Postgraduate taught 

Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy MSc

Image of human heart inside the body

Offered jointly by The University of Glasgow and the famous Glasgow School of Art, the aim of this programme is to dissect and examine human anatomy and reconstruct it in a real-time 3D environment for use in education, simulation, and training.

Why this programme

  • Learn to combine actual cadaveric dissection with 3D digital reconstruction, interaction and visualisation.
  • Undertake cadaveric dissection of key areas of the human body and examine prosections.
  • The Glasgow School of Art is 12th in the world for art and design in the 2023 QS World University Rankings.Medicine ranking 2nd in the UK
  • Gain 3D visualisation skills specific to applications in the medical, biomedical, anatomy, or health domains.
  • Get access to a wide range of digital interaction technologies including virtual and augmented reality, stereographic 3D and haptic devices and become involved in the design and development of related visualisations and/or applications eg visualising current life science research, creating patient information applications or training applications for medical practitioners, diagnostic and clinical applications, medical visualisation and simulation.
  • Each student has a dedicated PC for their studio work due to the studio based teaching approach at The Glasgow School of Art.
  • Access is available to the Laboratory of Human Anatomy at The University of Glasgow, one of the largest in Europe.
  • Opportunities are avalailable to have your work published in journals, books and conference proceedings / presentations through collaborative research projects.
  • Benefit from guest lectures by practitioners, researchers and experts through our excellent industry connections from research and commercial projects.
  • Projects are supervised by leading scientists across the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences.  
  • This programme and teaching staff are accredited by the Institute of Medical Illustrators.
  • The staff in Simulation and Visualisation have expertise in 3D modelling, Human-Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and in the use of games and related technology to support education and learning.
  • Watch the programme directors and students tell you more....


Programme structure

Your time is split between The Glasgow School of Art (School of Simulation and Visualisation) at Pacific Quay in the City Centre and The University of Glasgow (Anatomy Facility), Gilmorehill Campus in the west end. 

The programme is structured into three compulsory stages:

  • Stage 1: digital technologies applied to medical visualisation (at The School of Simulation and Visualisation)
  • Stage 2: human anatomy (Anatomy facility at The University of Glasgow)
  • Stage 3: self-directed final project, supported throughout with individual supervision

Stage 1 

  • Academic Skills for Masters Research - Here you will be taught core research skills for masters research. You will conduct a literature review and develop a research proposal for a project of your choosing. This review and project proposal may optionally be taken further in Stage 3 of the MSc 
  • Medical Visualisation - This course is taught in three distinct strands:

    • Volumetric Visualisation will show you how to work with 3D medical  scan data (such as CT, MRI or confocal microscopy image) and transform these into 2D images for easily interpretation or 3D models for use in the creation of animations or interactive applications
    • 3D modelling focusses on the creation of 3D models for use in animations or interactive applications. Models can be created from scratch, working from reference drawing, photographic images, or from 3d models generated from volumetric visualisation. Attention to detail in use of professional workflows and processing for optimization and efficiency are important considerations.
    • Interactive application development uses modern ‘game engine’ technology (e.g. Unity3D) to develop 3D interactive applications for desktop or mobile devices. Tools such as Unity are now widely used across many disciplines for creating 3D applications for training, education and visual communication.
    • During Stage 2, additional classes in  the creation of Augmented and Virtual Reality applications are offered, and have proven very popular.

    Stage 2

    Introduction to anatomy 

    • Examine key concepts in anatomy, learning about the broad structure and organisation of the human body and examine the different systems. Designed to enable those not familiar with the human body with an excellent overview of the terms and definitions of anatomy
    • Learn about how legislation and laboratory practice, and health and safety is practiced and conducted in a human anatomy laboratory
    • Explore the ethical issues around body and organ donation
    • Interactive sessions will ensure there is active student engagement and participation while you learn about the human body from enthusiastic and experienced staff
    • Examine prosections and become introduced to anatomical specimens

    Structure and function of the human body

    • Examine a wide range of body systems and receive exposure to many prosections across all areas of the human body
    • Examine related clinical imagery and visualisations and illustration techniques related to identifying anatomical structures and relevant clinical applications
    • Learn anatomy using specimens that have been professionally dissected and preserved. This gives an unrivalled learning opportunity and exposure to the anatomy of the human body.
  • Cadaveric dissection techniques
    • Undertake cadaveric dissection on specific areas of the human body
    • Experience immersive anatomy with hands on experience of dissection

    Stage 3 Research Project

    In stage three you will complete a self-directed final project, supported throughout with individual supervision.

    Past projects have included:

    • Numerous life science projects from anatomical, anthropological, molecular, cell biology, genetics and virus research
    • Patient education tools
    • Public engagement activities
    • Clinical applications across surgical specialties including plastics, otorhinolaryngology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics and dentistry
    • Applied veterinary medicine, surgery and public health projects

    By utilising tools like 3D visualisation, augmented and virtual reality, confocal microscopy, animations, cross platform apps and interactive educational tools, these cross College projects have been brought into the digital age.

    Working with active researchers and subject specialists across such a diverse range of areas, these projects undertaken in the last third of the degree offer an opportunity to engage much more deeply with educational and research activities from a chosen speciality.

    All students have two supervisors – one from the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences and one from The School of Simulation and Visualisation of The Glasgow School of Art. This offers subject specialists to facilitate your development as an independent researcher developing digital tools and technologies within your chosen domain.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Career opportunities exist within diverse fields like and many of our graduates have gone on to work in a range of areas related to anatomical education, medical illustration, digital life sciences and interactive media.

Other former students now work in teaching roles in Universities across the world or have progressed onto Doctoral, Medical or Dental studies.

Graduate employers include:

  • Interns, Clinical Assistants and Clinical Researchers at Toshiba Medical Visualisation Systems
  • Research Prosector (GU)
  • 3D printing industry
  • Demonstrators in Anatomy
  • PhD studies - medical history, medical visualisation
  • Medical School
  • Dental School
  • Digital Designer at Costello Medical
  • Lead Designer at Open Bionics
  • Founder of Axial Medical Printing Ltd
  • Digital Technician at University of Leeds
  • Digital Specialist at Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians Glasgow
  • Researcher and Factual Specialist at BBC
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants
  • Freelance Medical Illustration
  • Numerous successful placements on PhD programmes (medical visualisation, anatomy, anatomy education, medical humanities)
  • Canon Medical Research Europe
  • Outcome Health (formerly ContextMedia)
  • SensiBlu Pharmaceuticals
  • Touch Surgery
  • Infineon Technologies

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2024-25


Fees information at the Glasgow School of Art

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Funding opportunities

Glasgow School of Art Scholarships

The Glasgow School of Art administers a range of scholarships that students on this programme can apply to. These are normally published in March/April for students starting in September.

Please see visit the Glasgow School of Art scholarship webpage for more details.

GREAT Scholarship for Science and Technology 2024- India

In partnership with the British Council and the GREAT Britain Campaign, University of Glasgow is offering a scholarship to students in India applying for postgraduate courses in Science and Technology.

The scholarship offers financial support of £10,000 to students pursuing one-year postgraduate study in the UK.

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Schemes

Commonwealth Scholarships enable talented and motivated individuals to gain the knowledge and skills required for sustainable development, and are offered to citizens from low and middle income Commonwealth countries. The majority of Scholarships are funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), with the aim of contributing to the UK’s international development aims and wider overseas interests, supporting excellence in UK higher education, and sustaining the principles of the Commonwealth.

Postgraduate Student Loan (Scotland and EU)

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £7,000 towards their course. Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply for a living-cost loan of up to £4,500.  

This support extends to online Masters or Postgraduate Diplomas, and not to the online Postgraduate Certificate courses.

For more information visit the SAAS website.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans England only (PTFL)

If you’re an English student looking to study a taught Masters programme in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan. Students from England are able to apply for a non-means tested Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs. You have to repay your Postgraduate Master’s Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

If you’re studying by distance learning, you can also apply.

Postgraduate Loans for Welsh Students

If you are a Welsh student looking to study a postgraduate programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a Welsh University.

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

Postgraduate Master's Finance

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based) from 1 August 2019, you can apply for Postgraduate Master's Finance and receive up to £17,000 as a combination of grant and loan:

  • a maximum grant of £6,885 and loan of £10,115 if your household income is £18,370 and below
  • a grant of £1,000 and loan of £16,000 if your household income is not taken into account or is above £59,200.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

If you’re starting a full-time or part-time postgraduate Doctoral course (such as a PhD) from 1 August 2019 you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan of up to £25,700.

For more information visit Student Finance Wales

Postgraduate Student Loan (NI)

If you are a Northern Irish student looking to study a taught Masters programme* in Glasgow then you can apply for a student loan in exactly the same way as you would for a University in Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish students are able to apply for non-means-tested tuition fee loans of up to £5,500, to help with the costs of funding.

For more information visit .

* does not apply to Erasmus Mundus programmes

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

Entry requirements

You should have an Honours degree or equivalent in the following disciplines:

  • Life sciences, medical or biomedical science, e.g. anatomy, physiology, dentistry or dental technology, forensic anthropology, molecular biological degrees and the allied health professionals
  • computer science, 3D visualisation, computer graphics, health informatics, mathematics, and physics
  • medical illustration, 3D design, product design, digital media, digital arts, 3D modelling and animation
  • or equivalent professional practice. However, high calibre graduates from other disciplines may be considered if they are able to demonstrate an interest and ability in the field of medical visualisation.

English language requirements

For international applicants, GSA requires evidence of English language proficiency. More information on accepted English language qualifications is available on GSA website.

The GSA’s preferred test is the IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test taken at a UKVI approved test centre.

GSA requires an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each component.


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

How to apply

Please apply through Glasgow School of Art