Comparative and Clinical Anatomy

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Awards available PhD, MD, MSc by research
Programme length PhD: Three or four years full-time, or part-time equivalent
MSc by Research: One year full-time, or part-time equivalent
MD: Two years full-time, or part-time equivalent
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
By agreement with supervisor; maximum period of study for part-time PhD is seven years and MSc is three years. MD is minimum four years part-time and maximum seven years.
Open to international students Yes
Start date Not fixed

Programme overview

Research within the Centre for Applied Anatomy (CAA) is internationally recognised and focuses on cancer biology, developmental biology and neuroendocrinology.

The CAA has excellent facilities, including the Vesalius Centre, which houses a state-of-the-art clinical anatomy suite with opportunities to use unfixed human tissue for both research and training purposes. This centre provides a wide range of opportunities for translational research (eg in the design and evaluation of medical implants or surgical procedures), strengthening links with the Schools of Clinical Sciences and Veterinary Sciences. The centre also has access to the Wolfson Bioimaging Facility.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees are charged on a pro rata basis

Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

For the PhD, an upper second-class honours degree or MSc is required. For the MD, we require the applicant to have completed the MBChB.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile C
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

Cancer Biology Research studies the dynamic interaction of cancer cells with normal (non-cancerous) epithelial cells and fibroblasts. Cancer cells surround and attack normal epithelial cells, whereas fibroblasts restrict distribution and movement of cancer cells; the cause and consequence of these interactions are investigated.

Developmental Biology Research investigates the molecular mechanisms that underlie macrophage migration in vivo, with particular interest in how these immune cells prioritise competing cues (eg damage signals released from wounds) as well as the guidance cues that direct their developmental dispersal during embryogenesis and the presence of bacterial infection.

Neuroendocrinology Research is concentrated in two main areas, which include the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying the control of fertility and the neurobiology of stress responses. A multi-animal model strategy is used in combination with hypothalamic and pituitary cell lines to study the topics from in-vivo systems to molecular level.


Students who completed this programme have progressed to careers in scientific research, academia, clinical research, scientific patents and scientific writing.

Staff profiles

Cancer Biology group

Dr Nobue Itasaki, (Senior Lecturer), Cancer cell dynamics in micro-environment: interactions with non-cancerous epithelial cells and with fibroblasts.  

Neuroendocrine group

Dr Allison Fulford, (Senior Teaching Fellow), Functional neuroanatomy of stress responses; in-vitro and in-vivo approaches; Neurobiology of stress and adaptive behaviour; the role of neuromodulatory peptides.

Dr Domingo Tortonese, (Senior Lecturer), Neuroendocrine control of fertility.

Dr Julie Townsend, (Senior Teaching Fellow), Paracrine mechanisms underlying the intra-pituitary regulation of fertility.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

Please see full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol.

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Ms Allison Maggs Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 1676 Email:

Dr Domingo Tortonese Director of Graduate Studies Phone: +44 (0) +44 (0)117 928 8332

Faculty of Health Sciences
Room 15 1st Floor
39-41 St Michael's Hill


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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