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An introductory course available to those with an interest in all things "forensic" and delivered face-to-face, exploring aspects of forensic medicine and science.

Please note, this course was formerly called the Certificate in Forensic Medicine and Science – please be assured the course content and delivery of the course have not changed.

Register for the course!


The Forensic Medicine & Science Course 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.

There are two bases on which a student may take the course
a) non-credit bearing (called Forensic Medicine & Science Course)
b) Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) credit bearing (60 credits at Level 7) (called Forensic Medicine & Science Course (Level 7 SCQF)).

All students who successfully complete the assessed work for the course will receive a Certificate of Completion of the Course.

Students who take the course for SCQF credits must pay an additional fee for the award of 60 Credits at Level 7 of the SCQF, which are awarded for successful completion of the assessed work.

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 Forensic Medicine & Science 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 Forensic Medicine & Science Course 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 Central Campus) with lectures being held once a week on a Wednesday evening (18.00 to 21.00 - some lectures will finish earlier). Material to support the lectures will be available. Students are encouraged to discuss issues with their colleagues on the course and the lecturers. 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). The lecturers are drawn from a number of academic and professional institutions.


The basic fee for the course taken on a non-credit bearing basis is £1250 and £1800 for the award of credits.
A 20% discount is available to University of Edinburgh students and staff.
An option to pay for the course by three instalments is available, for which there is an additional £40 administration charge, payable at with the first instalment payment.
Students taking the course on a credit bearing basis who are 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 £643 from SAAS towards the course fees. See Part-time Fee Grant for details.


The course runs annually from October to June.

The following dates for the 2014/15 course are provisional and subject to change.
Semester 1: 15 October 2014 – 17 December 2014
Semester 2: 7 January 2015 – 18 March 2015
Semester 3: 15 April 2015 – 10 June 2015

Register for the course today!

The University of Edinburgh (Division of Pathology)