This course can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

This course will introduce the principles of mass grave investigations and the differences and similarities there are with domestic/single grave investigations.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration7 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£2,695
    Concessions available

Course structure

Classroom sessions and a site excavation.

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:
  • Adapt methodologies to a single or mass grave environment,
  • Understand the role of the forensic archaeologist and anthropologist within a forensic and criminal investigation team in a mass fatality investigation framework,
  • Recover surface and buried evidence as well as human remains as part of a wider forensic investigation,
  • Interpret non - material, forensic archaeological evidence in mass grave structures, such as tool marks,
  • Interpret the site history in order to reconstruct the series of events that lead to the existence of the grave and the positioning of the victims and evidence.

Core content

  • Basic principles and structure of mass grave investigations,
  • Methodology of mass grave excavations,
  • Operational and logistical challenges in mass grave investigations,
  • Recovery of surface evidence at mass grave/mass killing sites,
  • Recovery of human remains in a mass grave context,
  • Recovery of buried evidence associated with human remains.


  • Day 1- Classroom based teaching,
  • Day 2 - Site assessment and setup,
  • Day 3 to 6 - Site excavation,
  • Day 7 - Site closure and exercise debrief.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This course will be taught at Masters standard as it is one of the modules that comprise the postgraduate Forensic Modular Masters Programme. Registering for this Short Course for Credit and successfully passing the associated assessment will gain you 10 Cranfield credits. These could then be used to apply for a transfer towards a PgCert/PgDip or MSc in the Forensic Programme should you wish to complete one of these courses within 5 years.


Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

There are no prerequisites for this course.


The course is a module of the Forensic Modular Masters Programme, which is accredited by  The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


Concessions are available for Cranfield alumni and multiple bookings from the same organisation, please contact us to discuss.

Accommodation options and prices

This course is non-residential. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information about our on campus accommodation can be found here.  Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Situated close to Milton Keynes and Bedford, the Cranfield campus is situated in Wharley End, very close to Cranfield village, and is about 10 minutes from the M1 motorway.  There is rail and road access to most major airports as well as coach and train stations. Cranfield campus also has its own airport for private executive business travel.

Download a visitor guide including map, directions and health and safety information.

Campus address

College Road
MK43 0AL


How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.