This module 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 short course provides an understanding of how skeletal remains are positively identified, and how causes and manners of death are ascertained.

At a glance

What you will learn

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • identify the need amongst the relatives and friends of a victim, in addition to society as a whole, for accurate positive identification of remains
  • be able to apply theoretically and practically the various techniques for positive identification
  • critique the uses of biochemical techniques of identification, their advantages and limitations
  • identify trauma and draw justified inferences as to cause and manner of death and define the differences between them
  • categorise the injuries caused by various different sorts of weaponry.

Core content

Course Content:

  • The legal and social need for a positive identification of individuals
  • Use of dentition in positive identification
  • Pathology: identification and characterization of disease visible on the skeleton
  • Biochemical methods of identification: blood type, isotopes, DNA
  • Cause and manner of death
  • Identifying trauma and injuries from skeletal remains
  • The use of trauma in positive identification
  • Fractures and fracture healing
  • Characteristic wounds left by weapons.

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 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

To attend this course it is a pre-requisite that you have either attended the Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology: Osteology module/short course previously or that you have sufficient experience and qualifications to prove that you have a good knowledge of human osteology and of the methods used to identify human bone as well as of victim identification from human skeletal remains.


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



Sponsored by company - £1,750

Individual (anyone paying for themselves to attend) - £875

Alumni/Current Student - £435

Accommodation options and prices

Please contact us for information regarding accommodation.

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.