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University of Leeds

Exploring Anatomy: the Human Abdomen

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


You will be introduced to the human abdomen and its many complex structures through stimulating discussions on common surgical scenarios and current research. Each week, we will focus on a specific area of the abdomen; starting at the anterior abdominal wall and be able to detail the anatomy of numerous organs including the stomach and liver. Specialists will come together to compare and discuss contrasting surgical techniques. This will help you to apply your understanding of basic anatomy to common clinical scenarios and introduce you to research being undertaken at the University of Leeds.

This course is for anyone that is interested in the human body and specifically the inner workings of the abdomen. We will assume a very basic level of anatomical knowledge. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.


  • The anterior abdominal wall and peritoneum
    • Welcome
    • Know your abdomen
    • The anterior abdominal wall
    • The peritoneum
    • Expert discussion: Surgical techniques
    • End of week review
  • Organs of the gastrointestinal tract
    • About week two
    • The oesophagus, stomach and intestines
    • The liver, gall bladder, pancreas and spleen
    • Expert discussion: removing and diagnosing colorectal tumours
    • Summary
  • The posterior abdominal wall
    • About week three
    • Muscles of posterior abdominal wall, the kidneys and suprarenal glands.
    • Nerves of the abdomen
    • Expert discussion
    • End of course review

Taught by

James Pickering


4.9 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 77 ratings

Start your review of Exploring Anatomy: the Human Abdomen

  • Profile image for ARRA
    bonjour je vois 28 septembre mais en même temps on a "illimité"-si je commence ce cours en octobre puis je aller jusqu au certificat le cours
  • Anonymous
    Gave a very thorough grounding to the subject. There was a lot of detail which was new to myself and this contributed to making the course a lot more difficult for me to understand. I am glad to have worked on the course and will come back again to…
  • Anonymous
    I love Jame's coverage of the topics - I am a high school A&P teacher and this is how I started my remote learning with my A&P students with the covid-19 crisis. They love it. They can review the videos as many times as they need, the little check what you know segments are very helpful, and the career chats with surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, are by far our favorite parts! The review for us of planes, medical terms, directional and regional terms have also been a bonus. Sadly, we cannot afford the subscriptions so we do not have access to the tests, but I created my own to go along with the coursework for my students. Kudos to the professor and to the folks at future learn! Amazing resource in so many topics!
  • Anonymous
    I found it very interesting as I love to know everything about everything. I would listen to the videos and take in as much as I could then print the transcript out ready for revision before taking the tests.
  • Anonymous
    The course is great, you can really understand more about the anatomy of the abdomen. The videos are very clear and the interviews with different physicians let you know why it is important to learn anatomy.
  • James Abdullah Smith
    James is an excellent educator. His videos and explanations are clear and concise. It is very easy to follow along with the course. The content discussed is informative and exceptionally well delivered so that any person of any expertise in the field, or none at all, can easily understand. The clinical application sections at the end of each week put the week in context and enhance the learning further. As a medical school applicant it will hopefully help my application and first experiences of anatomy in medical school. Strongly recommend. Put down whatever you are doing now and sign up. Yes, you. The one reading this review. Do it.
  • Anonymous
    I think I have rated this course already elsewhere but I don't mind repeating that it is an excellent course although there is a lot to take in and remember. I could remember a lot of school biology but I think anyone with no prior knowledge would find it very challenging because it is so packed. I personally couldn't manage the extra advanced material but by the look of other learners there would have been plenty of people who could. The visuals in this course were brilliant and I think an on-line course like this where you can go back and watch the videos again is better than a live lecture in a lecture theatre. Thank you James and team
  • Anonymous
    James presented details of the abdomen with enthusiasm and knowledge of the topic. As well as clear diagrams and videos, the discussions with clinical experts provided excellent insights into what could go wrong and treatments available. An impressive team.

    I am new to the topic and would have benefited from more detailed discussion of the functions of the different organs and how they work together. This course did give me a starting point for my continued research.
  • Anonymous
    I am a retired and ageing chemical engineer engineer becoming ever more conscious of the frailty of my body. As such I was interested to understand the form of my gut, how it works and what holds it together. The course is excellent and very well delivered. The abdomen is a most impressive example of process engineering!
  • Anonymous
    So far this is the best organised FutureLearn course that I have studied, including the models, diagrams and pictures. In particular the lecturer’s presentation language was crystal clear, logical and step-by-step, making complex medical knowledge easy to understand.
  • Vonny
    Dr James Pickering is without doubt THE BEST lecturer I have ever encountered either in class or online. His explanations are very clear. I just love the way he conducts the classes.
  • Anonymous
    One of the best courses presented by FL. I only worked on the basic course, but hope to revisit some of the greater depth features. A really good idea to separate the two.
  • Peri Ost
  • Anonymous

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