Forensic pathology is the study of death. The course in forensic pathology provides an introduction to the mechanisms of injuries and diseases and to the morphology and clinical characteristics of a broad spectrum of injuries and disease entities. In thiscourse we will aim to provide a foundation for the understanding of the injuries and disease states at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal levels.

By the end of the course, we expect that you will have:

  • Sufficient data about basic disease reactions and organ specific reactions so that you can:
  • Interpret signs and symptoms elicited in a patient’s history and create a differential diagnosis
  • Sufficient knowledge of gross forensic pathology and histopathology so that you can:
  • Interpret findings at autopsy
  • Interpret forensic pathology reports
  • Intelligently review forensic pathology slides and images with a consulting forensic pathologist
  • An awareness of the role of the autopsy in medicine.

In addition, we expect that the unique format of this course will enable you:

  • To develop skills in self-directed learning, problem solving, critical reasoning, presenting data, and intellectual team work
  • To relate basic forensic pathology knowledge to clinical medicine
  • To read and assess with critical intelligence the current medical literature to facilitate life-long learning

Please note that attendance on practical sessions is compulsory. If you missed more than 7×45 minutes of practical sessions, please contact the Educational Advisor of the Department.

Regarding regulations due to pandemic situation up to date measures will be announced in the beginning of each two-week session for each group. 

Please, if you have a problem or question send us an e-mail:

Oral exam

There is an oral exam at the end of each two weeks session. There is oral exam only, and no practical exam will be held in the postmortem room.

Based on the exam results, the students will be awarded grades of Excellent (5), Good (4), Satisfactory (3), Pass (2), or Fail (1).

  • Lecture notes of forensic medicine. Semmelweis Publisher. 2008.
  • Simpson’s Forensic Medicine. 13th edition. Hodder Arnold Publishing. 2011.
  • www.forensicmed.co.uk edited by: Richard Jones
  • Learning material provided in the Moodle system.

(The literature is available in the Medicina Bookshop next to the institute.)

On the oral examination you are required to talk about two titles from the following list:

1. Definition of death. Post mortem changes.
2. The early post-mortem interval.
3. The late post-mortem interval. Estimation of post-mortem interval.
4. Estimating the time of death.
5. Determining the cause of death. Medico-legal investigation of death.
6. The autopsy.
7. Methods of identification. Identification of decomposed or skeletonized remains.
8. Sudden death of cardiovascular disorders.
9. Sudden death of respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.
10. Sudden infant death.
11. Child abuse. Safeguarding children.
12. Terminology of injuries. Types of injuries.
13. Self-inflicted injury.
14. Injury patterns. Documentation of injuries and marks of injury.
15. Head and neck injuries.
16. Spinal, chest and abdominal injuries.
17. Gunshot injuries.
18. Differentiation of accident, suicide or murder in gunshot injuries.
19. Sexual assault: examination requirements, evidential samples and documentation.
20. Transportation under influence. Drink and drive problems. Widmark’s formula.
21. Road traffic injuries.
22. Railway injuries, aircraft fatalities.
23. Classification of asphyxia. Signs of asphyxia.
24. Types of mechanical asphyxial mechanism.
25. Immersion deaths: evidence of immersion. Post-mortem artefact and immersion.
26. Pathological diagnosis of drowning. The role of alcohol in drowning.
27. Injury caused by heat. Cold injury, hypothermia.
28. Electrical injury.
29. Principles of toxicology.
30. Commonly misused drugs and drug related death.
31. Carbon-monoxide poisoning. Arsenic, cyanide, lead and methanol poisoning.
32. Scene examination and evidence recovery. Examination on the scene
33. Forensic DNA analysis.