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University of Otago
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Bachelor of Science (BSc) Majoring in Anatomy

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Otago


The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year undergraduate degree which enables each student to develop his or her own interests in a science subject (science major) and related subjects. Students have the flexibility to combine their major subject with other science subjects, as well as subjects from other disciplines across the University.

Why study Anatomy?

Anatomy is a diverse, vibrant, and visual subject. It explores the relationship between the structure of the body and the functions it performs, and can be studied from microscopic to macroscopic levels.

Some of the things you will learn include:

How the body develops from just a single cell to an individual with millions of cells organised into many different tissues and organ systems

How you can tell the age a person was when they died just by looking at their bones

What changes occur when we develop from child to adult

How the structure of muscles are related to their function

How our brains control what we think how we feel, and what we do

How the reproductive system functions

Using skeletal remains to track movement, culture, and health of ancient people

How to analyse, interpret, and discuss relevant contemporary anatomical research, and much, much more...

Studying papers in Anatomy will expose you to world-leading research in the anatomical sciences. You will learn techniques such as immunohistochemistry, cell culture, and gene sequencing, and have access to state-of-the-art equipment such as electron and confocal microscopes, and next-generation sequencing technology.

Career opportunities

A University of Otago graduate in Anatomy has the world at their feet. Opportunities available to them are varied and numerous, ranging from health professions such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Physiotherapy, to research and teaching at university or secondary and primary school, to technical work in medical or agricultural laboratories, to sales, marketing, and research positions with pharmaceutical, medical, or agribusiness companies, or national bodies such as the Cancer Society of New Zealand.

Graduates also work as funeral directors, winemakers, policymakers, and beyond – there is definitely something for everyone with a degree in Anatomy!

Anatomy students gain a high level of knowledge and competencies across a broad range of topics, with a range of skills that can be applied to any chosen career. These skills range from learning to speak and work in group environments, honing and extending thinking and communication skills, through to having an awareness and understanding of ethics and developing the ability to undertake self-directed learning. Ant then of course, there are the technical and applied skills that are used every day in practical labs.

Some graduates use their degree as a stepping stone to further study in a health professional course, while others have gone on to postgraduate study in forensic science, clinical embryology, and of course the various research fields – biological anthropology, clinical anatomy, neuroscience, and reproductive and developmental biology – offered in the Department of Anatomy here at the University of Otago.

Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) is also available.

A specific aim of the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) degree is to develop advanced theoretical and research skills and in so doing to provide a platform for an advanced professional or academic career.

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8
  • A minimum of CCC across the NCUK IFY
  • Satisfactory completion of one year's study at a recognised tertiary institution.

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - IELTS score of 6.0 in the academic module (with no individual band below 5.5). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 80 (writing 20)
  • Paper-based TOEFL - Score of 550 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169)
  • CIE - E grade or higher in any one of AS English Language, AS Literature in English or AS Language & Literature in English; OR meeting the NCEA literacy requirements
  • GCE A or AS English Language, Literature in English, Language and Literature in English & GCE AS level General Paper (English) - Grade C or higher
  • IB - English at Higher or Standard level in Language A: literature, Language A: language and literature, or at Higher Level in Language B
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • ELA pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Undergraduate Studies (EPUS) with a C Grade
  • FCertEAP - Successful completion of the certificate with a C Grade

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