NATS 3023 Forensic Anthropology

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 301120

Coordinator Hayley Green Opens in new window

Description The objectives of this subject are to gain an understanding of the changes to the human body from death to discovery and how we can use the biological variability of humans to assist in the identification of human remains. Students will learn the fundamentals of detection, excavation and identification of human and non-human remains and learn how to prepare their findings for court. Students will be required to apply the knowledge gained during lectures to a practical based excavation, analysis and preparation of a case file.

School Science

Discipline Forensic Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) NATS 1008 - Forensic Science


Successful completion of 120 credit points

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of the general aspects of contemporaneous note taking, crime scene documentation and crime scene photography.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Explain how the major processes of decomposition and taphonomic change can affect the outcomes of a forensic investigation.
  2. Explain the scientific and ethical role of the forensic archaeologist and forensic anthropologist in the gathering and analysis of forensic evidence in an Australian context.
  3. Conduct archaeological investigations safely and ethically in the field using methodologies to obtain valid scientific evidence and explain the significance and relevance of data.
  4. Conduct an anthropological investigation of human and non-human skeletal remains and create a biological profile.
  5. Communicate findings correctly in written and/ or oral form, accessing the scientific literature to place findings in context.

Subject Content

1. Detection and recovery of human and non-human remains.
2. Analysis of crime scenes using the principles of archaeology to preserve forensically meaningful evidence.
3. Preservation of evidence continuity and integrity from the site of recovery through to the conclusion of all laboratory analyses.
4. Theoretical and practical knowledge of anatomy and forensic anthropology required to distinguish between human and non-human skeletal remains and subsequently produce a biological profile of human skeletal remains.
5. Theoretical knowledge of multidisciplinary approaches to the identification of human skeletal remains.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 30 minutes 10 N Individual
Practical Exam 40 minutes 25 N Individual
Log/Workbook Part 1 (Groupwork 5%)- Contemporaneous case file notes (2000 words); Part 2 (5%)- Group contribution 10 N Group
Report 1500 words 15 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Hayley Green Opens in new window

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