Anatomy and Histology

A major in Anatomy and Histology is offered by the School of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health. Units of study in this major are mostly available at standard and advanced level.

The Discipline of Anatomy and Histology is internationally recognised for both education and research in human anatomy, histology and neuroscience. The Discipline offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Anatomy and Histology maintains a large collection of physical and virtual resources for education and research in anatomy, histology and neuroscience. The Discipline also houses the JT Wilson Museum of Human Anatomy and the J.L. Shellshear Museum of Physical Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy, supported by a growing range of online resources created by our Anatomy Multi-Media laboratory.

Members of our discipline participate in a wide range of biomedical research and our research facilities include an advanced microscopy suite, including a high resolution transmission electron microscope and excellent specimen preparation facilities; laboratories for state-of-the-art analysis of human brain imaging data; multi-user molecular biology laboratories; immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization facilities as well as, behavioural neuroscience laboratories.

About the major

A major in Anatomy and Histology introduces students to the study of the structure and development of the human body from the subcellular and cellular levels through to the gross macroscopic level. Qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the structure of the human body is related to its subcellular, cellular and gross physical functions.

Specialised study of the subcellular and cellular development and organization of body structures and systems is undertaken in specialist units of study in histology. Detailed study of the development, structure and function of the musculoskeletal system, head and neck, the viscera and the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system are studied in units of study in our specialist units of anatomy.

A major in Anatomy and Histology will provide students with a thorough and broad understanding of the microscopic and macroscopic structure and function of the human body, of its development and maturation and of its normal organisation and potential for disruption and damage.

Requirements for completion

A major in Anatomy and Histology requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units according to the following rules:
(a) 6 credit points of MEDS coded anatomy core units and 6 credit points of ANAT coded selective units or
(b) 12 credit points ANAT coded core units
(iii) 6 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level major selective units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units

A minor in Anatomy and Histology requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units according to the following rules:
(a) 6 credit points of MEDS coded anatomy core units and 6 credit points of ANAT coded selective units or
(b) 12 credit points ANAT coded core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level minor selective units

First year

Core: BIOL1XX8 Human Biology (students enrolled in Medical Science take MEDS1X01 Human Biology instead) and CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A.

The major in Anatomy and Histology begins in first year with an introduction to human biology and an introduction to chemistry, both are key foundational knowledge in understanding human structure and function.

Second year

Core: ANAT2008 Principles of Histology and ANAT2X10 Concepts of Neuroanatomy (students enrolled in the Medical Science stream take MEDS2005 Human Anatomy and Histology, and either ANAT2008 Principles of Histology or ANAT2X10 Concepts in Neuroanatomy).

The major in Anatomy and Histology continues in second year with units which focus on the cellular building blocks of the body, which begins your studies in Histology and an introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system beginning your studies in Neuroanatomy.

In these second year units we examine the structure of human cells, tissues and organ systems at the light and electron microscopic levels. We study how the body is constructed from the cellular to the organ levels, and consider how different tissue types contribute to, and interact within, particular organ systems. We also introduce students to the basic structural and functional characteristics of the cells that comprise the central and peripheral nervous system. We explore the components of the individual nerve cells, followed by an examination of the major functional regions and circuits of the nervous system. We focus on the basic organisation of sensory and motor systems, together with aspects of higher-order functions such as memory and attention. Students will also be introduced to the principles of brain organisation, with specific reference to the evolution of the 'higher' centres in humans.

Third year

Core for Major: ANAT3X09 Functional Systems Histology.
Selectives for Major: ANAT3XX4 Cranial and Cervical Anatomy, ANAT3X07 Visceral Anatomy and ANAT3X08 Musculoskeletal Anatomy.
Interdisciplinary project units for Major: ANAT3888 Anatomy and Histology Projects or SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project.
Student wishing to pursue a Minor in Anatomy and Histology choose two units from selectives: ANAT3X09 Functional Systems Histology, ANAT3XX4 Cranial and Cervical Anatomy, and ANAT3X08 Musculoskeletal Anatomy.

The major in Anatomy and Histology continues in third year with units which focus in depth on the microscopic and macroscopic structure, organisation and function of the musculoskeletal system, the head and neck region and the viscera. The detailed and specialist focus of these units builds and extends upon the second year units, integrating knowledge gained about the cellular and neural organisation of the human body

In your third year you must take at least one designated interdisciplinary project unit. In Anatomy and Histology we offer ANAT3888 Anatomy and Histology Projects. Students may otherwise be interested in taking an industry and community project (SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project) instead.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, with a minimum of 24 credit points at 4000-level or above. Of these 24 credit points, you must complete a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points.

Honours
Meritorious students in the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies may apply for admission to Honours within a subject area of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies. Admission to Honours requires the prior completion of all requirements of the Bachelor of Science, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units. If you are considering applying for admission to Honours, ensure your degree planning takes into account the completion of a second major and all OLE requirements prior to Honours commencement.

Unit of study requirements for Honours in the area of Anatomy and Histology: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Contact and further information

Address:
Discipline of Anatomy and Histology
Anderson Stuart Building F13
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Associate Professor Kevin Keay
E
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T +61 2 9351 4132
W sydney.edu.au/medicine/anatomy

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Anatomy and Histology will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of the fundamental organisation and development of the human body from its gross structure to the cellular and intracellular levels.
  2. Integrate deep knowledge of the fundamental functional properties of the body and relate these to structural properties and developmental processes.
  3. Use a range of histological and anatomical methodologies and explain current investigative and experimental approaches including “state-of-the-art” techniques.
  4. Source, collate, synthesise and critically evaluate information in anatomical sciences, histology, cell biology and neurobiology, from a range of relevant sources.
  5. Communicate concepts and findings in anatomy and histology through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  6. Relate and apply knowledge of the structural organisation and functional properties of the human body to other biomedical and biological disciplines, as well as anthropological and clinical disciplines.
  7. Identify research questions, design research plans and carry out experiments that address and test hypotheses in anatomy and histology, including analysing and interpreting primary research data.
  8. Develop creative and innovative approaches to problem solving in the field of anatomy and histology research and work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and collaborative contexts.
  9. Address authentic problems in anatomy and history, working professionally and ethically within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.
  10. Evaluate the importance of anatomical investigation and knowledge in community and society, its medical, educational, social and global importance, uses and potential abuses.
  11. Appraise the framework for body donation and the moral, ethical and legal responsibilities entailed.