British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


FSCT 8110 - Human Remains Recovery

Forensic Investigation Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

This course demonstrates principles of forensic archaeology and methodical scene examination, showing how these principles are used in the search, excavation and recovery of human remains. The theories and methodologies employed are explored during lectures as well as during the field component. During the field component of the course (3x 8 hour days), teams will learn to process a scene from start to finish, including: initial scene assessment, surface scatter search, mapping, measuring, recording, gridding, screening, excavation and recovery of the remains. The course will conclude with a de-briefing session.


Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively work and perform in a team environment.
  • Describe environmental and taphonomic factors which influence the decomposition sequence that occurs in human remains and how each of these factors can influence the estimation of the elapsed time of death and the subsequent discovery of the remains.
  • Conduct a formal and methodological search for scattered surface human remains at a site.
  • Map, record and grid a scene with human remains.
  • Explain the process and describe the methodology used in excavating a forensic shallow grave/burial.
  • Describe several surface features which may be indicative of the presence of a forensic burial.


  • Introduction
  • Human Osteology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Search techniques
  • Excavation techniques
  • Processing of a scene with human remains/ recovering scattered remains and buried remains.

Effective as of Fall 2012

Related Programs

FSCT 8110 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Part-time   Advanced Certificate
  2. Forensic Investigation (General Criminalistics Option)
    Part-time   Advanced Certificate
  3. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Part-time   Bachelor of Technology


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English Language Proficiency

BCIT's Part-time Studies English Language Proficiency Standard is English 12 (or equivalency). Students who do not meet this requirement should upgrade their English skills prior to any future registration.

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Registration News

Registration is currently open for the Fall 2021 term.

The sneak preview for the Winter 2022 term starts Fri, Oct 22 at 8:30 am (PDT).

Students may register for Winter 2022 term courses online or by phone starting Wed, Oct 27 at 9:00 am (PDT).

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Classroom locations are subject to last minute changes. Please check the Part-time Studies Classroom Locations listing at on the first day of any course you are registered for.

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