Skip to main contentSkip to footer
finger pointing scan
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Staff profiles

BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Claire Smith

Professor Claire Smith

Clair smith

Professor Claire Smith

Head of Anatomy
T: +44 (0)1273 877579
Location: Medical School Teaching Building, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9PX

DA: Lisa Costick/Ellen Thomas

T: +44 (0)1273 877579

Other roles: Research Lead for the Department of Medical Education
Area(s) of Expertise: Anatomy; anatomical pedagogy, curriculum design, medical education


  • Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine, 2007-2013

  • Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton, Faculty of Medicine 2002-2007

  • Dissector, St Georges Hospital Medical School, 2001-2002


Prof Claire Smith's research focuses on understanding the student learning experience so that the learning can be improved. Her seminal research has led the field in understanding how students learn. Her recent focus has been on developing core curricula and on understanding the decisions involved in the process of body donation. Prof Smith is the Lead author of Gray’s Surface Anatomy for Students and the faulty advisor for Crash Course Anatomy and Physiology. Claire is an Associate editor for Anatomical Sciences Education - the world-leading journal for anatomy education.

Claire was the Principal Investigator and lead author on the revised Core Anatomy Syllabus for Medical Students (Produced in collaboration with the Anatomical Society, Hull York Medical School  and the University of Newcastle)

She was the first in the UK to begin printing 3D anatomy body parts for students scanned from a donated human cadaver.

Claire's current collaborations include:

  • Developing Core Syllabi in Anatomy (Collaboration Hull York Medical School, Newcastle University, Royal College Surgeons Ireland).
  • Understanding students Motivation in anatomy education (Collaboration University of Belfast, University of Murdoch, Australia).


Prof Claire Smith teaches across all areas of gross anatomy and the anatomy related to histology, embryology, radiology and living anatomy. Prof Smith is responsible for the strategic direction of anatomy teaching at BSMS. Prof Smith and her team deliver over a thousand hours of teaching every year to medical and allied health professionals.

As a teacher, Claire has been awarded a teaching excellence awards by the Universities of Southampton, Brighton and Sussex which reflects her ability to deliver high quality anatomy education. She uses innovative teaching methods including 3D printing, Technology Enhanced Learning and creative methods to help students understand core concepts. Claire has experience in creating and delivering new modules, courses and programmes. Claire was awarded the titled Educator Innovator 2017 by the Association for the Study of Medical Education. In 2018 Prof Smith was awarded National Teaching Fellowship by Advance Higher Education.

Claire teaches anatomy to undergraduates and postgraduates and supervised a number of research students at MSc and PhD level. She is an external examiner to a number of UK Universities and is a member (previous Chair) of the Education Committee for the Anatomical Society advising and leading initiatives in anatomy education nationally and internationally. Claire is a member of the Court of Examiners for the Royal College of Surgeons and frequently examines on the MRCS. Claire is the Secretary General for the European Federation of Experimental Morphology.Claire has co-authored two books including a new title in the Gray’s series Gray’s Surface Anatomy and Ultrasound.

She is a Designated Individual for the Human Tissue Authority and Chair of the HTA committee University of Sussex.

Selected publications

E. M. Abdel Meguid, C. F. Smith, A. J. Meyer. Examining the motivation of health profession students to study human anatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education. In Press 2019

J. Holland, C. F.Smith, M. OShea, J. Stewart, C. Ockleford, G.Finn The Anatomical Society Core Embryology Syllabus for undergraduate medicine. Journal of Anatomy 235: 847-860. 2019.

C. Hennessy, C. F. Smith, S. Greener, G. Ferns. Social Media Guidelines: A Review for Health Professionals and Faculty. Clinical Teacher. In Press 2019.

C. Smith and S. Border. The Twelve Cranial Nerves of Christmas: Mnemonics, rhyme, and anatomy - seeing the lighter side. Anat Sci Educ. Early View doi: 10.1002/ase.1846. 2018.

C. Smith, G. Finn, C. Hennessy, S. McHanwell. The initial impact of the anatomical society gross anatomy core syllabus for medicine in the United Kingdom: student and teacher perspectives. Anat Sci Educ. Early View DOI 10.1002/ase.1826 2018.

G. Finn, G. Hitch, B. Apampa, C. Hennessy, C. Smith, J. Stewart, P. Gard. The Anatomical Society Core Anatomy Syllabus for Pharmacists: Outcomes to Create a Foundation for Practice. Journal of Anatomy, 232 (5): 729-738.  2018.

S.A. Connolly, T.H. Gillingwater, C. Chandler A.W. Grant, J. Grieg, M. Meskell, M.T. Ross, C. Smith, A.F. Wood, G.M. Finn The Anatomical Society’s Core Anatomy Syllabus for Undergraduate Nursing. Journal of Anatomy, 232 (5): 721-728. 2018.

S. Hall, CH. Harrison, J. Stephens, M. Gestreria Andrade, EG. Seaby, W. Parton, S. McElligott, MA. Myers, A. Elmansouri, M. Ahn, R. Parrot, C. Smith, S. Border. The benefits of being a near-peer teacher. Clinical Teacher, 15 (5): 403-407 2018.

C. Smith, N. Tollemache, M. Johnson, D. Covill. Take Away Body Parts! An investigation into the use of 3D-printed anatomical models in undergraduate anatomy education. Anat Sci Educ, 11;1:44-53. 2018. In the TOP 10 Downloaded articles in 2018.

C. Hennessy, E. Kirkpatrick, C. Smith and S. Border. Social media and anatomy education: using Twitter to enhance the student learning experience in anatomy. Anat Sci Educ, 9;6:505-515. 2016. Article in the top 10 downloads 2017.