The AnaRTomy Programme


Students on the AnaRtomy Programme, 2015. Courtesy Monash University.

In 2015, Caroline J. Speed, Adina Kleiner, & Janet O. Macaulay from Monash University in Australia organised a three-week overseas educational program for art and anatomy students, named with a fun portmanteau as The AnaRTomy Programme. The programme was born from a collaborative initiative between Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Art and Design. Students travelled to Prato, Italy to study art and anatomy at the Monash Prato Centre.

The AnaRTomy Programme provided students with opportunities to explore the historical relationship between art and anatomy. Diverse learning experiences were embedded into the programme to create interdisciplinary learning as the students spanned different faculties (six medical, three physiotherapy, and 16 fine arts students participated). The programme included visits to museums that focused on anatomy and/or art, allocated studio days involving life drawing, drawing on-site at museums and anatomical specimen collections, field trips, and independent study time.

Monash collected student responses at the end of the programme to evaluate its success as a creative learning strategy. The responses showed that 67% strongly agreed and 33% agreed that the AnaRTomy Programme encouraged interactions with students enrolled in other courses and fostered interests outside of their own niche of study, broadening their knowledge base. In other words, all of the students agreed that the cross-disciplinary interactions between their medical, physiotherapy, and fine arts peers allowed for the sharing of knowledge and enhanced learning.


Caroline J. Speed, Adina Kleiner, and Janet O. Macaulay. “Broadening Student Learning Experiences via a Novel Cross-Disciplinary Art and Anatomy Education Program – A Case Study.” International Journal of Higher Education Vol. 4, No. 1 (2015):  86-91.