Welcome from Professor Aideen Sullivan, Head of Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

β€Œβ€ŒOn behalf of my colleagues at the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork, I would like to welcome you to our website.

Anatomy is the branch of biology and medicine that is focused on the structure of living things. Neuroscience is centred on the scientific study of the nervous system in both health and disease.

I was appointed as Head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience in March 2021. I am very proud to take over as Head of such a vibrant and dynamic Department and I am looking forward to continuing to progress the research and teaching activities.  I am honoured to be the first female Head of the Department since it was founded in 1850.


Teaching and Research Facilities

In 2011, the Department reached a landmark in its history, when it moved to new teaching and research facilities in the Western Gateway Building. The new teaching lab is named the Anatomy FLAME laboratory, with FLAME being acronymic for Facility for Learning Anatomy, Morphology & Embryology. This state-of-the art facility offers huge potential for the development of teaching and research in the Department. Moreover, changes in medical education and advances in medical imaging have changed the landscape of how Anatomy is taught in professional programmes.

New research facilities, including the PRTLIV-funded Neuroscience Hub, ensure that the Department is continuing to make significant research advances in the Neurosciences. The mysteries of how the brain develops, functions and malfunctions are among the most challenging and fascinating in modern medicine. New techniques at the molecular, cellular and systems levels have open up exciting avenues for scientific pursuit, and the Department is excellently poised to keep abreast of such advances.

The Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience offers a BSc in Neuroscience (entered through the CK402 Biological & Chemical Sciences programme), a BSc Medical and Health Sciences (CK707), and an MSc in Human Anatomy, in addition to teaching basic and clinical Anatomy to students on multiple programmes in the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Clinical Therapies and Pharmacy, as well as programmes within the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science and the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Science.

The teaching mission of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience is to enable high-quality innovative teaching and assessment of anatomy and neuroscience, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, within a context that is clinically meaningful and related to the competencies that are required by health professionals and by research- and industry-based scientists.


Research Programmes

In terms of research activities, the Department has a long-standing focus on Neuroscience research. In 2010, it was renamed the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, to reflect the research emphasis therein. Its expansion and move to the new teaching and research facilities in the Western Gateway Building aligned with plans to continue to develop an internationally-recognised research unit in the neurosciences, with a goal to advance knowledge, and to educate both students and society on the mechanisms of, and potential treatments for, brain disorders.

Other research activities in the Department today include the research on the scholarship of teaching and learning in Anatomical education.

We also offer first class opportunities for postgraduate study and research, as well as continuing professional development. The Department aims to provide doctors, scientists and health professionals of the future with a world-class, student-centred education, based on current knowledge, informed by research and with an awareness of societal needs.



Over its long history, the Department has made a huge contribution to the training of doctors, dentists and other health professionals in addition to many scientific and medical discoveries. However, much of this training is dependent on those who are generous enough to donate their bodies for the purpose of medical science and education. Such donations are essential to our proper functioning as a medical and other health science schools.

The generosity of donors is marked by a sculpture which is located in the Department. It is a commissioned abstract piece in the form of a flame. It represents the flame of knowledge which leads to the light of understanding and forms the basis of the renaming of our new teaching laboratory.

In 2012 the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience held its inaugural Thanksgiving Ceremony.  The ceremony was a celebration to honour all anatomical donors since 1849, and was held in the Honan Chapel, University College Cork. Since then the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience has held a Thanksgiving Ceremony biannually in recognition of the continued generosity of donors and their families.

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland