CAHID is an award winning teaching and research centre whose staff are both REF returned and responsible for REF impact case studies. Spanning anatomy, forensic anthropology and forensic science, CAHID has a vibrant and exciting research focus and reach.
Our forensic based research generates new knowledge which impacts positively on operational forensic science practice and policy development. Our research is highly collaborative, both within the University of Dundee and externally with research partners around the Globe. This includes some of the world's leading forensic science research teams, forensic science providers and international organisations including INTERPOL, ENFSI, EUROPOL, the United Nations and the International criminal courts and commissions.
Our anatomy facility provides critical input into areas of surgical skills development and fundamental anatomical processes. We have pioneered the use of Thiel cadavers in medical and dental research and training in the UK, and have key relationships with medical device companies to test and develop their products. We are also developing augmented reality medical and anatomical educational products with industrial partners through multidisciplinary projects involving several schools in our university. 
Our current cohort of over 25 research students come from all over the world and include a mixture of part time and full time researchers, many of whom are themselves practitioners. We disseminate our research widely across the peer reviewed literature, both in domain specific and in wider scientific journals, and regularly present our work at conferences and through public engagement activities.
Our current research areas include:
  • Identification of perpetrators of child sexual abuse
  • Issues of biometric identity
  • Age estimation in the living
  • Extraction and detection of explosives
  • Visualisation and chemical enhancement of fingerprints 
  • Chemical characterisation of burnt bone
  • Arc fault mapping as a tool in fire investigation 
  • Chemical profiling of illicit drugs
  • Chemical characterisation of New Psychoactive Substances
  • Development of metabolomics database for New Psychoactive Substances incorporating poly-drug interactions
  • Developing a neuropharmacological understanding of New Psychoactive Substances
  • Improving the efficacy of smoke detectors to wake vulnerable populations
  • Understanding jury interpretation of expert evidence
  • Development of chemometric analysis and pattern recognition of complex data
  • Objective characterisation of striation marks and tool marks 
  • Examination of the microstructure of bone as a tool in species and population level identification of remains
  • Anatomical variation and its clinical relevance
  • Validation of Thiel cadavers as a model for training and research
  • Clinical nerve mapping through anatomical and immunohistochemical methods
  • Alternative diagnostic methods for musculoskeletal conditions using biomechanical techniques
  • Investigation of the trabecular organisation of the skeleton using 3D imaging techniques
  • Analysis of craniofacial anatomical interrelationships
  • Development of preservation methods for educational prosections
  • Medical art for enhancing e-learning
  • The future of medical art and artists and developing technologies
  • The use of virtual and augmented reality in anatomical and medical education
  • The use of haptic technologies in anatomical and medical education
  • Development of digital artefacts and online museums
Information on PhD positions in CAHID can be found on the CAHID website 

Entry requirements

You should have an honours degree at 2.1 or above, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

English Language Requirement: IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in the written component and no less than 5.5 in any other component, 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 which are designed to prepare you for university study. These provide additional English language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

PhD fees

Applying for a research degree

Use UCAS Postgraduate to apply for a research degree. Please read the guidance on filling in your UCAS Postgraduate application before proceeding with your application.

Apply here:


Dr Craig McKenzie
+44 (0)1382 384725