Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

MSc in Clinical Anatomy

The Division of Clinical Anatomy in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology first introduced a Master's in Clinical Anatomy in September 2005. This plan of study is designed to meet the ever increasing need in North America for instructors who can teach cadaveric gross anatomy. A Master's in Clinical Anatomy will provide students with the necessary skills to teach clinically-oriented cadaveric anatomy in medical, dental and professional health science programs. This 20 month plan of study will include courses in human gross anatomy, embryology, histology, human neuroanatomy and pathology/physiology. Students will also have opportunities to attend surgeries. Experience in teaching will be gained by demonstrating and giving lectures in clinical anatomy to students of medicine, dentistry and the allied health professions. The students will be expected to complete a thesis project which may be in the areas of clinical anatomy, instructional technology or basic science research.

Learning Outcomes

The goal of this unique non-thesis program is to prepare the next generation of medical educators, scholars, and interdisciplinarians focused on the anatomical sciences or anatomically-intensive disciplines (i.e. radiology, surgery, medical imaging) as well as collaborative research with cell biologists and neurobiologists within the department.

The MSc Clinical Anatomy stream has a number of important learning outcomes. By the end of their program, successful MSc Clinical Anatomy students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate and provide feedback on effective pedagogical practices in higher education, specifically related to anatomical education.
  2. Demonstrate mastery of anatomical knowledge by effective, professional communication and teaching skills that promote the integration and translation of the basic anatomical sciences to clinical applications, including the ability to work in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teams.
  3. Design course curricula and evidence-based learning tools that stimulate interactive deep learning.
  4. Critically evaluate published literature and integrate broader knowledge from the fields of anatomical education, learning theory, and applied clinical anatomy in the context of their own research.
  5. Demonstrate creative, evidence-based problem-solving skills related to anatomical sciences and education scholarship.
  6. Demonstrate technical and intellectual competence in the discovery-based research process by applying an existing body of knowledge to the rigorous scientific investigation of a new question or hypothesis.
  7. Explore, identify, and develop successful career trajectories both within and outside academia.

Areas of Research Interest

  1. Morphological and developmental studies - rodent skeletal systems in response to both genetic and environmental perturbations, placental development and function
  2. Educational Scholarship – curriculum design, perceptual effects on learners, 3D anatomical reconstruction for learning anatomy and histology, development and assessment of online learning resources
  3. Clinically applied/translational – neural and vascular relationships to inform clinical practices, neural control and muscle during movement, exercise and pregnancy, ultrasound guided and surgically related anatomical studies


MSc Clinical Anatomy students enroll in series of graduate courses, as listed below.  The majority of the courses are taken in the first 2 terms of the program.  The project course (9580) and the Teaching Certificate Course (9562) span the full 5 terms of the MSc Clinical Anatomy program.

9560     Human Anatomy & Embryology

9561     Clinical Mammalian Histology

9562      Teaching Certificate: Educational Techniques

9565B    Introduction to Teaching & Learning in Anatomy

9566     Clinical Anatomy Seminar – Professionalism and Journal Club

9567L   Medical Imaging for Clinical Anatomy

9569B   Clinical Neuroanatomy

9580     Clinical Anatomy Project – Research or Teaching

The courses in the MSc Clinical Anatomy stream have continued to evolve over the past five years, with an enhanced focus on development of outstanding educator/scholars in the anatomical sciences. In addition, the revised 9580 Project course was launched in order to provide students with an opportunity to either undertake a novel research project in anatomical sciences, education scholarship, or cell biology/neurobiology; or to develop and deliver an innovative teaching program. This new course format provides a more structured and rigorous evaluation process for students as well as providing the option of focusing on anatomy teaching versus traditional bench-top research.