Medical Illustration Courses

There are few courses left in the UK that offer undergraduate level training in medical and scientific illustration. These courses have now become general illustration degrees focusing on the core skills of being an illustrator. However at the postgraduate level there are now several MSc degrees in medical and forensic illustration around the UK.

There are three courses available recommended by the MAA, which are designed to allow the student to decide upon a programme of study that suits their individual requirements. The courses provide training in observational drawing and illustrative techniques alongside study of the medical sciences.

Throughout each course of study students will become familiar with the artist's role in the surgical environment and welfare of patients, matters relating to health and safety and with the legal and ethical issues associated with medical illustration.

For information on each course please use the links below.

MAET Postgraduate Programme in Medical Art

MSc Medical Art - University of Dundee

MSc Forensic Art & Facial Identification - University of Dundee


Other courses are available - please note that these are not connected to the MAA:

MSc Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy - University of Glasgow

MA Medical & Biological Illustration - University of Johns Hopkins

Masters in Scientific Illustration - Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht


Developing your skills

Traditional art skills including drawing and painting remain the foundation of any good medical artist's training. At an undergraduate level these are the skills that any student should focus on developing. Students looking to develop their illustrative skills should consider learning digital methods of illustration as well including 2D matte digital painting and 3D illustration and animation techniques. These are valuable skills to have as an illustrator and can broaden the services that you are able to offer, increasing your chances of employment.

Recommended 2D digital software to consider:

Adobe Creative Suite
- Photoshop
- Illustrator
- Flash
- Dreamweaver

Recommended 3D illustration and animation software:

- Blender (free open source software)
- Maya
- 3D Studio Max
- Cinema 4D
- Modo
- Zbrush (digital 3D sculpting)
- Sculptris (free 3D sculpting)
- OsiriX (3D visualisation software)