Department of Forensic Medicine

The Department conducts research in the field of forensic medicine and closely related research areas, in addition to which it organises basic education for medical students, specialist education for physicians specialising in forensic medicine, education for dentists completing their special qualification in forensic odontology and postgraduate research education.

Each year, the department provides basic education to students of medicine in their fifth year of studies. In addition, the department provides instruction in forensic medicine as part of courses targeted at international students.

The Department provides supervision of advanced studies related to forensic pathology, forensic toxicology, forensic biology, clinical forensic medicine and forensic odontology, as well as supervision of other theses and dissertations.

Contact details

Professor Ilkka Ojanperä: forensic toxicology
Professor Antti Sajantila: forensic pathology, forensic biology, clinical forensic medicine
Forensic odontologist, DDSc Olli Varkkola: forensic odontology

The Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of Helsinki is responsible for specialist education with the objective of producing diversely educated and professionally trained specialists of forensic medicine.

The duration of specialist education in forensic medicine is five years. The programme is divided between a service period at a health care centre (9 months) and a specialisation-specific training period (4 years and 3 months).

Specialisation-specific training consists of trunk training (1 year to 1 year and 3 months) and speciality training. Trunk training is organised in the fields of forensic pathology and pathology, of which no less than 6 months must be completed at a pathology unit. Speciality training (3 years to 3 years and 6 months) is completed at the Department of Forensic Medicine or at the forensic medicine unit of the National Institute for Health and Welfare. During the speciality training, specialising physicians complete 175 forensic autopsies under supervision each year, as well as participate in the emergency services of clinical forensic medicine and other activities of the training unit.


The department conducts research relating to the forensic sciences in forensic medicine, forensic toxicology and forensic genetics.

Contact persons for research:

Contact details

Head of de­part­ment

professor Ilkka Ojanperä
PO BOX 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki

Pro­fessor in charge of teach­ing

professor Antti Sajantila


PO BOX 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki