University of Dundee

CAHID Launches Pioneering Masters in Forensic Anthropology

01 Mar 2012

The internationally renowned Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee has launched a unique new postgraduate programme targeting those who aspire to a professional career in the field of forensic anthropology.

The MSc in Anatomy and Advanced Forensic Anthropology offers advanced training in subject areas which meet current professional requirements but which are not collectively available at any other institution in the world.

“This course dovetails perfectly with the growing professionalisation of forensic anthropology in the United Kingdom and builds on our reputation as an international centre of excellence in the field,” said Professor Sue Black, Director of CAHID

“We can offer a unique range of advanced practical skills and theoretical understanding here at Dundee. We are the only UK University with access to Thiel cadavers, so students work with a resource that closely mimics live presentation. A detailed understanding of soft tissue anatomy is a vital skill when working in Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

“CAHID received a police commendation for its training programme in DVI to the UK national team, and this expertise will also form a part of the intensive training programme.

“Analysis of juvenile remains is an advanced skill for which the Centre has a global reputation.  We offer hands-on practical experience through access to the irreplaceable Scheuer collection of juvenile remains via teachers who authored the key text on this subject.”

An articulation agreement has already been signed with a US university – Radford in Virginia - and students will be welcomed to Dundee in September of 2012.  This collaboration arose through their staff attending the two week professional summer programme in juvenile osteology which is held every July in Dundee and run by Dr Craig Cunningham.

Along with the opportunity to gain advanced skills, the new MSc programme offers work placement internships for the best students.  The transition from the classroom to the practical world of this subject is often a difficult one to achieve and CAHID has utilised its vast professional network to identify partners who are prepared to offer this unique opportunity because of the quality of the training that the student will receive.  This is a vital and unique step towards establishing a professional and sustainable career in the discipline.

The new programme adds to the suite of postgraduate education available at CAHID, which now includes programmes in Human Anatomy, Facial Identification, Forensic Art and Medical Art. Staff from CAHID will be visiting New York, Boston and Toronto in the next month to spread awareness of the integrated suite of postgraduate programmes available in this field. The Centre expects to enter into additional articulation agreements in the coming year.

“We are one of the premier centres internationally for forensic anthropology education and research,” said Professor Black. “What this new programme is specifically aiming to do is to prepare students for the enormous leap from academic study into professional practice and provide a launching pad for the multi-skilled forensic anthropologists of the future.”

The one-year MSc in Anatomy and Advanced Forensic Anthropology is designed for students who already hold a degree (BA, BSc or MSc) in Forensic Anthropology or a closely related subject.



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