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

  • Dates
    • 10 - 14 Feb 2020
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,750 - Company (anyone being paid for by their company). Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of the module the student 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 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

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.



£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.

Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders. 

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network. 

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

Click here for further location and travel details. 

How to apply

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.