Skills for Forensic Scientists - PS318

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn and Spring 4 15 (7.5) MR R Green checkmark-circle


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.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Lectures 29h; Laboratory classes 18h.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed on the basis of 100% coursework: DNA Assignment (20%);
Quantitative Skills (30%) (Students must obtain an average of at least 40% in the maths assessments to pass the module);
Forensic Science practical work (30%) - compulsory element;
Law Assignment (20%).

Indicative reading

  • C. Adam, Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Forensic Science

  • Paul Monk, Mathematics for Chemistry

  • Richard Saferstein, Criminalistics - An Introduction to Forensic Science

  • Roderick Munday, Evidence

  • Goodwin, Linacre & Hadi, Forensic Genetics

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

  • Core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and terminology, units, conventions, in relation to forensic science.

  • Areas of bioscience including cells and human DNA.

  • Numeracy (including data analysis and statistics).

  • Incident investigation, evidence recovery, preservation.

  • Ability to 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.

  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.

  • Numeracy and computational skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.

  • Information-technology skills such as word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, Internet communication, etc.

  • Interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a legal or other professional environment.

  • Time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working.


    1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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