Introduction to Post Mortem Radiology

Module code: MB7051

Module co-ordinator: Dr Mike Biggs

Imaging using X-rays and subsequently other techniques has been a part of autopsy practice since 1896, although mainly restricted to forensic, mass fatality and paediatric investigations. The use of computed tomography for the investigation of the dead was first reported in 1983 and in 1994 it was proposed that for adult trauma cases post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) could be used as an adjunct and, in the right circumstances, as a replacement for an autopsy. However, it is only recently that the international evidence base, international society, specialist scientific journal and working practices have become established to allow this proposal to become realistic in current autopsy practice.

This introductory module will introduce you to the world of post-mortem imaging and its importance in modern death investigation, alongside the basic skills required for the practical aspects of post mortem imaging and image interpretation.

Topics covered

  • Intro to XRAY, CT, MRI
  • Post Mortem Imaging
  • History, current state, case studies
  • IRR 99 training
  • Religious considerations
  • Basic interpretive skills


  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 20 hours of demonstrations
  • 2 one-hour tutorials
  • 20 hours of guided independent study


  • 2 essays (literature review/critique), 3,000 words each (50% + 50%)