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BSc in Anatomy: Play to your strengths and study aspects of biology that really interest you!

StudentsArrivingToLabOtago is the only University in New Zealand that offers a Bachelor's Degree in Anatomy - a diverse field of study that aims to understand the human body in it's entirety: from our ancient genes to the physical and neurological diseases that affect us today.

Our papers cover clinical and functional anatomy, neuroscience, reproduction and developmental biology, and biological anthropology.

You also have the opportunity to add in genetics, physiology, biochemistry, cultural anthropology; and just about anything you can think of in the biological sciences.

There is even some scope within an Anatomy degree to study subjects like music or foreign languages.

A BSc in Anatomy is also an excellent path to getting entry into the health professions, including medicine, dentistry, and physiotherapy!

Our students end up in diverse occupations all over the globe - some even change our lives!

For more information about BSc in Anatomy

Postgraduate study in Anatomy: Oh the places you'll go!

PapiandDanielleThe choices available to an Anatomy student increase considerably when it comes to postgraduate study. In fact you could potentially study anything to do with the biology of living organisms.

Some of the research topics being explored by postgraduate students in Anatomy are:

  • Human Fertility: Specifically looking at neurons and the link between nutrition and human fertility.
  • Muscle Architecture: How the structure of certain muscles affects hip pain.
  • Brain Recovery Techniques: Looking at how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) alters cells inside the brain and the application this has in stroke recovery.
  • Palaeopathology: The relationship between micronutrients, protein intake, and infectious bacterial diseases in ancient Chile.
  • Aquaculture: The genome of the Greenshell™ Mussel, Perna canaliculus, and how to improve the breeding programs of this important species.
  • Biomaterials: Looking at ways to use waste products from the meat industry to create viable and compatible bone graft materials.
  • Conservation Genomics: Looking at the functional genomic differences between New Zealand Kaka populations to support conservation management of the species.

Students can do projects as diverse and interesting as these, even at Honours (BSc(Hons)) level. We also offer Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters, Thesis only Masters, and PhD degrees.

The Department also runs a specific Postgraduate Diploma (PGDipSurgAnat) for junior doctors wishing to pursue a career in surgery or radiology.

For more information about Postgraduate degrees

Professional workshops

The Department runs a number of postgraduate workshops for trainee doctors and medical professionals who wish to up-skill and/or learn new techniques. They are taught by leading researchers, clinicians and surgeons from within the Department and around the world.

The workshops are a critical component of the continued education health professionals engage in each year to learn new skills and integrate the constant flow of new research into their day-to-day practice.

For more information about Professional Workshops

Undergraduate student exchange programme

Students from partner universities can attend Otago for either one or two semesters on exchange, pay no tuition fees and credit the work they complete at Otago back to their home degree. This is made possible under a bi-lateral agreement which has been signed by a number of participating universities around the world including the University of Otago.


The Anatomy Department undergraduate papers are ideal for international students wanting to take advantage of this program. Our standard ANAT papers compliment many biological and health science degrees. While our biological anthropology papers, which have strong Pacific and Polynesian content, can give students a glimpse into a world few people get to see.

The BIOA papers are also great additions for students studying, or wanting to study forensics.

Your first point of contact when applying to come to the University of Otago as an exchange student should be the Exchange Office at your home institution.
University of Otago Exchange partners

The exchange program works both ways, so New Zealand undergraduate students can study at participating universities overseas.

For more information go to the Otago Global Student Exchange page

Anatomy Department: Everywhere you go

We also contribute to the teaching of other degree programmes and their majors/minors. These include degrees in Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences (Human Reproduction & Development), Forensics and Anthropology... In fact the Anatomy Department teaches into 13 majors!

The Department also provides extensive teaching into Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Physical Education and Medical Laboratory Science.

Some of the things Anatomy students say about us....

”The resources that Otago University has to offer Anatomy students are top class, from the Anatomy museum to the use of human cadavers in learning provided invaluable hands on experience and a greater understanding and appreciation of the human body.” Kirstin McKenzie, Bsc in Anatomy

“The theory I was provided with at Otago was diverse, from specific embryology, anatomy, and genetics through to ethics and reproductive anthropology, and provided me with a strong foundation that was then built on during my master's.” Mina Vasilic, BBioMedSc(Hons) MCE

“They [Anatomy Lecturers] picked you up when you needed it and sent you on the right track and maintained you on that track.” Jaye Moors, PGDipSci, Anatomy.

Alumni profiles

Course-related terminology used at the University of Otago

Course: The collection of papers for which a student is enrolled in a particular semester or year.

Paper: The smallest individual academic components of a course (and thus of a Programme).
Papers are characterised by:
1. being recorded as separate entities on an academic record
2. having some form of result attached to them
3. generating a definable portion of the tuition fees payable.
Thus the Otago term 'paper' is equivalent to the US term 'course'.

Postgraduate Course: A course undertaken by a student who has already completed a Bachelor's degree and comprising papers or other work at 400-level or above. Thus the Otago term 'postgraduate degree' is equivalent to the US term 'graduate degree'.

more terminology

Why Dunedin?


There are lots of reasons students come to Dunedin to study. But everyone agrees Dunedin's incredible lifestyle is one of the biggest draw cards.

Whether it's beaches, biking or backpacking, Dunedin has a wealth of great activities right on the doorstep!

Dunedin is also only a short drive away from Queenstown: the adventure capital of the world.

For more info on studying, living, and enjoying life in the best little city in the world go to dunedinnz

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