• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology

This course offers students an introductory training in the fields of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology. Students will be trained in recovering forensic evidence using archaeological methods, both practically (as part of field training) and theoretically. The basics of human biological profile reconstruction will also be taught in a lab setting. We will cover a variety of topics that pertain to crime scene investigation, including how to identify skeletonised human remains. This course focuses solely on medico-legal contexts of human remains, with examples from domestic and international cases. Student will gain a set of skills necessary, and appropriate in terms of the requirements of the Australian medico-legal professions, for the practical management and excavation of a body/crime scene.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. reconstruct a basic biological profile from a set of human skeletal remains;
  2. recover forensic evidence using archaeological methods as part of a mock excavation in the field;
  3. analyse and report forensic evidence in a written format;
  4. describe, explain, and critically evaluate methods used in Forensic Anthropology;
  5. discuss and construct an academic argument around an issue/ issues in Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology case(s); and
  6. suggest future research experimental design in improving current methods and standards in Forensic Anthropology/ Archaeology.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Forensic excavation/crime scene management report, 3500 words (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Lab portfolio (8 weeks of lab reports; 200 words per week) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Literature-based essay, 3000 words (35) [LO 4,5,6]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 41 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 22 hours of lectures, 11 hours of laboratories, and 8 hours of field training*; and
b) 89 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

*Please note that participation in the field training (mock excavation) is mandatory. The excavation is repeated each day (Monday to Friday) in Week 6. Each student participates in the excavation one day only (9am-5pm). The allocation of students to a particular day is undertaken at the start of the course to as far as possible account for each student's other course clashes and/or Week 6 commitments.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN2128

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course. However, students will benefit from reviewing the Human Bone Manual by White and Folkens, 2005

Course reading will be uploaded to wattle and a list will be

available for students



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7519 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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