There is no clearly defined education path available to aspiring coroners. However, related coursework may be found in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, graduate certificate programs or standalone courses in coroner basic education, forensic science, criminal justice and crime scene investigation. These programs and courses typically include hands-on fieldwork that may be performed at actual crime scenes.
Some concepts that a coroner class might cover include:
- Role and duty of a coroner
- Recovery of physical evidence
- Mass disasters
- Circumstances of death
- Victim identification
List of Common Coroner Courses
Basic Death Investigation Course
This introductory course covers the duties and responsibilities of a coroner. Students review the knowledge and skills related to basic death investigation. Students will study death notifications, report writing, and coroner law.
Crime Scene Investigating Course
Participants review the skills and techniques used to process crime scenes. Students learn to identify human remains and other forensic evidence. This course explores the process of evidence collection and also covers the fundamentals of photographing and documenting a crime scene.
Medicolegal Autopsy Course
This course presents an overview of the post-mortem examination or autopsy and the goals of such an examination. Participants learn how to collect and interpret evidence to help determine cause of death. They learn about post mortem body changes. Also discussed are ways to positively identify a victim and the legal and medical issues involved in an unnatural death.
Forensic Chemistry Course
Students in this course will receive an introduction to forensic chemistry. Topics include arson accelerants, plastics, paint, and textile fibers, as well as an overview of common scientific methods.
Bloodspatter Pattern Analysis Course
Students will learn how to recognize and analyze bloodstains with the help of the Bloodstain Classification Taxonomy. This course will cover correct documentation and collection processes, as well as presentation in a courtroom setting.