CAS in Forensic Imaging and Virtopsy

The CAS Virtopsy issues a Certificate of Advanced Studies in the field of Virtopsy, that is, medicolegal imaging methods, including postmortem computed tomography (PMCT), but also covering post mortem angiography, post mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PMMRI), methods for photographic and geometric 3D surface capturing and Virtopsy aspects of clinical forensic medicine.

The last decade has seen an unprecedented increase in adoption of these techniques in the field of forensic pathology. Also, clinical forensic medicine increasingly bases expert opinions also on clinical imaging data and their interpretation. The course director and organizers are members of the International Society of Forensic Radiology and Imaging (ISFRI). The ISFRI also works towards coordination across best practices, education, research, quality standards, certification as well as providing a journal for the members of the society, the Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging.

Graduates of the CAS Virtopsy will be awarded a total of 10 ECTS points with 30 hours for each point, thus equating 300 hours of learning. Requirements to be met are att endance of the Virtopsy course (both parts) (2 ECTS), documenting 50 post mortem cases (4 ECTS), providing practical project work (3 ECTS), and providing documentation for one real case in our institute under our supervision (1 ECTS).

Details are outlined in Regulations Governing the Continuing Education Program CAS in Forensic Imaging and Virtopsy at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich.

Course definition

The Institute of Forensic Medicine of the University of Zurich offers CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) in Forensic Imaging and Virtopsy.

The total days of actual presence required at our institutes is 5 days (for the Virtopsy Course, which is an integral part of the CAS, or a requirement) and roughly another 5 days for further course work. In addition, a case book that the participants will prepare off-site (for example, at their own work place) has to be submitted to the CAS course coordinator. The CAS provides theoretical knowledge of forensic imaging, notably surface scanning and 3D-photogrammetry, post-mortem CT and MR, post-mortem angiography, robot-guided biopsy, and clinical forensic imaging, practical skills are taught in post mortem CT, post mortem CT angiography and 3D surface documentation. Most theoretical aspects are covered in the Virtopsy course, which is an integral part of the CAS. Explicit and practical parts are then covered in the CAS-specific parts.


The detailed program and curriculum will be released later.

Target audience

Students of the CAS Virtopsy are expected to have a Master’s degree in medicine from an accredited university and certification as a specialist in forensic medicine or radiology. In exceptional cases, persons with a Bachelor’s degree in a medical field from an accredited university and several years of work experience in radiology, or persons with an equivalent qualification may be admitted to the program.


CHF 8’000.-, including registration, exam fees and course material; excluding travel and accommodation costs.

Administrative contact

University of Zurich, Institute of Forensic Medicine

Katrin Wilhelm, Arianne Caviezel

Winterthurerstrasse 190/57

CH-8057 Zurich

+41 (0)44 635 56 11

Course director

Prof. Dr. med. Michael Thali, Exec MBA, Director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich.

Course coordinator

Dr. med. Wolf Schweitzer, Forensic pathologist at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich.

Course 2017

  • Start date – 20th March 2017
  • Deadline for registration – 31st January 2017

Course 2018

  • Start date (module I / Virtopsy Course) – Monday 19th March 2018
  • Start date (module III / CAS specific practical part) – Saturday 24th March 2018
  • Deadline for registration – 31st January 2018


Materials for PMCTA / set replacement parts