This module can be taken as an Accredited Short Course 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
    • 15 - 21 Mar 2021
  • Duration7 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,750 - Company (anyone being paid for by their company). 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 their 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

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

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This short 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 accredited short course 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.

Who should attend

There are no prerequisites for this course.


The short courses are modules of the Forensic Modular Masters Programme, which is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


£766 - Individual (anyone paying for themselves to attend).

£383 - Student (a current student from any university or a former student of Cranfield University).

Accommodation options and prices

Please contact us for information regarding accommodation.

How to apply

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.