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NewsScottish NewsUniversity of Dundee forensic investigation course receives 10,000 applications in first month

University of Dundee forensic investigation course receives 10,000 applications in first month


A FREE online who-done-it murder mystery course launched last month by the University of Dundee has been inundated with applications.

More than 10,000 people have signed up and some of the filming for the programme has alarmed concerned locals who thought the crime scenes and police officers where for real.

Called ‘Identifying the Dead: forensic science and human identification’, the course sees participants take the role of a forensic investigator at the heart of a discovered body case written by crime author Val McDermid.


A scene from the massive open online course ‘Identifying the Dead: forensic science and human identification’


Run by social learning platform FutureLearn and the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) the course lasts six weeks and is a massive open online course, or MOOC.

Project director for the course, Dr Helen Meadows, said: “We are delighted to have 10,000 people already signed up to the course just weeks after launching it.

“At CAHID we work on this kind of investigation all the time, helping police in criminal investigations and identifying individuals in all manner of different circumstances.”

Speaking specifically about the programme, she added: “This course will give a real insight into the work we do.

“It is also set at a level where people don’t require any prior specialist knowledge and it is suitable for anyone from 12 to 112.”


David Martin,Fotopress,Dundee  Dundee University Morgue Named. Author Val McDermid[white hair] and Professor Sue Black at the official naming.
Val McDermid with Professor Sue Black, head of CAHID, at the Val McDermid Mortuary


Students are presented with pieces of evidence and video footage from the case as they pick their way through the plot, solving mysteries and trying to uncover the identity of a dead body.

There is an exam at the end of the online course which needs to be paid for, but is optional.

Due to start in September anyone can register for free at:

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