Field Excavation and Recovery Methods - SACO8190

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module will teach students the steps from finding human remains (mapping and carrying out a survey) to taking the remains into the lab for analysis. Students gain experience in designing and laying out an excavation grid, learning how to record and photograph human remains and contextual evidence found in the field. Finally the students will have hands on learning experience in recording and bagging the finds and creating a chain of evidence. This module will look at the challenges of single and multiple burials and mass disasters.


Contact hours

Private Study: 260
Contact Hours: 40
Total: 300


Compulsory to :
MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Field Report (3500 words) (40%)*
• Onsite Evaluation (20%)
• Lab notebook (2500 words) (40%)
*The Field report is pass compulsory and must be passed in order to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Reassessment methods
Like for like
*Field Report 40% and Onsite Evaluation 20% are part of professional training and cannot be resat. In the event of failure of the module or the Field Report, this module must be repeated in attendance.
(See Annex Q Work based learning and practice, section 1.3 of the Code of Practice for Quality Assurance of Taught Courses of Study for details).

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 Have a systematic understanding of how to survey and knowledge of identification methods
2 Have comprehensive understanding of how to record burial layout, orientation and location of human remains and contextual evidence
3 Have comprehensive understanding of how to excavate human remains and how to recover contextual evidence
4 Have systematic understanding of how to photograph, label and bag human remains and contextual evidence.


  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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