Master of Science (MSc) in Human Taphonomy


General content

The Master of Science in Human Taphonomy is intended for students who are interested in the mechanisms and challenges related to the decomposing human body and the associated biological, ethical and environmental issues, including public health risks.

This Master's programme provides in-depth knowledge of the relation between human beings and their dead, as well as the post-mortem management of human remains across space and time. It also provides advanced teaching on the interactions between the human cadaver and its environment in forensic, humanitarian and societal contexts.

Practical information

Faculty of Biology and Medicine
School of Biology

Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc) in Human Taphonomy

ECTS credits

4 semesters

Teaching language
English. Mandatory level : C1.

Admission requirements
Candidates must be holders of a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology, Medicine, Forensic Science or in a field considered to be equivalent awarded by a Swiss university. Other degrees awarded by a foreign university may be considered equivalent and grant access to the programme with or without further conditions.
Attention: candidates must also have certified experience in taphonomy.

See the full list of requirements.

Enrolment and final dates
The degree course begins in the autumn semester only.
Applications must be submitted to the Admissions Office before the deadline.
Final enrolment date: 30 April. Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.

More information
Website of the Master

Career Prospects

This Master will provide high-level training in human taphonomy, analytical and critical thinking, written and oral communication abilities, as well as management of bibliographic resources, familiarisation with scientific literature and other transversal skills.

As such, this programme serves as a foundation for potential careers in:

  • Academic research
  • Hospitals and forensic environments
  • Police and security forces
  • Environmental industry
  • Biomedical and biotechnology sectors
  • Medical laboratories
  • Museums and cultural sectors
  • International (non) governmental organisations

Further information


Subject to changes.
The French version prevails. Only the official texts should be considered binding.
Last update: 15 February 2024

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Version February 2024


School of Biology
Quartier UNIL-Sorge
Bâtiment Amphipôle
CH–1015 Lausanne

Tél. +41 21 692 40 10
Fax +41 21 692 40 05

Unicentre - CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. +41 21 692 11 11
Fax +41 21 692 20 15