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Anatomy facilities

The University Of Manchester has exceptional, ultra-modern facilities which provide an ideal learning environment for the study of anatomy.

A dedicated team of anatomists, supported by GMC registered doctors, deliver a high standard of teaching. An integrated approach to teaching and learning is facilitated by:

  • whole body dissection;
  • prosections;
  • skeletal material;
  • anatomical models;
  • eLearning;
  • histological resources;
  • imaging techniques;
  • living anatomy classes.

The laboratory comprises of a large dissecting room, resource areas, dedicated anatomy classrooms, a self-study area with 24 hour access, a mortuary and an embalming room. Our facilities also incorporate The Manchester Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre which is used for surgical skills training courses.

Cadavers held in the anatomy dissecting room are the embalmed bodies of public-spirited individuals who have left their remains to the University  for medical and scientific teaching and research. Access to the dissecting room is regulated under the Human Tissue Act 2004.

Only students who take anatomy as a taught component of their course are granted access to the anatomy laboratory. Students must first attend an introductory talk and sign a strict code of conduct.

Dissection and use of anatomical materials

The dissecting room is a large, spacious facility where 10 groups of 12 students may work side-by-side to explore human anatomy.

Each year around 40 cadavers are obtained to teach our students topographical anatomy. There is a range of previously prosected material readily available for students to view and study from. In addition, skeletons and skeletal material are utilised. These resources are complemented by a vast range of anatomical models and posters. Our efficient dissecting room technicians prepare the room in a different way depending on the type of class that is being taught.

At Manchester, whole body dissection is still carried out to give students a thorough grounding in anatomy and the anatomical relations of organs. Classes are run by members of staff (including anatomy demonstrators) and students are encouraged to take an active role in dissecting.

There are many advantages of whole body dissection. It allows a real appreciation of the relationship and sizes of body structures, and develops an awareness of anatomical variation.

Participants are provided with dissecting kits and are required to wear gloves and a clean white lab coat.

Histology room

This large classroom holds various microscopes for students to investigate histology.

Each week histological slides and posters on current topics are put out for students to examine. Expert help and advice is always present to guide the students, in the form of trained anatomists and medics.

Resource areas

There are two dedicated areas within our dissecting room for students to come and look at cadaveric specimens, models or posters to aid understanding of the topics being studied that week. Students are encouraged to do this in their own time in small groups or as part of self-study.

eLearning packages

A blended approach to learning is adopted here so we provide access to a number of high quality eLearning resources for students.

Living anatomy

The ability to identify the position of structures on the body surface is an essential skill required by all anatomists. We run dedicated, specially-designed classes where body paints are used to demonstrate the surface markings of organs and bones.

Anatomy tutorial rooms

The facility includes three dedicated classrooms for the teaching of anatomical sciences. These rooms are well-equipped and contain computing facilities, an LCD projector and white boards to aid teaching. Each room also contains a range of anatomical textbooks.

First, second, and third year anatomical science tutorials are held here on a weekly basis. Our anatomy students use these facilities to deliver second and third year project presentations to their peers.

Self-study room

Anatomical models and textbooks are available 24 hours a day in the self-study room. Students registered for medicine, dentistry and anatomical sciences have swipe card access to this facility.