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Forensic Facial Identification


Forensic facial identification includes the recognition of victims of crime, missing persons or human remains, and may facilitate the identification, apprehension or conviction of criminals.

This highly innovative one-year taught Masters course will encompass all fields of facial identification.

Closing date: For entry Sept 2014, apply before 18th July 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK

Why study Forensic Facial Identification at Dundee?

The ability to establish identity is pertinent not only to medico-legal investigations concerning the deceased or missing, but also in the verification of the living. Facial recognition is one of the oldest methods of identification and with recent technological advances there are increased opportunities, applications and social impact for this field.

Here at Dundee, you will be taught by highly specialised tutors from scientific backgrounds together with experienced forensic practitioners.

Staff at the Centre have national and international reputations in forensic anthropology, and several have practical experience of working in conflict zones including Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq. Our staff is regularly contacted for advice and input in identification cases both at home and abroad

What's so good about studying Forensic Facial Identification at Dundee?

You will benefit from the facilities of the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHID), including newly-refurbished laboratories, a dedicated library and access to human material in a modern medical science environment.

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 highly-regarded awards for the UK’s universities and colleges.

Who should study this course?

The MSc course provides professional vocational training to underpin your first degree, before entering employment at the leading edge of the forensic disciplines. The programme should also appeal to science graduates interested in the biometric, anthropology, CCTV analysis and facial recognition fields.

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff based in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID).

The MSc will be taught full-time over one year (September to August). It can also be taken on a part-time basis, lasting for 48 months.

How you will be taught

Students will share joint modules with the MSc Forensic Art students with different examination and assessment processes. Students may carry out their semester three Dissertation module either at the University or from a working environment or placement.

The course is delivered using traditional methods including lectures, practical studio sessions and small group discussions with an encouragement into debate and theoretical solutions to current problems.

What you will study

Semester 1 (60 credits)

  • Anatomy - Head and Neck
  • Computer Face Models
  • Research Methods
  • Facial Analysis and Imaging

Semester 2 (60 credits)

  • Medico-legal Ethics
  • Identification of the Dead
  • Identification of the Living

Semester 3 (60 credits) - dissertation resulting from a research project undertaken either at the University or as a placement.

On successful completion of Semesters 1 and 2 there is an exit award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Art.

How you will be assessed

Methods of assessment include written examinations, spot tests, practical assessments, presentation and communication assessments and image portfolio assessment.


The programme should also appeal to science graduates interested in the biometric, anthropology, CCTV analysis and facial recognition fields. Possible career options for graduates would include postgraduate researcher, facial identification professional, biometrics operator, forensic surveillance and image analyst.

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

First or upper second class honours degree in a related medical or forensic science. Relevant professional experience will be taken into account if you have no graduate qualifications.

English Language Requirement: IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 full time: £8,000
full time: £15,000

Sources of Funding

Information about CAHID scholarships can be found on the CAHID scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

How to Apply

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Programme Director

Chris Rynn
Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 386433 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 386433 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385893 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385893 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)