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

To support you and your education, BCIT is adapting applied learning in formats appropriate to the unfolding global situation. Spring PTS classes are commencing with learning delivered in an online format.

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.





Spring/Summer 2020

Below is one offering of this course for the Spring/Summer 2020 term.

CRN 52558

Thu May 21 - Thu Jul 09 7 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
May 21 - Jul 09 Thu 18:00 - 21:00 BBY
Jun 20 - Jul 04 Sat 08:30 - 16:30 BBY



Course Outline

TBD – see Learning Outcomes in the interim




  1. Departmental approval needed
  2. BBY Campus Lectures (Thursdays): May 28, June 4, 11, 25, July 2, July 9 (final exam) Note: No class June 18; Three 8 hr Field school days at BCIT woodlot in Maple Ridge: (Saturdays): June 20, 27, and July 4. Attendance for all three Saturdays is MANDATORY. No exceptions. Students who have been accepted into a Forensics program where this course is a part of the matrix may register without any further approvals. Students who are not currently accepted in a Forensics program or, if this course is NOT part of your program matrix, please contact the Program Assistants for departmental approval at For information on Forensic programs and courses, please visit:

This course offering has been cancelled. 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


Interested in being notified about future offerings of FSCT 8110 - Human Remains Recovery? If so, fill out the information below and we'll notify you by email when courses for each new term are displayed here.

Contact Information

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Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.

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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 is currently open for the Spring/Summer 2020 term.

A sneak preview of Fall 2020 term courses is also now available here.

Students may register for Fall 2020 term courses online or by phone starting Wed, May 27 at 9:00 am (PDT).

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