Edinburgh Pathology

Undergraduate Medical Students

For Student Selected Components and Medical Electives in Forensic Pathology

SSC (Student Selected Component)

Forensic Pathology has long been a popular place to do your SSC3/4. Over the years many students have benefited from spending time at the mortuary and increasing their awareness of several aspects of medicine (see below). Some students have also used the time to revise their knowledge of anatomy!

If you wish to benefit from an opportunity to undertake a small project, design and implement the methodology whilst immersing yourself in a fascinating world of investigating death (and the process of dying) you are welcome to apply.

Please email forensicpathology@ed.ac.uk, providing the dates for your SSC and include any ideas you might have on a project you would like to do.


The Forensic Pathology Section welcomes students from home (UK) and overseas who wish to spend some time studying forensic medicine. We do not offer a formal lecture or teaching programme. However what we do offer (and what we believe to be an extremely informative and useful educational experience) is based on attending the mortuary.

Here the student will be able to:

  • Think reflectively about death and the process of dying.
  • Think critically about the medicolegal investigation of death.
  • Increase knowledge of anatomy and the pathology of disease.
  • Understand the role of toxicology and histology in death investigation.
  • Gain an understanding of sudden natural death.
  • Encounter non-natural deaths of all types.
  • Learn about the autopsy: how, why and when to do one.
  • Consider alternatives to autopsy and the limitations of dissection.
  • Learn about the "cause of death" and death certification.
  • Undertake a relevant and worthwhile project

For further details and the Electives application pack

All enquiries should be sent to electives@ed.ac.uk