Anatomy BSc/MSci

Diverse Anatomy 4A option BIOL4299

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Not all human bodies are identical, yet our understanding of this diversity is limited, and the application of this knowledge is often overlooked. For example, Black women are twice as likely to experience infertility as White women, yet it is not understood if this is due to anatomical or cultural differences. Understanding and application of equality, diversity and inclusion issues is becoming increasingly important in healthcare and science as well as in wider society and in the workplace.

This course will allow students to investigate anatomical diversity within the human body, discussing the relevance within society, biomedical research, and clinical practice.


There will normally be 3 hours of teaching each week (Mondays), which may be split over more than one session.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 90-minute written examination paper (50%) and in-course assessment consisting of a grant proposal (50%). The exam will focus on critique of a published research paper with a focus on the equality, diversity, and inclusion aspects of the study.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to investigate diversity in human anatomy, considering the clinical and biomedical importance of this knowledge. Students will have the opportunity to research topics such as how race affects different body systems and the importance of equality and diversity in forensics. The course will focus on the science of the anatomical diversity rather than the political or social implications surrounding this sensitive topic.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically investigate diversity of the human body considering different protected characteristics;

■ Critique current research and clinical practices surrounding anatomical diversity; 

■ Propose future research to address current limitations in understanding of the role for equality, diversity, and inclusion in anatomical research and/or clinical practice.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.