material for online teaching sessions. The guidance document is available to download below.

View the guidance here >