This module will develop masters-level scientific skills for forensic practitioners to effectively investigate scenes of decomposition in death investigation practice. It will provide scientific interpretation of a range of taphonomic factors which importantly influence the estimation of the post-mortem interval. Scene assessment and recording methodologies of taphonomic states will be explored in detail with case studies, along with the challenges and limitations faced in the post-mortem examination of decomposing remains.
At a glance
- Please enquire for course dates
- Duration5 days
- LocationCranfield campus
Course structureLectures, Group Work, Practical (Fieldwork), Blended learning
What you will learn
On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:
- Classify the stages of decomposition and hypothesise post-mortem intervals from case studies
- Assess the effect of a range of taphonomic variables (intrinsic and extrinsic) on both the presentation and trajectory of the decay process.
- Critically appraise historical and current research methodologies in forensic taphonomy
- Relate practitioner experience of investigating decomposition scenes to further inform and challenge policies, practices and decision-making in the field.
- Investigate and solve a simulated single-context decomposition body recovery scene.
- Science of decomposition
- Taphonomic variables
- Research methodologies in forensic taphonomy
- Risk assessment, welfare and body recovery plans
- Scene assessment and recording methods of decomposition
- Methods of estimating the post-mortem interval
- Post-mortem examinations of decomposing remains
- Case studies in forensic taphonomy
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