Skills for Forensic Scientists - PSCI3180

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


Quantitative skills beginning with GCSE mathematics through to algebra, data analysis, graphical treatment of errors, logarithms, basic probability, trigonometry and applications in forensic science.
Incident scene assessment, management and mapping, including working in our new crime scene house and garden.
Induction to the English legal system and laws of evidence.
The structure and composition of DNA, genetic analysis and applications relevant to forensic science.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 47
Private study hours: 103
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Incident Mapping Practical Work (6 hours 30%)
Law Assignment (1 hour 20%)
DNA Assignment (1 hour 20%)
Maths Assignment (1 hour 10%)
Maths in-course test (45 mins 20%)

The maths assignment and the maths in-course test are a compulsory sub-element. The Incident Mapping Practical Work is a compulsory sub-element. In order to pass the module it is compulsory to pass the sub-elements.

Indicative reading

Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Forensic Science - Adam, 2010, Wiley
Maths for Chemistry: A Chemist's Toolkit of Calculations - Monk, 2010, OUP
Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science - Saferstein, 2014, Pearson
Crime Scene to Court: The Essentials of Forensic Science - White, 2016, RSC
Practical Skills in Forensic Science - Langford, 2018, Pearson
Forensic Science – Jackson and Jackson, 2016, Pearson
An Introduction to Forensic Genetics - Goodwin, 2010, Wiley
Evidence - Munday, 2017, OUP
Forensic Chemistry - Bell, 2013, Pearson

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Display knowledge and understanding of core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and terminology, units, conventions, in relation to forensic science.
Areas of bioscience including cells, biochemistry, human DNA.
Demonstrate numeracy skills (including data analysis and statistics).
Understand the theory and practice of incident investigation, evidence recovery and preservation.
Display a basic understanding of the English legal system and laws of evidence.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Solve problems, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
Use numeracy and computational skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
Use information-technology skills such as word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, Internet communication, etc.
Use Interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working.
Use time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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