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.

The Master 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 in Biology, Medicine, Forensic Science or in a field considered to be equivalent awarded by a Swiss university. A degree awarded by a foreign university may be judged equivalent and give access to the Master’s degree programme, with or without further conditions.
Candidates must also have certified experiences 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 Department 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 help you develop many transversal skills : oral and written communication, critical, analytical and synthetic thinking, competences to carry out research, management of bibliographical resources and familiarisation with scientific literature, etc.

This panoply of skills, combined with specialist knowledge acquired during this Master, is excellent preparation for a wide range of professional sectors, including :

  • 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: 19 July 2023

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Version May 2023


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