Forensic Anthropology & Human Identification











All Forensic Anthropology and Human Identification teaching in The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification is delivered by case-active forensic anthropologists who are accredited at the highest level by their professional bodies. 

Forensic anthropology is the analysis of human remains for the medico-legal purpose of establishing identity. Traditionally the forensic anthropologist has dealt exclusively with human skeletal remains, however, the modern day multi-disciplinary nature of human identification requires the analysis of more than just dry bone.

Identification of the deceased

Forensic anthropologists now frequently deal with identification of both deceased and living individuals using a combination of hard and soft tissue features to aid their analysis. Additionally, evaluation of both deceased and living individuals is frequently conducted in an non-invasive manner via the interpretation of images produced from a variety of modalities including photography, x-ray, computed tomography and others.

As a result of this changing remit and expanding suite of analysis techniques, there is a significant requirement for anatomically-trained forensic anthropologists who are competent in dealing with both soft and hard tissues. 

Leading the field

CAHID is leading the field in this area by offering programmes of study that combine anatomical training with forensic anthropology to provide students with a coherent study framework.  In addition, the Centre’s human identification research focuses on new multi-disciplinary approaches that are underpinned by anatomical information and understanding. CAHID’s teaching is informed by the research that is conducted by our case active academic staff which in turn is led by the questions that arise from their forensic casework.

Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

At the core of a forensic anthropological analysis is the assessment of an individual’s age, sex, stature, and ancestry, together with an interpretation of skeletal trauma and pathology. These fundamental principles sit at the core of any forensic anthropology training offered by the Centre. CAHID offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that are designed to equip students with the skills necessary for the analysis and identification of human skeletal remains.

This training is undertaken in dedicated laboratory areas with exclusive access to CAHID’s unique skeletal collections. Each programme offers a unique mix of theoretical subject matter combined with hands on practical experience which is delivered by case active academic staff who are world leaders in the field.