Forensic Physical Methods - PS501

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn and Spring 5 15 (7.5) MR R Green checkmark-circle


Evidential practice and law in relation to location, recovery, preservation, and interpretation of a wide range of forensic samples.
Statement and report writing, and witness interview to evidential standard.
Incident assessment and management in a wide variety of forensic environments.
Location, recovery and preservation of a range of forensic samples using our new crime scene house and garden, including: Fingerprints, DNA, fibres, trace samples, blood distribution patterns, gunshot residues, tool marks and impressions, foot shoe and tyre prints, sexual offence samples.
Incident mapping and photography.
Document and forgery analysis.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

26 hours of lectures, coursework, 18 hours of laboratory practical sessions, 1 x 4 hour managed incident, 1 x 4 hour incident analysis.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework: 100%
- Laboratory work: 20%
- Managed incident : 30%
- Incident management and analysis with incident report and statement: 50%

Indicative reading


  • Criminalistics (An Introduction to Forensic Science), Richard Saferstein, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-013827-4
  • Crime Scene to Court, Edited by Peter White, ISBN 0-85404-539-2
  • Forensic Science (2nd Edition), Andrew and Julie Jackson, ISBN: 978-0-13-199880-3

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

    An understanding of the role of physical forensic methods in forensic practice.

  • Knowledge and critical awareness of the major physical forensic methods.
  • An understanding of emerging developments in forensic science.
  • The ability to assess, manage, and investigate a range of incident scenes.
  • The ability to recover, preserve, package and document evidential samples from a range of incident scenes to professional standards.
  • Develop a broad and balanced understanding of the key areas of science and law that underpins forensic practice and methodology.
  • Develop a core understanding of the science and scientific methods underpinning forensic investigation and recovery of evidence.
  • Develop the ability to communicate complex scientific and forensic findings to a lay audience in written form.
  • Develop problem solving, information retrieval and handling, and numeracy skills.
  • Develop team working and time management skills, and skills relevant to further study.


    1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 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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