Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


The lectures in this unit cover (1) an introduction to forensic anthropology/odontology and human skeletal anatomy; (2) biological profiling I—sex; (3) biological profiling II—age at death; (4) biological profiling III—ethnicity and stature; (5) alternative techniques of quantifying biological form—geometric morphometrics; (6) photography and medical imaging; (7) dental anthropology—morphology, disease and treatment; (8) forensic anthropology/odontology and disaster victim identification (DVI); and (9) bite mark analysis. The practical sessions cover (1) precision of measurement; (2) estimation of sex; (3) estimation of adult age; (4) estimation of ethnicity and stature; (5) applications of geometric morphometrics; (6) photography in a forensic setting; (7) group research projects; and (8) practical applications of bite mark analysis.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of anatomical terminology and its importance in forensic anthropology; (2) apply appropriate bone handling techniques; (3) develop practical experience in the application of appropriate methods for rapid and accurate identification of unknown skeletal remains; (4) identify and apply appropriate statistical methods in forensic anthropology; (5) describe the available alternative methods of quantifying biological form, with specific reference to geometric morphometrics; (6) competent in undertaking photography and measurement of individual skeletal elements; (7) discuss the role of medical imaging towards establishing personal identification; (8) critically evaluate facial approximation and the identification process; (9) explain the role of forensic anthropology and odontology in disaster victim identification; (10) be familiar with current developments in basic forensic sciences and particularly those medical and social sciences which are of direct relevance to the application to forensic anthropology; and (11) work competently as an individual and within groups.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) Essay and professional report; (2) research project; and (3) end of topic and final theory/practical exams. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Daniel Franklin and Ambika Flavel
Unit rules
FNSC5612 Forensic Anthropology I—Introductory Theory and Method
Contact hours
lectures: 9 x 3 hours per week
practicals: 9 x 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.