Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank First semester 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Richard Bassed

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email postgrad.courses@vifm.org or phone 03 9684 4115.


Forensic Odontology encompasses the intersection between dentistry and the law. Practitioners in this field require a solid understanding of all aspects of dental practice as it relates to medico-legal investigation. The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to apply their dental knowledge to questions of legal/coronial import, especially in the field of human identification.
Forensic Odontology practitioners require expert knowledge in areas including; injury interpretation, evidence interpretation, dental anthropology, forensic anthropology, imaging technology, mortuary practice, and medico-legal report writing.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the core elements of Forensic Odontology which underlie Forensic Odontological investigation;
  2. Understand the fundamentals of mortuary practice and protocol, including ethical treatment of the deceased, dental examination and imaging procedures;
  3. Develop a working understanding of human skeletal and dental development and the changes which occur with increasing age, including an introduction to forensic age estimation methods;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of the human skeleton, and to develop the ability to distinguish human from non-human skeletal and dental elements;
  5. Show an understanding of Disaster Victim identification, including mass grave exhumation techniques and an awareness of the role of the Forensic Odontologist in war crimes investigations;
  6. Display skills in the application of CT technology and software systems in post-mortem examinations;
  7. Understand the principles of medico-legal report writing as applied to the discipline of forensic odontology.


Assignment (25%)
Case report (25%)
Oral presentation (25%)
Case book (25%)

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


+ Graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery or Bachelor of Dentistry in an Australian University; or
+ Have qualifications which, in the opinion of the Faculty Board, are equivalent to or are a satisfactory substitute for the qualifications described above; and
+ Have at least 3 years experience in clinical or dental practice.
+ Provide proof of Medical or Dental Board registration.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: