Post-graduate Anatomy by Whole Body Dissection Course

RACS logo

This course is available for postgraduate medical students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Advanced Clinical Skills (Surgical Anatomy) at the University of Sydney. This course has been accredited by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. It has been also approved by the Board of Studies, of the University of Sydney. The inaugural course (WBD-MS2012) was held in August/September/October 2012.

Schedule | Methods | Process | Contact | Previous classes


The Graduate Certificate of Advanced Clinical Skills (Surgical Anatomy) Course is composed of four Units of Study (SURG5027, SURG5028, SURG5029 and SURG5030).

The Graduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Skills (Surgical Anatomy) acts as an embedded course within the Master of Surgery, specifically the Master of Surgery (Surgical Anatomy). Units completed for the Graduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Skills (Surgical Anatomy) can be recognised for credit towards the Master of Surgery (Surgical Anatomy). These Units of Study generate 24 Credit Points of the 48 Credit Points required for the award of the MS Degree or complete the Grad Cert of Adv Clin Skills degree.

Enrolments are accepted for the full course, or any combination of the 4 modules. This is a part-time intensive anatomy dissection course. The full commitment and out-of-dissection-class preparation, reading and study requirement is approx 10 hours per fortnight. The timing of the course is at the request of many students to become available to complete after hours from hospital rosters.

It is possible to complete the Master of Surgery (by coursework) by completing the "Surgical Anatomy Stream" of study.

View the full details of the schedule from the Discipline of Surgery timetable

Sat 16th Feb (LIMBS) SURG5029
Sun 13th Apr (ABDOMEN) SURG5030
Sat 25th May (THORAX) SURG5028

SEMESTER 2, 2019:
Sat 3rd Aug (HEAD AND NECK) SURG5027

Cost 2019: $7000 per unit of study (indicative)
Time: 9.00-4.30pm
Place: Anderson Stuart Building, Camperdown campus.


Dissections follow Cunninghams Manual of Practical Anatomy, 16th Edition (Rachel Koshi ed). Candidates will also be expected to be familiar with Last’s Anatomy 9th Edition (McMinn RMH, Last’s Anatomy Regional and Applied, 9th Edition, 1994, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh). This is the edition of Last approved by the RACS and has the RACS logo on the back cover.

Rohen and Yokochi Color Atlas of Anatomy is very important and is often used by the College for exams.


Candidates in the course dissect in groups of 6 or less per cadaver. Specialist surgeons act as Tutors and Supervisors, especially when their areas of interest and expertise are being dissected. Thus the course has a strong clinical and surgical emphasis. At the completion of each anatomical region an assessment by MCQs and spot tests is carried out. Each dissection day, a two station SCORPIO assessment is held. There is a compulsory test at the end of each module which has to be passed to successfully pass the module. 

The Graduate Certificate of Advanced Clinical Skills (Surgical Anatomy), provides a sound knowledge and understanding of human anatomy that underpins successful surgical practice through a series of whole-body cadaveric dissections taught by subspecialist surgeons. The course provides a pathway for registrars or registered medical officers to prepare for the human anatomy knowledge requirement of the Part 1 Surgical Primary examination delivered by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. This course is accredited with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon and on completion the credit points may be accredited to the Master of Surgery.

Upper and Lower Limbs: The dissection course covers anterior compartment of the thigh, medial compartment of the thigh, gluteal region and hip joint, posterior compartment of thigh, popliteal fossa and knee joint, anterior compartment of the leg, dorsum of foot, lateral compartment of the leg, posterior compartment of the leg, sole of foot, ankle and foot joints, osteology of lower limb.
Head and Neck: The areas covered by the dissection include skull, cranial nerves, face, special senses, gross neuroanatomy,  superficial neck, salivary glands, infratemporal fossa, pterygopalatine fossa, deep neck, suboccipital triangle, mouth, pharynx, larynx, thyroid, parathyroids, root of neck, vertebral canal and spinal cord.
Thorax Back and Spinal Cord: The dissection covers all aspects of the thorax, including body wall, thoracic wall, diaphragm, thoracic cavity, superior, anterior, middle and posterior mediastinum, pleura, lungs, heart, oesophagus, and osteology of thorax.
Abdomen, Pelvis and Perineum:  The course covers the anterior abdominal wall, abdominal cavity, peritoneum, vessels and nerves of the gut, gastro and inteatinal tract, liver and biliary tract, pancreas, spleen, posterior abdominal wall, kidneys, ureters, and suprarenal glands, rectum, urinary bladder and ureters is in the pelvis, male internal genital organs, female internal genital organs and urethra, pelvic peritoneum, vessels and nerves, perineum, male urogenital region, female urogenital region, pelvic joints and ligaments, lumbosacral plexus.

The participant with the highest aggregate score from MCQs and spot tests is awarded the Sydney Nade Prize in Surgical Anatomy, in honour of the late professor Sydney Nade, an original supervisor of this course.


  • Full details of this Postgraduate Whole Body Dissection course (WBD-MS) and the method of enrolment can be obtained from:
    MS Administration

  • The overall organiser of the course Master of Surgery course is:
    Professor Pierre Chapuis
    Director of Postgraduate Surgical Education, University of Sydney

  • The coordinators of the dissection course are:
    Adjunct Professor Lindsay Wing

    Adjunct A/Prof Allan Meares

Previous classes

Portrait of class of 2017

Class of 2017

Portrait of instructors of 2017

Instructors of 2017: Professor Lindsay Wing, A/Prof Allan Meares, Cynthia Tang, A/Prof Damian Marucci.

Portrait of the postgraduate class of 2016

Class of 2015

Portrait of the postgraduate class of 2013

Class of 2013

2012 participants - group photo

Class of 2012