The history of forensic medicine at the University of Copenhagen began in 1740, when the first lectures in forensic medicine were given.
The first doctoral dissertation in forensic medicine was accepted in 1818. Its subject was De hepatis qvem vocant infarctu cum molis incremento anatomica disqvisitio, and its author, Conrad Mathias Lunding, became the first professor in forensic medicine in Denmark.
In 1819, the subject was recognised as a special discipline and examination subject at the final university medical examination.
The present Department of Forensic Medicine was founded in 1910. Until then, forensic investigations had taken place at hospitals. The purpose of opening a university department was to heighten the quality of teaching, research and implementation of new discoveries in forensic investigations and through the academic affiliation ensure the independence of these discoveries.
Later, the University of Aarhus and the University of Southern Denmark in Odense opened their own departments of forensic medicine. The department at the University of Copenhagen is, however, the only one in the country with a section for forensic genetics.