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Introduction to Forensic Science

Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential values.


FutureLearn

Summary

Price
Free
Study method
Online, self-paced
Duration
6 Weeks
Qualification
No formal qualification

5,222 students enquired about this course

Overview

Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case.

Course media

Description

Why join the course?

The course addresses four major evidence types: drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence, and discusses these through the exploration of a case-based scenario presented across a six-week modular framework.

A murder case set on the murky shores of Loch Lomond provides the backbone to the course. As the case unfolds each week, a number of evidence types, and the forensic science approaches that may be used to evaluate the evidence, are explored. All will be revealed in the final week, so make sure you are there to find out the identity of the murderer!

What topics will you cover?

  • Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case
  • Examine the four major evidence types: drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence
  • Learn how the initial crime scene is processed
  • Review various types of evidence including drugs of abuse, fingerprints, DNA, footwear marks and firearms
  • Formulate (and defend!) opinions on the case, based on your evaluation of the evidence

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the fundamental principles applied to any investigation where forensic science is involved.
  • Summarise the basic principles of crime scene investigation.
  • Explain the theory of fingerprints, blood pattern analysis, DNA, footwear and tool mark impression evidence, and drugs of abuse in the context of Forensic Science.
  • Explore the nature and limitations of the evidence that scientific tests deliver.
  • Interpret the evidence presented as part of a case study by considering the subjective and objective nature of the evidence and what this may mean to the strength of your conclusions.
  • Reflect on the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system.

Who is this course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required. Warning: Some of content presented in this course may be distressing to individuals, particularly younger learners. Notwithstanding, the material is representative of that encountered by forensic scientists and we have presented it in an objective and professional manner.

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What is an ‘endorsed’ course?

An endorsed course is a skills based course which has been checked over and approved by an independent awarding body. Endorsed courses are not regulated so do not result in a qualification - however, the student can usually purchase a certificate showing the awarding body’s logo if they wish. Certain awarding bodies - such as ABC Awards and TQUK - have developed endorsement schemes as a way to help students select the best skills based courses for them.

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