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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Anatomy and imaging

BSMS > Undergraduate > Why choose BSMS > Anatomy and imaging

Anatomy and imaging

How you learn

Our aim is to give you a thorough understanding of how the body works to prepare you for the realities of clinical practice.

Experience and evidence shows the best way to achieve this is through a combination of cadaveric dissection, prosection, living anatomy and ultrasound sessions. We supplement your learning with the latest technology including the use of iPads, podcasts and virtual and augmented reality.

From the beginning of your course, you will be encouraged to actively participate in all dissection and living anatomy sessions. You’ll also be taught imaging skills, including how to understand x-rays, ultrasound and MRIs.


Dissection takes place in our modern, fully equipped anatomy laboratory, where our faculty and demonstrators are on hand to teach and support your practice. Each teaching group has on average eight students per cadaver to ensure you all take an active role. Working in small groups also helps with the development of your communication and team-building skills.

To help you in each dissection session you receive detailed notes to guide you and provide you with a clear understanding of structure and function within the body and how this forms the basis of clinical medicine.

Dissection is only one element of our approach to anatomical teaching. You also take part in living anatomy sessions, interactive lectures and small group tutorials, and use prosections, plastic models, augmented reality apps and online resources to help your understanding.


Another key part of your learning is through interactive imaging sessions. There are opportunities to explore imaging further through additional student selected components and our on-campus Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre facility.


When you learn

Your anatomy instruction at BSMS begins right from the start of your course. For the first two years you focus on the main systems of the body, moving on to more specialised anatomy in Year four.

By introducing you to our fully integrated approach early on, you are in a strong position to deepen your understanding of anatomy and appreciate the relevance of what you are learning across the different disciplines.

In Years 1 and 2, you will begin with an introduction to anatomy in the Foundations of Health and Disease module, after which you spend (on average) four dedicated sessions in the anatomy laboratory and at least one module tutorial of living anatomy and ultrasound.

  • Heart, Lungs and Blood
  • Nutrition, Metabolism and Excretion
  • Neuroscience and Behaviour
  • Reproduction and Endocrinology
  • Musculoskeletal System and Immunology

Your sessions in the anatomy laboratory will be accompanied by a host of other anatomical activities.

During Year 4 you return to the lab as part of your clinical rotations, where you concentrate on anatomy related to ears, nose and throat, and orthopaedic specialties.