• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

An interactive course which gives students in depth knowledge of the human body and the skills necessary for the analysis and identification of human remains.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Forensic Anthropology is best described as the analysis of human remains for the medicolegal purposes of establishing identity, investigating suspicious deaths and identifying victims of mass disasters. It is a specialised area of forensic science that requires detailed anatomical and osteological training. Being able to assign a name to the deceased is critical to the successful outcome of all legal investigations. This becomes increasingly complex as the body passes through the various phases of decomposition.


You'll get access to unique skeletal collections and state of the art facilities plus the opportunity to review forensic case work undertaken by CAHID staff

The course is centred around human anatomy as the identification of the deceased relies heavily on not only hard tissue like the skeleton but also soft tissue information. You will be trained in our dedicated laboratories in the world renown Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). You will learn to dissect on our Thiel embalmed cadavers and have access to our extensive skeletal collections, both adult and juvenile. You have the opportunity to learn from our case active academic staff who are world leaders in their fields. This course is a great first step on the ladder to becoming a forensic practitioner.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher including biology, plus mathematics and chemistry (Standard Grade at 3 or National 5/Intermediate2 at C) AB at Advanced Higher including biology, plus BB at Higher in different subjects, plus mathematics (Standard Grade at 3 or National 5/Intermediate2 at C)
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) including A-Level biology, plus GSCE mathematics and chemistry at C / 4 BBB (minimum) - ABB (typical) including A-Level biology, plus GCSE mathematics and chemistry at C / 4
BTEC A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDD
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 to include biology, plus Standard Level mathematics and chemistry at 4.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5 to include biology, plus Standard Level mathematics and chemistry at grade 4
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 including biology at Higher Level, plus Ordinary Level mathematics and chemistry at O2 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with B in the graded unit with appropriate Science units A relevant HND with AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at AH Biology. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 (grade C)
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with AAA to include Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology at A. Mathematics at GCSE C
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Biology 75% overall with 7.5 in Biology
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are 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.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

We use a variety of teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials
  • Practical laboratory classes
  • Dissection

Thiel cadavers

We are the only UK university to offer dissection using Thiel embalmed cadavers. The Thiel soft-fix method preserves our cadavers with life-like flexibility and tissue quality.

How you will be assessed

All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures.

  • Presentations
  • Critical reviews
  • Essays
  • Computer based and written examinations
  • Lab and Skeletal reports
  • Osteological spot-tests
  • Honours project

What you will study

Level 1 and 2

The first two years of study are completed within Life Sciences where you follow the Life Sciences core modules. Through lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions you will received a general introduction to the life sciences and acquire the laboratory and research skills you will need for level 3 and 4.

During second year in addition to the core life sciences modules you will complete two modules specific to anatomy in preparation for level 3. Introduction to Human Anatomy and Comparative Anatomy will provide you with the first steps towards understanding the form and function of the human body and how it differs from other species.

Level 3

In your third year you move to study within CAHID full time and focus on human anatomy. There are four areas of study designed to provide you with a full understanding of the human body, its development and function.

From the first cell to the adult form, you learn how the body systems develop and how molecular switches control this developing, creating diversity within the body.

You are able to gain an understanding of anatomy at a microscopic level and discover the building blocks of the human body.

You will study human anatomy throughout the year, during which you will get the chance to study through full cadaveric dissection using Thiel embalmed cadavers. There is nowhere else in the UK that you can experience this.

You are able to gain an understanding of anatomy at a microscopic level and discover the building blocks of the human body.

In preparation for your honours project you will receive training in practical and theoretical methods of research.

You will study human anatomy throughout the year, during which you will get the chance to study through full cadaveric dissection using Thiel embalmed cadavers. There is nowhere else in the UK that you can experience this.

Level 4

Fourth year sees you specialise in Forensic Anthropology. During this year you will focus on skeletal anatomy and begin to learn how the analysis of the skeleton fits within medico-legal investigation. You will be taught by teaching staff who are all case active certified forensic practitioners.

This module uses both lectures and hands-on practical classes to introduce forensic identification of the skeleton. You will gain a detailed knowledge of the adult skeleton, the features of the bone and how to identify them. You will be introduced to the various methods of assessing and recording information derived from osteological material.

You will understand the processes the human body undergoes after death and how these can help establish the time since death. You will discover how the skeleton reacts to trauma and pathology and be able to establish whether trauma occurred before, during or after death.

You will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in an area of forensic anthropology and be supervised by a one of CAHID’s academic staff. This brings together all that you will have learnt over the four year and can be either literature or laboratory based, making use of the equipment available within the University.

Building on the knowledge from Forensic Osteology you will be able to determine if bone is of human or non-human origin. You will become familiar with the current practices used to establish identity as applied by Forensic Anthropologists and analyse their suitability through seminar discussions.

You will gain a comprehensive background to the framework of forensic science within the law and the role of the expert witness.  A broad knowledge of criminal investigation, scene of crime investigation, medico-legal procedures and their relevance to the criminal justice system will form the core of this module. You will acquire knowledge of the role of the expert witness and the methodological, practical and conceptual boundaries of forensic science evidence.

Previous graduates in forensic anthropology have gone on to pursue careers in areas such as biomedical science, scene of crime analysis, forensic science investigation and osteological research.

A number of students chose to enrol on a medical or dentistry degree and have found that the skills they acquired stood them in good stead, particularly with regards to radiology, paediatrics and orthopaedics.

Some graduates have continued into postgraduate study both within and outwith Dundee, building on what they learnt in their undergraduate degree. Some of these have progressed to become teachers and researchers in the field of forensic anthropology, providing services to both national and international forensic investigation.


  • Teaching staff with national and international reputations who are all case active forensic practitioners.
  • Teaching and training towards RAI accreditation standards following the approved Forensic Anthropology curriculum.
  • Multidisciplinary approach to teaching, giving students the skills for a diversity of career opportunities.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2018-19

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2018-19
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £19,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students Fees for September 2019 entry will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2019.
Rest of UK students Fees for September 2019 entry are subject to confirmation by the UK Government and will be published when confirmed.
Overseas students (non-EU) £20,950 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowForensic Anthropology BSc (Hons)FL46