Advanced Human Osteology - SACO8140

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


In this module students are introduced to the human skeleton (adult and juvenile) identification. They are provided with in–depth information on how to identify individual bones (complete and fragmented), and how to size paired bones by being familiar with all pertinent landmarks on the bone.

They will be introduced to size and shape variation present in the human skeleton including variations due to biological sex, ethnic affinity and temporal changes. The methods learned in this module are fundamental for a Forensic Anthropologist building a biological profile.


Contact hours

Private Study: 126
Contact Hours: 24
Total: 150


MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Test 1 – 30 Minute Practical Bone Quiz (10%)
• Test 2 – 30 Minute Practical Bone Quiz (10%)
• Test 3 – 30 Minute Practical Bone Quiz (10%)
• Test 4 – 30 Minute Practical Bone Quiz (10%)
• Test 5 – 30 Minute Practical Bone Quiz (10%)
• Mystery box bone report (Max 3,000 words) (50%)*
*This element is pass compulsory and must be passed to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of human hard tissue, form and function of bone and interpretation of morphological features of bone
2 Demonstrate an advanced practical ability to identify both complete human bones, and bone fragments, from physical specimens
3 Determine the difference between human bone and animal bone, from both actual bone fragments and images
4 Have an advanced understanding of the ethical treatment of human remains in a medical-legal context.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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