In a brief hearing at Croydon Coroner's Court in south London, coroner Dr Roy Palmer said Miss Kercher met her death "unlawfully" at an address in Via Della Pergola in Perugia, Italy, on the night of November 1/2 2007.
"She died, the autopsy tells us, as a result of haemorraghic shock from stab and incised wounds to the vasculature of the neck. I do conclude that she was unlawfully killed," said Dr Palmer, senior coroner for the south London area.
None of Miss Kercher's relatives was present for the five-minute hearing.
Coroner's Office manager Barry May said he had liaised with Miss Kercher's brother, Lyle, who had spoken to family members, and they were "content" for the proceedings to take place in their absence.
In January, Amanda Knox, 26, and Raffaele Sollecito, 29, had their guilty verdicts reinstated at Italy's highest court for the murder of Leeds University student Miss Kercher. Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months while Sollecito was jailed for 25 years. The pair were originally found guilty of murder in 2009. They were cleared nearly two years later, but the appeal court ordered a fresh trial last March.