Advanced Human Osteology and Anatomy - SACO8140

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Chris Deter checkmark-circle


In this module students are introduced to the human skeleton (adult and juvenile) and soft tissue (major muscle groups) identification. They are provided with in depth information on how to identify individual bones (complete and fragmented), how to side paired bones by being familiarly with all pertinent landmarks on the bone. Students will gain advanced knowledge of the origin and insertion of all major muscle groups. 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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods

Method of assessment

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 (3000 words) (50%)*

*This element is pass compulsory and must be passed to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Gosling, Harris, Humperson, Whitmore, and Willan 2016 Human Anatomy Color Atlas and Text 6th edition. Mosby and Wolfe

Schwartz, J.H. 2006 Skeleton Keys: An introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development, and Analysis. Second Edition. Oxford University PRess

White, T.D., Black, M.T., Folkins, P.A. 2012 Human Osteology 3nd Ed. Academic Press

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of human hard tissue, including the development, form and function of bone and muscle, and interpretation of morphological features of bone.

8.2 demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the main muscle groups, attachment sites on bone (origin and insertion), action for each muscle.

8.3. demonstrate an advanced practical ability to identify both complete human bones, and bone fragments, from physical specimens.

8.4 determine the difference between human bone and animal bone, from both actual bone fragments and images.

8.5. have an advanced understanding of the ethical treatment of human remains in a medical-legal context

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1. demonstrate advanced level of critical thinking and problem solving.

9.2. demonstrate advanced level of independent learning and time management.

9.3. demonstrate advanced organisational and presentational skills and deliver information in a clear and concise manor.

9.4. demonstrate advanced development of laboratory and practical skills.

9.5. demonstrate further development of communication both orally and in writing.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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