Forensic Methods of Identification - SACO8160

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module is largely a practical based module where students learn and practice methods of human identification, specifically methods used to build a biological profile, estimate age at death, biological sex, and stature. This module will run alongside Advanced Human Osteology and Anatomy, so as specific bone identification is being taught, relevant identification methods will correspond. Students will learn how to identify multiple number of individuals, DVI, and be introduced to the most up-to-date biometric identification methods and the varied reasons why identification of the living and the dead is vital in criminal investigations.


Contact hours

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


MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods

Method of assessment

Lab Notebook (50%) *
Witness Affidavit 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. Students failing unrepeatable elements (50% lab notebook) may only retrieve credit by repeating the entire module.

Indicative reading

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

Thompson, T., & Black, S. (Eds.). (2006). Forensic human identification: An introduction. CRC Press.

Mallett, X., Blythe, T., & Berry, R. (Eds.). (2014). Advances in forensic human identification. CRC Press.

Meier-Augenstein, W., (2010), Stable Isotope Forensics: An Introduction to the Forensic Application of Stable Isotope Analysis. Wiley-Blackwell.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 apply complex methods used to identify human remains, both hard and soft tissue.

8.2 demonstrate a systematic understanding about current research methods in biometric human


8.3 demonstrate a systematic understanding about the complex knowledge necessity for human

identification in different investigational circumstances.

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

9.1. critically evaluate and problem solve.

9.2. organise and present information in a clear and concise manner.

9.3. demonstrate advanced development of practical skills.

9.4. demonstrate further development of communication skills both orally and in writing.


  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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