Anatomy BSc/MSci

Forensic Osteology 4Y option BIOL4277

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting 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. This course will discuss current methods used in the analysis of skeletal remains and explore the anatomical basis for these techniques.


This option is assigned to block S1-Y. Normally, 3 hours of teaching on Friday. 

Excluded Courses



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 current methods in the identification of skeletal remains and highlight the value of anatomical knowledge in this process;

■ Create and evaluate a biological profile based on the analysis of skeletal features discussed in the literature;

■ Evaluate bony features indicative of disease or trauma; 

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