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Forensic archaeology is the application of archaeological skills to the location and recovery of human remains and forensic evidence. Forensic anthropology is the analysis of human remains for the medico-legal purpose of establishing identity. 

Our MSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology course provides students with training in both disciplines in dedicated laboratory areas. You will have exclusive access to the unique skeletal collections in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). 

You will develop the skills and knowledge required by those who undertake searches for missing people and will be involved in the recovery of remains from clandestine burials. You will also gain the skills required to present evidence as an expert witness in court.

Award-winning staff

Our staff are amongst the most experienced in the UK in the fields of human identification, forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology, cranio-facial reconstruction and the study of the human body. We are regularly contacted for advice and input in high-profile forensic cases both at home and abroad. Staff are able to bring this experience into their teaching.

Our students and staff are also involved in forensic research which is informed by casework and is thus relevant and current to modern practice.

Our student feedback reflects the outstanding facilities and teaching collections that are available to support their learning experience.

You will be supervised by a research active member of staff and have the opportunity to pursue an area of research that is of specific interest to you.

Top 10 reasons to study Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Dundee

1. Opportunity to review forensic case work undertaken by CAHID staff

2. Teaching by world leading forensic practitioners

3. Access to several unique skeletal collections, such as the Scheuer juvenile osteology collection.

4. Opportunity to act as an expert witness in simulated courtroom exercises

5. We teach and train towards the accreditation standards set by both the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)

6. The forensic anthropology component of the course follows the curriculum approved by the RAI.

7. Multidisciplinary approach with excellent links across subject boundaries

8. Access to cases from CAHID's virtual anthropology communication service

9. Regular programme of seminars delivered by invited speakers from the UK and abroad

10. Diversity of career opportunities – our graduates work in a variety of related fields

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

Teaching & Assessment

How you will be taught

Content delivery will be by a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practical based work, both in the lab and externally. All of the subjects taught have a practical component and the ability to apply theory to practice has always been a strong tradition for all CAHID courses, equipping those attending for the skills for future employment.

Expert witness experience is gained through involvement in a mock trial presided over by skilled legal practitioners.

How you will be assessed

  • in-course essays
  • paper appraisal
  • practical exercises
  • final degree examinations
  • MSc research dissertation

What you'll study

The research dissertation can be in the form of original laboratory research in an area pertinent to forensic archaeology and forensic anthropology.

Exclusive collections

You'll have exclusive access to the unique skeletal collections in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID).


There is a significant international requirement for forensic archaeologists and forensic anthropologists who are competent in dealing with body recovery and identification in order to fulfil the requirements of Disaster Victim Identification deployment. This course will greatly increase the professional employment characteristics of any student undertaking it who seeks a career in forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology or DVI.

Your Application

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the how to apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

Visit the MSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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