FOR5020 - Forensic cross sectional imaging - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Richard Bassed


Dr Chris O'Donnell

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 or phone 03 9684 4115.

Not offered in 2018


FOR4001, FOR4002


The aim of this unit is to provide an insight into the application and interpretation of cross-sectional imaging in the medico-legal environment.

It will concentrate predominately on post-mortem imaging using CT.

The unit is structured around body areas i.e. head, chest, abdomen, musculoskeletal, etc., but will also explore paediatric applications and specific medico-legal aspects.

The unit will enable student to have fundamental understanding of the physics and principles of CT scanning, confidence in viewing post-mortem CT images, an understanding of the artefacts associated with CT scanning, a knowledge of CT correlates of the pathological artefacts of death, ability to recognize forensically significant CT findings in all anatomical areas, ability to integrate CT findings into the work practices of a forensic practitioner, awareness of newer post-mortem CT techniques such as angiography and guided-biopsy and other imaging modalities such as MRI and Ultrasound, ability to perform basic CT image manipulation on a thin-client workstation, familiarity with Victoria's coronial system and the impact that CT scanning has on the workings of a coroner, insight into construction of a medico-legal radiology report, and an understanding of the requirements of an expert witness in giving evidence using cross-sectional imaging.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Critically discuss the physical principles and compare and contrast mechanisms of cross sectional imaging in a forensic context;
  2. View and manipulate CT images in a medico-legal context using special application software;
  3. Identify forensically significant CT findings in all anatomical areas and discriminate between real findings and artefacts;
  4. Integrate CT findings with other evidence to present cases in forensic practice;
  5. Evaluate and apply advanced CT applications including angiography and guided biopsy, as well as other modalities including MRI and Ultrasound in forensic medicine;
  6. Utilise evidence from cross-sectional imaging in the construction of a medico-legal report;


  • Essay (2,000 words) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Case Studies x 3 (1,000 words each) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Oral presentation (15 minutes) (20%)

Hurdle Requirement

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

It is expected that students will undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the Semester.

This will include private study (text and readings), assessment tasks (case studies, assignments), and may include involvement in case work.

Students will be required to attend a two day workshop during the semester (block days).

See also Unit timetable information

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