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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12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 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 (Day)
Southbank Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Stephen Cordner


Autopsy techniques will be taught via experiential learning in the mortuary, with experienced practitioners from the VIFM acting as tutors/supervisors. Over the 12 months of training, the student will be required to apply the learned techniques to different types of cases, allocated to ensure as wide a range of experience as possible is gained. Students will also be given practical instruction in techniques to forensic odontology and anthropology that are used to support forensic pathology practice, particularly in identifying unknown remains.


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

  1. Accurately assess the significance of contextual information contained in medical records and other relevant documentation and apply it to interpretation of autopsy findings.
  2. Show proficiency in standard autopsy techniques, applied to routine coroners cases.
  3. Show familiarity with specialised techniques applied in specialised cases.
  4. Be able to recognize and interpret disease and injury in standard and specialised cases.
  5. Be able to present and discuss autopsy findings with colleagues.
  6. Accurately analyse, interpret and document autopsy findings in autopsy reports for use in the coronial system.
  7. Show familiarity with specialized forensic odontology and anthropology techniques.


Performance of autopsies and presentation of findings (25%)
Oral and written examination (50%)
Casebook (25%)

Workload requirements

Students will attend regular pathologists meetings approx 40 hours, 200 hours in mortuary engaged in practical work and observation. Approx 72 hours individual study and case book preparation.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Enrolment by Department of Forensic Medicine permission only.

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