Active learning in medical education is increasingly being recognized by both educators and governing bodies for its positive influence on students attitudes, critical analysis and comprehension. Principals of scientific research are taught in medical schools but rarely applied beyond the classroom setting making them an obvious choice for active learning. A selective course for term-2 medical students was introduced in St. George’s Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars program at Northumbria University. The course was designed to introduce students to the research cycle and further their anatomical knowledge through a self-directing learning exercise. Twenty four students within six groups participated in the selective in which students formulated a research question, ran a feasibility study, and collected data before presenting their findings to the school and at an international conference. A questionnaire based assessment, 30 Likert-type questionnaires, evaluating students’ perception toward research, and the learning process was administered. The selective was well received by students. More than 70% reported that they would like more research opportunities and concepts incorporated into the medical curriculum. Students also thought the course to be beneficial in terms of enhancing their curriculum vitae and affecting their career choices. Active learning in anatomy through research has proven to be a valid exercise of not only furthering anatomical knowledge and practical applications of ultrasound but also in developing skills in critical thinking, appraisal of evidence and scientific writing. Other skills such as team work, bed-side manner and communication were also reinforced.