Taught course

Anatomy and Advanced Forensic Anthropology

University of Dundee · School of Science and Engineering

Entry requirements

A degree at 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in osteology, physical anthropology, forensic anthropology, anatomy or a related subject. Alternatively an ability to demonstrate considerable experience in a relevant field will be required.

Months of entry


Course content

This one-year degree is designed for students who already hold a first degree (BA or BSc) in Forensic Anthropology or a related subject, and is intended to provide advanced training in subject areas which are germane to current professional requirements, but which are not available collectively at any other institution in the world.

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.

Recent mass fatality incidents have highlighted the requirement for national and international disaster victim identification (DVI) capability, and cemented the forensic anthropologist’s role as a significant component within the multi-disciplinary response facility.

Traditionally the forensic anthropologist has dealt with human skeletal remains resulting from unexplained deaths; this professional definition is unrealistically restrictive given the multi-disciplinary nature of the demands of human identification in the twenty-first century. In particular 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.

Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification

This course is taught within the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) and is located in the Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

Professor Sue Black heads the Centre. She was awarded an OBE for her International Human Identification work from mass graves and co-authored Developmental Juvenile Osteology and The Juvenile Skeleton.

The Centre’s award-winning staff are among the most experienced in the UK in the fields of human identification, forensic anthropology, craniofacial identification and the study of the human body. Additionally, all of the forensic anthropology staff who run and teach on this course work on live cases. They are also accredited to FA I – the highest level of accreditation possible in the UK.

The core remit of the Centre is the study of anatomy. The Centre delivers high quality anatomy teaching at all levels, via whole body dissection which allows students to develop a sound knowledge of the human body. The Centre relies on the generosity of donors for the ability to teach students to the highest standard possible.

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 sought after in the country.

Aims of the Programme

The aim of this programme is to provide training in anatomically-based forensic anthropology, and specifically to provide advanced training in musculoskeletal anatomy, juvenile osteology, comparative forensic osteology and DVI training.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Dr Lucina Hackman
+44 (0)1382 386311