Module details for Forensic Human Identification


This module will focus on the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process and introduce students to the use of biometric information, not just for personal security, but also in a forensic capacity for the purposes of human identification.


The aims of this module are to provide students with knowledge and understanding of biometric information, and how it can be used in a forensic capacity for human identification, and to develop an understanding of the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Discuss the use of biometric data and its role in human identification, particularly in the context of criminal investigation and mass fatality incidents.

2.  Demonstrate a sound knowledge and awareness of the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process.

3.  Discuss the process of post mortem (PM) examinations and their value in forensic investigations.

4.  Recognise the importance of a systematic approach to the identification of disaster victims.

5.  Select appropriate documentation for forensic productions related to DVI.

Indicative Content

1 Biometric Human Identifiers

Application of biometric information for both personal security and human identification purposes. Biometric evidence recovery from a crime scene and/or victim. Specialised and emerging biometric data. Links to current biometric databases


Introduction to the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process, recognising the four stages, the classification of disasters and understanding the identification criteria required to enable reconciliation.

3 Body Recovery and Mortuary Procedures

Describe and acknowledge the roles and responsibilities of the post mortem (PM) examination team. Recognise the sequence of a PM examination, the purpose and evidential value of samples recovered and how these items of evidence are preserved through integrity and continuity.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 9
Practical Activity 18
Assessment 60
Independent 89
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.