Graduate Diploma Forensic Medicine

Course Features

  • Provides an entry point for specialist professional training in forensic medicine.
  • Enhances presentation and court-room skills.
  • Suitable qualification for professionals undertaking medicolegal work within their existing areas of specialty.
  • Completion denotes eligibility to complete MSc in Forensic Medicine by dissertation.

Course Overview

This course provides training and qualification in forensic medicine for doctors of all specialities, dentists, nurses, midwives and other health professionals practising forensic medicine.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course provides training and qualification in forensic medicine for:

  • Doctors of all specialities
  • Dentists
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Other health professionals

This course is also appropriate for doctors who provide medical care to detainees in Garda or Police custody.

The course welcomes:

  • Coroners
  • Forensic scientists
  • Members of the judiciary
  • Lawyers
  • Medico-legal advisers
  • Medical and forensic scientists

What Will I Learn?

Course description

This one year part-time programme provides an entry point for specialist professional training in forensic medicine. The programme typically commences in September each year. Students who successfully complete this diploma are eligible to complete a MSc in Forensic Medicine by dissertation. In addition to acquiring new research skills, students enhance their presentation and court-room skills to allow them to undertake roles such as a Forensic Specialist or an Expert Witness.

Aims and outcomes

  • The course will provide training for doctors working in the field of forensic medicine leading to the award of a postgraduate Diploma.
  • The course will provide the basic skills for the practice of forensic medicine.
  • It will be an appropriate qualification for doctors practising forensic medicine, in addition to, or as part of, their work in another speciality or wishing to work towards a higher qualification in forensic medicine.
  • The course will also be an appropriate course for nurses or scientists working in the field of forensic medicine.

Course content

Areas for study on the course will include:

History and future of forensic medicine; the use of libraries and IT resources; medical and legal investigative research skills; introduction to law and legislation; ethical aspects of medical practice; the judicial system and courts; law enforcement agencies; custody medicine; substance misuse; mental health; deaths; injuries; scenes of crime and investigation; forensic sciences; role of coroner; traffic medicine, drugs and alcohol; adult sexual offences; children and abuse; domestic violence; vulnerable witnesses; major incidents; employment, finance and practice management; occupational and public health; infectious diseases. There will be workshops covering records, statements and reports; expert witness and courtroom skills. Course members will prepare learning profiles and present a casebook.

Modules & European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

  • The course is divided into three modules each counting as 20 ECTS enabling students to proceed to a fourth module - a dissertation, with a further 30 ECTS to gain the MSc in Forensic Medicine.
  • The taught modules will be assessed by continual assessment and written examinations at the end of each module.
  • The casebook (module 3) is assessed separately and there is an oral examination.

Module One: 20 ECTs- Core

History and future of forensic medicine; the use of libraries and IT resources; medical and legal investigative research skills; introduction to law and legislation; ethical aspects of medical practice; the judicial system and courts; law enforcement agencies; custody medicine; role of the coroner injuries, death transplantation, end of life issues, forensic science, scenes of crime and investigation. There will be a workshop covering records, statements and reports. Course members will prepare learning profiles.

Module Two: 20 ECTs – Core

Substance misuse; mental health; traffic medicine, drugs and alcohol; adult sexual offences; children and abuse; domestic violence; vulnerable witnesses; major incidents; employment, finance and practice management; occupational and public health; infectious diseases. There will be a workshop covering expert witness and courtroom skills. Course members will prepare learning profiles and present a casebook.

Module 3 – 20 ECTs – Core

Course members will prepare a casebook of 10 cases with medico-legal commentaries in which they are involved in, or have observed. They will also present a learning profile.

Students who complete the graduate diploma will be eligible to apply to undertake a fourth module consisting of a dissertation leading to the award of the MSc in Forensic Medicine.

How/Where Will I Learn?

Course Structure

The course will be part-time over one academic year with lectures and distance learning with feedback and discussions in small groups. There will be workshops in practical skills including the preparation of witness statements and courtroom skills. Course members will prepare personal learning profiles to plan, implement and assess their learning. They will prepare a casebook with commentaries.

Location

The taught sessions are held at UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, Health Sciences Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4.

Examinations

Modules 1 and 2 (taught modules)

  • The taught modules will be assessed by continual assessment and written examinations at the end of each module (December and May).

Module 3 (Casebook)

  • The casebook is assessed separately and there is an oral examination. Learning profiles will also be assessed.
  • The course is divided into three modules each counting as 20 ECTS enabling students to proceed to a fourth module - a dissertation, with a further 30 ECTS to gain the MSc in Forensic Medicine.

Am I Eligible for this Course?

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to healthcare, legal, law enforcement and forensic science professionals who hold degrees, higher professional training or qualifications or specialist accreditation in a speciality relevant to forensic medicine.
  • Candidates should have at least one year of experience of medical, legal or forensic practice or experience requiring the practical application of criminal and/or civil law to a degree unusual in the routine practice of their profession.

International Applicants

  • International applicants should contact the academic programme director for a full list of entry requirements.
  • A list of FAQs for international applicants is available here.

Career Opportunities

Past graduates have developed their careers in a wide range of fields including:

  • Forensic Physician
  • Toxicologist
  • Forensic Odontologist
  • Forensic Psychiatrist
  • Coroner
  • Medicolegal Advisor
  • Barrister
  • Specialist Nurse etc.

Students can develop personal interests or a new career direction within the overlapping specialties of medicine, law and science. Students will learn a wide range of new skills including medical and legal research, presentation, report writing and court-room skills.

Application Details

We are now open for applications for 2015

Ms. Brid McCormack
UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science
Forensic & Legal Medicine
UCD Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6647
E: legal.medicine@ucd.ie

Contact Us

Programme Administrator:

Ms. Brid McCormack
UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science
Forensic & Legal Medicine
UCD Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 716 6647
E: legal.medicine@ucd.ie

Academic Course Co-ordinator:

Dr. Myra Flynn
Forensic and Legal Medicine
UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science
Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4
T: + 353 1 7166641 
Emyra.flynn@ucd.ie

Course Fees

EU StudentsNon-EU Students 
€5,990 €13,930
  • For more information on course fees please visit the Fees & Grants Office website.
  • Fees are correct at the time of writing and subject to change.