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MSc Forensic Anthropology

Course Description

The MSc Forensic Anthropology is designed to equip students with the skills necessary for the analysis and identification of human skeletal remains. The one-year degree is uniquely designed for students who already hold a degree in a relevant biomedical science and wish to pursue further study in Forensic Anthropology.

Why study Forensic Anthropology at Dundee?

Forensic anthropology is the analysis of human remains for the medico-legal purpose of establishing identity. The discipline has adopted a pivotal role in UK and International investigations in cases of inter-personal violence and homicide, repatriation, mass disasters and war crimes.

Our course provides you with training in dedicated laboratory areas with exclusive access to the unique skeletal collections in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identfication (CAHID). The programme offers a unique mix of theoretical subject matter combined with hands on practical experience which is delivered by case active academic staff who are world leaders in the field.

Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification

This course is taught within Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). The award winning staff of CAHID are amongst the most experienced in the UK in the fields of human identification, forensic anthropology, cranio-facial reconstruction and the study of the human body. The Centre is regularly contacted for advice and input in high-profile forensic cases both at home and abroad. The cases in which staff have involvement are reflected in much of the research undertaken by the Centre, enabling it to maintain a high profile within the forensic community.

The Centre was awarded a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in November 2013. Presented in recognition of 'world class excellence', the Queen's Anniversary Prizes are among the most highly-regarded awards for the UK's universities and colleges.

Top 10 reasons to study Forensic Anthropology at Dundee

Only institution in the UK to offer a career progression pathway in Forensic Anthropology
Opportunity to review forensic case work undertaken by CAHID staff
Teaching by world leading forensic practitioners
Access to several unique skeletal collections
Opportunity to act as an expert witness in simulated courtroom exercises
We teach and train towards RAI accreditation standards following the approved Forensic Anthropology curriculum
Multidisciplinary approach with excellent links across subject boundaries
Access to cases from CAHID's virtual anthropology communication service
Regular programme of seminars delivered by invited speakers from the UK and abroad
Diversity of career opportunities – our graduates work in a variety of related fields

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by a team based in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). Specialist teaching is undertaken by case-active forensic practitioners. The cases in which our staff have involvement are reflected in much of the research undertaken by the Centre, enabling it to maintain a high profile within the forensic community. In turn, this research feeds into our teaching.

The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis.

How you will be taught

The programme will be taught through a combination of face-to-face lectures and on-line learning resources as well as a large practical involving direct examination of the adult human skeleton.

Course Structure

This is a one year full time taught Masters programme in which all modules are compulsory. The research dissertation can be in the form of original laboratory research in an area pertinent to anatomy and forensic anthropology.

- Forensic Osteology (20 Credits)
- Peri and Post mortem processes (20 credits)
- Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) training (20 credits)
- Research Methods (20 credits)
- Forensic Human Identification (20 credits)
- Forensic Science and the Law (20 credits)
- Developmental Juvenile Osteology (20 credits)
- Research Project (60 credits)

How you will be assessed

Assessments will take the form of in-course essays, paper appraisal and presentation exercises in addition to final degree examinations and MSc research dissertation.


There is a significant requirement for anatomically-trained forensic anthropologists who are competent in dealing with both soft and hard tissues in order to fulfil the requirements of DVI deployment. This course will greatly increase the professional employment characteristics of any student undertaking it who seeks a career in forensic anthropology, forensic osteology or DVI.

Where are our graduates now?

Previous graduates in Forensic Anthropology have progressed to become teachers and researchers in the field with some going on to provide their skills and services on both the national and international forensic front.

Some of our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in biomedical research, scene of crime analysis, forensic science, human biology and osteological research.

Many have chosen to enter a degree in medicine or dentistry and have found that the skills they have acquired in Forensic Anthropology stand them in good stead, particularly with regards to radiology, paediatrics, gerontology and orthopaedics.

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

Entry Requirements

An honours degree at 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in a relevant biomedical science, or an ability to demonstrate considerable experience in a relevant field.[[English Language Requirement]]IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

Course Fees

UK/EU 2016-2017 £15,950, OS 2016-2017 £15,950

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