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An introductory course available to those with an interest in all things "forensic".

Register for the Certificate!


The Certificate in Forensic Medicine & Science (60 credit SCQF level 7) is an introductory 30 week taught course covering the basic elements of medicine, science and law applied to the investigation of death and crime. Although not specifically targeted at any professional group, the course will be of interest to professionals with a forensic remit such as the police, nurses, prosecution and defence lawyers. The course will also stimulate all those with an interest in this fascinating subject.

The lecturers on the course have extensive experience gained from investigating many real-life cases (including the investigation of the Lockerbie bombing and other high profile incidents).

What happened

What happened?

Who is this person? When did he die? How did he die? Why did he die?

And, possibly, "who did it?"!

Fascinated? Then the Certificate course is for you!


At the completion of this course, the candidate should possess:

  • A basic knowledge of the main medical, scientific and legal concepts, techniques and methods in order that the candidate has sufficient competence to understand human diseases, conditions and behaviour in a forensic setting.
  • An understanding of the basic organisational structures involved in the practice of forensic medicine and science both locally and internationally.
  • An understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of forensic investigation.
  • An awareness of how forensic medicine and the forensic sciences relate to the wider context of society and how forensic practice can contribute towards improving that society.

  • Develop information search strategies and effective and efficient use of available resources.
  • Ability to participate in group discussion and address contemporary issues in science and medicine


The Certificate in Forensic Medicine & Science covers all the major aspects of the forensic disciplines. Candidates will find it useful to have a basic familiarity with one of medicine, science or law although it is emphasised that an in-depth knowledge of these subject areas is not required to successfully complete the course.


This 30 week course is taught at the University of Edinburgh (within the old Medical School at Teviot Place) with lectures being held once a week on a Wednesday evening (18.00 to 21.00 at the latest - some lectures will finish earlier!). A support website will provide most of the written course materials as well as a range of links to external resources. A study guide and a range of other support materials will also be available on-line. Assessment is on the basis of three pieces of written work (short essays and case studies) and a written examination (6 short note style answers from 9 questions). Lecturers are drawn from a number of academic and professional institutions. The support website includes a discussion forum and candidates are encouraged to discuss issues with their colleagues on the course. The discussion board is fully moderated and discussion themes will be responded to (within, usually, a 72 hour period) although individual posts will not necessarily be answered on an individual basis.

The student is not required to purchase additional software to access the support website which runs over the internet via any fully IE compliant browser (Adobe acrobat reader and Macromedia flash player - free downloads - are required).

The course commences in October and runs to June.

The fee for the Certificate in Forensic Medicine & Science is £1200 (20% discounts are offered to University of Edinburgh staff/full time students). Those eligible for Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) Part-time Fee Grant (personal income of £25,000 pa or less and ordinary resident of Scotland) can receive £637 from SAAS towards the course fees. See Part-time Fee Grant for details.

Register for the Certificate!

The University of Edinburgh (Division of Pathology)