Master in Forensic Anthropology

General Objectives of the Course

The Master in Forensic Anthropology aims to offer specialized and multidisciplinary training at an advanced level in different areas of Forensic Anthropology, namely: Human Osteology, Forensic Taphonomy, estimation of the Biological Profile parameters, identification process, trauma analysis, field anthropology, and its interaction with other forensic subjects and Criminal Investigation. To foster a critical appreciation of the scientific literature in order to develop the confidence required for independent work, in or out of science. • To equip the students with a variety of transferable skills that will be helpful in future choice of career.
It is intended that students acquire:
1. Instrumental skills in: analysis and synthesis; organization and planning; oral and written communication; use of computer tools; information management, problem solving and decision-making ability.
2. Personal and Inter-personal skills in: group work and interdisciplinary team work; working within an international context; critical reasoning and understanding specialists’ language.
3. Systemic skills, e.g. competencies in: autonomous learning; searching; ability to adjust to new situations; applying in practice the theoretical knowledge; planning and managing; self-criticism and evaluation. It is also intended to promote creativity, care about rigor and quality, leadership, initiative and enterprising spirit.
The objectives of this master's degree will be fulfilled as follows: in each curricular unit students will have to do different tasks (practical or theoretical) according to the programme set by the teacher. The way and quality in which those tasks are performed express the student’s knowledge and is subjected to evaluation.

Admission Requirements

1. They can apply for access to the cycle of studies leading to the Master's degree in Forensic Anthropology:
a) Holders of a degree or legal equivalent in: Anthropology, Biology, Biochemistry, Medicine, Dental Medicine, other Biological Sciences and Social and Human Sciences;
b) Holders of a foreign higher academic degree, in the areas referred to in a), conferred following a 1st cycle of studies organized according to the principles of the Bologna Process by a State adhering to this Process;
c) Holders of a higher academic degree obtained abroad that is recognized as satisfying the objectives of the degree of licensee in one of the areas mentioned in the previous points by the Scientific Council of the FCTUC;
d) In duly justified cases, the holders of a scientific and professional curriculum relevant to the frequency of this cycle of studies and as such, that is recognized by the Scientific Council of the FCTUC.

2. The recognition referred to in sub-paragraphs b) to d) of paragraph 1 shall only have access to the study cycle leading to the degree of master and does not confer on its holder the equivalence to the degree of licenciado or the recognition of that degree degree.

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Professional Goals

Forensic Anthropology Technicians, experts, participation in international teams of mass disasters and crimes against humanity, teaching and consulting; excavation of human remains.

Mode of Study

Daytime / Full-time / Face-to-face

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)

Portuguese and/or English

Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading

The evaluation is a pedagogical activity inseparable from teaching, intended to determine the skills and knowledge acquired by students, their critical thinking, the ability to formulate and solve problems as well as their command of written and oral expression. The students enrolled in curricular units of a specific academic year are admitted to the assessment tests during the academic year, and also register in these tests when such registration is required, in accordance with nr. 8 of Article 11 of the Teaching Regulations of the University of Coimbra. The following are examples of evaluation elements: written exams or oral tests, written and practical assignments and projects, individual or in group, which may have to be defended orally, and class participation. The evaluation of each module may include one or more of the evaluation elements listed above. The classification of each student for each course corresponds to an integer value between 0 to 20. Students are approved if they obtain a final mark of 10 or above. Whenever the assessment of a course unit comprises more than one element of assessment, the final grade is calculated from the marks obtained in each assessment element, using a formula made public according to nr. 3 of Article 16 and nr. 2 of Article 7 of RPUC.

Learning Objectives and Intended Skills

This course aims to offer advanced training in issues related to Forensic Anthropology, such as: i) knowledge of the subject’s history and its attributions; ii) to be able to solve a forensic anthropology routine case; iii) to know and identify the bones of the human skeleton; iv) identification of human remains; v) to assist in cause and manner of death assessment; vi) to be able to participate in the excavation and exhumation of human remains and estimate time since death; vii) to understand the framework of anthropology within the forensic sciences viii) Evaluate papers in scientific journals. ix) Understand and describe, orally and in writing, recent advances in your chosen degree discipline. x) Formulate sensible scientific hypotheses and design experiments to test them.

Course Coordinator(s)

Maria Teresa dos Santos Ferreira

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

Gonçalo João Duro dos Santos

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning is carried out in accordance with the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

The legal framework for the qualification is established by the Decree-Law nr. 74/2006, 24th March, in its current wording, and Portaria nº 782/2009 de July 23rd.

Graduation Requirements

According to the study plan, students must fulfill 120 ECTS in total: 1st year (two semesters) – 60 ECTS; 2nd year - 60 ECTS: 3 ECTS correspond to the curricular unit “research project” (1st semester) and 57 ECTS to the curricular unit “Dissertation” (annual), which must be publicly defended before a jury.

Access to Further Studies

3rd cycle of studies.

Study Programme

Antropologia Forense

Academic year

Course Type
2nd Cycle Studies - Advanced Specialisation Master Programme

DGES Code: MA13

Qualification Awarded: Mestre

Duration: 2 Year(s)

ECTS Credits: 120.0

Category: Advanced specialization second cycle


Call for Applications


1st Quarterial
Start date: 01-09-2022
End date: 30-11-2022
2nd Quarterial
Start date: 01-12-2022
End date: 28-02-2023
3rd Quarterial
Start date: 01-03-2023
End date: 31-05-2023
4th Quarterial
Start date: 01-06-2023
End date: 31-08-2023
1st Semester
Start date: 12-09-2022
End date: 17-12-2022
2nd Semester
Start date: 06-02-2023
End date: 20-05-2023


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2018-05-14 a 2024-05-13
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior