Anatomy BSc/MSci

Forensic Osteology 4A option BIOL4277

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Forensic osteology concerns the analysis of skeletal remains. This exciting discipline requires attention to detail and the ability to relate observations with studies reported in the literature. The recovery of skeletal remains, preparation of a skeletal inventory and a list of missing elements will all be covered to replicate preparations a forensic anatomist would undertake for a judicial trial.


This option is assigned to block S2-A. Normally, 3 hours of teaching on Monday. 

Requirements of Entry

Normally, only available to final-year School of Life Sciences students in an Anatomy programme. Visiting students may be allowed to enrol, at the discretion of the School of Life Sciences Chief Adviser and the Course Coordinator.

Excluded Courses

Forensic Applications of Biological Sciences (BIOL4049)


The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment consisting of an essay (25%). 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course considers the application of anatomical knowledge to the procedures used to establish a biological profile of osteological remains.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ Evaluate ways of determining whether bones are human or animal and the minimum number of individuals present;

■ Discuss those features of skeletal remains that can help establish the sex, age and stature of the deceased;

■ Evaluate bony features indicative of disease or trauma;

■ Research literature to support evidence in forensic reports and discuss topics that are/have been controversial in the forensic anatomical literature.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.