Catriona Davies - BSc Forensic Anthropology, Certified Forensic Anthropologist (PhD FRAI)

“Seven and a half years after I arrived, I am leaving the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification and the University of Dundee with an undergraduate degree in forensic anthropology, a PhD, experience in forensic casework, a placement at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and an offer of employment at the University of Leeds."

Dr Catriona Davies was drawn to the BSc in Forensic Anthropology because of her fascination with the organisation of bones within the skeleton and her interest in human identification. Dr Davies said:

“The journey through academia is one which is tremendously personal and one that will shape you in more ways than you thought possible.

“My decision  to study forensic anthropology was almost inevitable. Growing up in rural Scotland, I developed an interest in skeletal biology through the discovery of animal bones when on family walks.

“When I became aware of the course being offered by the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, I knew it was what I wanted to do as it would allow me to expand my knowledge of the human body and give me the opportunity to study human anatomy, and in particular, osteology.

“Although I had applied to six courses at two different institutions, only the Bachelor of Science (honours) degree in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee offered the chance to explore my interests in skeletal biology and human anatomy.

“Following the completion of my undergraduate degree, I decided to continue my studies in forensic anthropology and human identification through a Master of Science by Research degree within CAHID. This led to an offer of a PhD studentship for which the associated fees were waived by the College of Life Sciences.”

Dr Davies felt that the experience she gained whilst studying at CAHID, provided the foundations from which she secured her dream job. Dr Davies said:

“Through participation in both masters and PhD research, I have gained the skills and experience necessary to qualify for examination at the level of Forensic Anthropologist Level II under the accreditation scheme developed by the Royal Anthropological Institute and the British Association for Forensic Anthropology.  

“Although the time spent studying for my PhD included the toughest, most rigorous years of my fledgling academic career, the opportunities earned through hard work and dedication more than made up for the moments of stress.

 “Seven and a half years after I arrived, I am leaving the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification and the University of Dundee with an undergraduate degree in forensic anthropology, a PhD, experience in forensic casework, a placement at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and an offer of employment at the University of Leeds.  

“The journey on which I have travelled during my time at university has been one of blood, sweat and tears, determination and sublime jubilation, and one that ultimately has led me to the career that I envisaged when I applied to study at the University of Dundee.”