• Class Number 3135
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Marc Oxenham
    • Prof Marc Oxenham
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
    • Dr Clare McFadden
SELT Survey Results

This course offers students training in the anatomy of the human skeleton and techniques used in biological profiling from skeletal remains. Students will be taught a range of skeletal biology techniques used to estimate age-at-death, biological sex, stature, and bone functional adaptation. We will cover the development, form, and function of human hard tissues (bones and teeth). Acquired skills will be of value to any students interested in skeletal studies including vertebrate biology, comparative skeletal anatomy, medicine, palaeontology, human and primate evolution, forensic sciences and archaeology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Describe and explain the human skeletal structure: name and define hard tissues and their parts at a macroscopic (gross) and microscopic (histological) level;
  2. Describe and explain the fundamentals of human skeletal growth and metabolic processes in a developmental and functional context;
  3. Gain practical experience and develop skills in identification and analysis of human skeletal tissues; and
  4. Outline the ethical treatment of human skeletal remains, and be able to recall key professional documents stipulating the code of ethics, guidance on care and curation of human remains.

Research-Led Teaching


Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Required Resources

White TD, Folkens PA. 2005. The Human Bone Manual. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.

White TD, Black MT, Bass Folkens PA. 2012. Human Osteology. Amsterdam: Academic Press. Columbia Archaeological Society. This is an expanded version of your core textbook. 

WM. 2005. Human Osteology: a Laboratory and Field Manual. Elsevier Mo.: Missouri 

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written results/comments on lab quizzes (can be viewed during office hours)
  • Written comments on mid-semester test (can be viewed during office hours)

All grades will be recorded in the Wattle gradebook 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Gross Skeletal Anatomy: Part I Postcranial anatomy: upper and lower limb
2 Gross Skeletal Anatomy: Part II Postcranial anatomy: shoulder and pelvic girdles; the axial skeleton
3 Gross Skeletal Anatomy: Part III Cranial and dental anatomy Lab test on week 1 & 2 material
4 Sex Estimation: Part I, Cranium Sex estimation using the cranium Lab test on Week 3 material
5 Age-at-Death Estimation: Part I, Adults Age-at-death estimation in adults
6 No lecture But see Week 6 recommended reading below Practical exam in your lab slot (covers weeks 1 to 5 material)
7 Biodistance: Part I, Nonmetric No Labs (due to ANZAC Day Holiday)
8 Biodistance: Part II, Quantitative Qualitative and Quantitative approaches to biodistance (including FORDISC)
9 Age-at-Death Estimation: Part II, Subadults Age-at-death estimation in subadults Lab test on weeks 7 & 8 material
10 Sex estimation: Part II, Postcrania Sex estimation: the postcrania Lab test on Week 9 material
11 Stature, body mass, habitual activity signatures Signatures of habitual and identity-related signatures Lab test on Week 10 material
12 No lecture – use time to revise for final exam Final exam revision

Tutorial Registration

wattle signup

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
5 x Lab Tests (10% each) 50 % 12/03/2019 21/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4
Practical Mid-Semester Examination 20 % 02/04/2019 02/05/2019 1, 2, 3
Final Examination 30 % 31/05/2019 28/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 12/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

5 x Lab Tests (10% each)

Details of task: This assessment is made up of 5 lab tests given throughout the semester. These are short (10-15 mins long) tests that examine your knowledge gathered from lab topics/ practicals. You may think of these as “exit tests” which are done a week after the lab session you are tested on, giving you time to go over the materials and notes, and consult written/online resources to revise. The tests are designed to help you learn skeletal anatomy terminology, identification, and basics of techniques efficiently. Learning anatomy involves memorising new terms which is best achieved through regular mind refreshing, hence the regular testing throughout the semester. Some tests will involve identifying skeletal specimens displayed on lab stations, other tests will be multiple choice answers. The 5 tests will always be lab based.

HURDLE COMPONENT: You will need to complete (i.e. take the test regadless of your mark for it) a minimum of 4/5 tests to pass this component (and the component is 50% of your overall grade. To be clear, this means you will be given a mark of 0 for the 50% of your grade even if you complete 3 tests) of the assessment.

Value: 50% (10% each test)  

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 02/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 02/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Practical Mid-Semester Examination

LAB BASED PRACTICAL EXAM (20%) will take place during your scheduled lab session in Week 6. The exam will assess your knowledge and skills gathered from labs in the first part of the semester. It is similar in premise to the short lab tests whereby you will be presented with a series of stations with skeletal specimens and/or printed questions. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Final Examination

FINAL EXAMINATION (30%) will take place during the scheduled official examination period in June. Time, date, and venue details will be announced by the Examinations Office or College nearer the time. This exam is designed to assess your knowledge and skills gathered from the labs in the second part of the semester and theoretical fundamentals from all lectures. You can expect a mixture of multiple choice,and short answer questions.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Completed lab tests will be returned to you in the labs.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Marc Oxenham

Research Interests

Prof Marc Oxenham

Tuesday 08:00 09:00
Tuesday 08:00 09:00
Prof Marc Oxenham

Research Interests

Prof Marc Oxenham

Tuesday 08:00 09:00
Tuesday 08:00 09:00
Dr Clare McFadden

Research Interests

Dr Clare McFadden

Wednesday 08:00 10:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions