Course Outline

Course Aims

This two (2) – year postgraduate course stands alone with no prerequisite course requirements other than a basic degree in medicine that is MB, BS or an equivalent qualification. The course addresses those aspects of forensic medicine and science which are most frequently the subject of expert testimony in the courts. The intention is to provide overseas postgraduates with core knowledge and practical skills in forensic medicine. The course has a strong practical orientation with substantial hands on experience.



The course consists of medico-legal case work attachments, lectures, small group tutorials and assigned work based upon primary literature searches and requiring written opinions on case studies.

 The greater part of the teaching is one-to-one and problem-oriented, utilizing case work. For this purpose, candidates are attached to individual academic members of staff in rotation. The case work includes trauma and other injuries arising as a result of accident, suicide and homicide; sudden death from natural disease; forensic toxicology; and allied forensic sciences. There are two lecture/tutorial series namely: forensic medicine, and forensic science. A listing of the subject covered in these lectures/tutorials is given on the following pages. Small group tutorials, held once a week, supplement the content of the lecture series, allow for presentation of case studies and interpretation of observations, discuss the current literature, and create an opportunity for discussion with invited speakers from disciplines allied to forensic medicine.


The course is assessed by a combination of a case-book (50%) and by examination (50%). Each candidate is required to produce a case-book in an appropriate medico-legal format providing observations and referenced discussion of selected cases observed during the year. The examination companies two written pagers, each of three hours. Pager one is in forensic medicine and paper two is forensic science. The external examiner is a medically qualified member of the academic staff of another University department of forensic medicine.


Course Texts

The six prescribed course text are:

  1. Clinical Forensic Medicine edited by W. D. S. Mclay, the Association of Police Surgeons, Printer Publishers London 2nd Edition, 1996.
  2. Forensic Pathology by Bernard Knight, Edward Arnold Publishers 2nd Edition, 1996.
  3. Simpson’s Forensic Medicine by Bernard Knight, Edward Arnold Publishers 11th Edition, 1996.
  4. Criminalistics by R. Saferstein, Prentice Hall Publishers 6th Edition, 1998.
  5. Medico-legal Death Investigation by Spitz and Fishe Charles Thomas Publishers, 3rd Edition, 2002.
  6. Forensic Medicine Clinical and Pathological Aspects by Jayne James, et al, Greenwich Medical Media LTD Publishers 1st Edition, 2003.

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