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 Study Anatomy at Otago

Anatomy – you can’t leave home without it. It’s with you everywhere you go. It holds you together, it controls what you think and do, it enables you to run, jump, and play.

So as you might expect, there is more to studying Anatomy than immediately meets the eye.

There’s cell biology, neurobiology, clinical and functional anatomy, body systems, reproductive biology, developmental biology, and biological anthropology.

The University of Otago is the only New Zealand university to offer a bachelor’s degree majoring in Anatomy. You have the opportunity to explore the traditional approaches to studying Anatomy, as well as using the latest techniques and hi-tech equipment to explore the human body at all levels of its structure: from single cells to multi-organ systems.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Anatomy?

Anatomy is a diverse, vibrant, and visual subject. It explores the relationship between the structure of the body and the functions it performs, and can be studied from microscopic to macroscopic levels.

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • How the body develops from just a single cell to an individual with millions of cells organised into many different tissues and organ systems
  • How you can tell the age a person was when they died just by looking at their bones
  • What changes occur when we develop from child to adult
  • How the structure of muscles are related to their function
  • How our brains control what we think how we feel, and what we do
  • How the reproductive system functions
  • Using skeletal remains to track movement, culture, and health of ancient people
  • How to analyse, interpret, and discuss relevant contemporary anatomical research, and much, much more…

Studying papers in Anatomy will expose you to world-leading research in the anatomical sciences. You will learn techniques such as immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and gene sequencing, and have access to state-of-the-art equipment such as electron and confocal microscopes, and next-generation sequencing technology.

Background required

You don’t need any particular subjects to get into the first-year papers that lead into Anatomy. However, because these papers are biologically oriented, it is helpful to have completed Year 13 Biology and Chemistry.

Career opportunities

A University of Otago graduate in Anatomy has the world at their feet. Opportunities available to them are varied and numerous, ranging from health professions such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Physiotherapy, to research and teaching at university or secondary and primary school, to technical work in medical or agricultural laboratories, to sales, marketing, and research positions with pharmaceutical, medical, or agribusiness companies, or national bodies such as the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

Graduates also work as funeral directors, winemakers, policymakers,  and beyond – there is definitely something for everyone with a degree in Anatomy!

Anatomy students gain a high level of knowledge and competencies across a broad range of topics, with a range of skills that can be applied to any chosen career. These skills range from learning to speak and work in group environments, honing and extending thinking and communication skills, through to having an awareness and understanding of ethics and developing the ability to undertake self-directed learning. Ant then of course, there are the technical and applied skills that are used every day in practical labs.

Some graduates use their degree as a stepping stone to further study in a health professional course, while others have gone on to postgraduate study in forensic science, clinical embryology, and of course the various research fields – biological anthropology, clinical anatomy, neuroscience, and reproductive and developmental biology – offered in the Department of Anatomy here at the University of Otago.

Anatomy at Otago

Anatomy is offered as major for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, which includes all ANAT papers as well as biological anthropology (BIOA). You can also study Anatomy in a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree.

We also offer the Reproduction, Genetics and Development major for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (BBiomedSc) degree.

Anatomy papers also form key components of degrees in Neuroscience, Forensic Analytical Science, Genetics, Human Nutrition, Food Science, and Medical Laboratory Science.

BIOA papers can also form part of an Arts degree.

What does a BSc in Anatomy involve?

In your first year, you will be introduced to the structure, function, and development of the various systems in the human body. You will also learn about the biology of cells and human genetic variation, the diversity of microorganisms, and microbial virulence and diseases. You’ll also take other general first-year papers, including Chemistry or Physics.

At the ned of your first year, you will have a good basic knowledge of the whole body, be able to recognise the difference cells and their organelles, and have a basic understanding of how the human body systems work.

The skills and knowledge learnt at first year will then be developed more in-depth in second- and third-year papers which cover human cells and systems, neurobiology, reproductive and developmental biology, functional anatomy, cell biology, and biological anthropology.

Teaching style

Papers are taught in a lecture and laboratory format. Laboratory classes are exciting and hands-on, and involve learning state-of-the-art techniques for the scientific analysis of human and animal tissue, including tissue / cell culture; electron, light, and confocal microscopy; immunohistochemistry; histology; stereology; molecular biological technique; and skeletal forensic investigations.

Laboratory rooms are well equipped and modern, and you will have access to hi-tech equipment. You will also be able to study in our historic and world-learning W.D. Trotter Anatomy Museum.

Postgraduate study

If you wish you take your knowledge beyond third year, a range of postgraduate opportunities are available. We have a large family of postgraduate students who are vital contributors to the ongoing research in the Department of Anatomy, and have developed a vibrant social network.

You could find yourself doing an honours or master’s degree, or a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Science. Or why not aim high and shoot for PhD?

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages:

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Anatomy

LevelPapersPoints
100-level

CELS 191  Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 191  The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

HUBS 191  Human Body Systems 1

HUBS 192  Human Body Systems 2

another Science paper (STAT 110  Statistical Methods, or STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics recommended)

18

18

18

18

18

200-level

ANAT 241  Human Biology: Cells to Systems

ANAT 242  Neurobiology

ANAT 243  Reproductive and Developmental Biology

18

18

18

300-level

Four of:
ANAT 331  Functional Anatomy
ANAT 332  Cell Biology
ANAT 333  Reproductive Biology
ANAT 334  Developmental Biology
ANAT 335  Neurobiology
BIOA 301  Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton

BIOA 201 Biocultural Human Skeletal Biology is a prerequisite for BIOA 301

72

Plus

144 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science

144

Total 360

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Anatomy

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Anatomy

Papers

ANAT 480  Research Project  or  ANAT 490  Dissertation

ANAT 458  Current Topics in Anatomical Science

Papers worth a total of 120 points from:

  • ANAT 451  Functional Human Anatomy (20 points)
  • ANAT 452  Reproductive Biology (20 points)
  • ANAT 453  Advanced Topics in Anatomical Science 1 (20 points)
  • ANAT 454  Neurobiology (20 points)
  • ANAT 455  Research Topic (20 points)
  • ANAT 456  Developmental Biology (20 points)
  • ANAT 457  Advanced Topics in Anatomical Science 2 (20 points)
  • BIOA 401  Advanced Biological Anthropology

Master of Science (MSc) in Anatomy

Papers and Thesis
  • ANAT 458  Current Topics in Anatomical Science

  • ANAT 495  Master's Thesis Preparation

  • Three of:
  • ANAT 5 (thesis)

    Note: The papers are normally taken before undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

Anatomy as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level See below  
200-level

ANAT 241  Human Biology: Cells to Systems

ANAT 242  Neurobiology

ANAT 243  Reproductive and Developmental Biology

18

18

18

300-level

Two of:
ANAT 331  Functional Anatomy
ANAT 332  Cell Biology
ANAT 333  Reproductive Biology
ANAT 334  Developmental Biology
ANAT 335  Neurobiology
BIOA 301  Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton

Note: Prerequisites for ANAT 241-243 include CELS 191, CHEM 191, HUBS 191, and HUBS 192.
BIOA 201 is a prerequisite for BIOA 301. From 2016 BIOA 101 will be a prerequisite for BIOA 201.

36
Total   90

Papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
ANAT101 2021 Anatomy for Sport and Exercise 18 points First Semester
ANAT131 2021 Origins of Anatomical Language 18 points Summer School
ANAT241 2021 Human Biology: Cells to Systems 18 points First Semester
ANAT242 2021 Neurobiology 18 points Second Semester
ANAT243 2021 Reproductive and Developmental Biology 18 points Second Semester
ANAT331 2021 Functional Anatomy 18 points First Semester
ANAT332 2021 Cell Biology 18 points Second Semester
ANAT333 2021 Reproductive Biology 18 points First Semester
ANAT334 2021 Developmental Biology 18 points Second Semester
ANAT335 2021 Neurobiology 18 points Second Semester
ANAT336 2021 Selected Topics in Neurobiology 1 18 points First Semester
ANAT337 2021 Selected Topics in Neurobiology 2 18 points Second Semester
ANAT451 2021 Functional Human Anatomy 20 points Second Semester
ANAT452 2021 Reproductive Biology 20 points 1st Non standard period
ANAT453 2021 Advanced Topics in Anatomical Science 1 20 points First Semester, Second Semester
ANAT454 2021 Neurobiology 20 points First Semester
ANAT456 2021 Developmental Biology 20 points First Semester
ANAT457 2021 Advanced Topics in Anatomical Science 2 20 points Not offered in 2021
ANAT458 2021 Current Topics in Anatomical Science 20 points Full Year
ANAT480 2021 Research Project 40 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period
ANAT490 2021 Dissertation 60 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period
ANAT495 2021 Master's Thesis Preparation 40 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Department of Anatomy
School of Biomedical Sciences
Email anatomy@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/anatomy