Introduction to Forensic Science (FutureLearn)

Introduction to Forensic Science (FutureLearn)
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Introduction to Forensic Science (FutureLearn)
Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case. 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.

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A murder case set on the murky shores of Loch Lomond provides the backbone to ‘Introduction to Forensic Science’. 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.




In the first week we will set the scene and look at how the initial crime scene is processed. Subsequent weeks will introduce various types of evidence including drugs of abuse, fingerprints, DNA, footwear marks and firearms.

Course material is supplemented with opportunities to check understanding and engage with fellow learners, as well as the course leaders, who have international reputations in the field of forensic science. You will be encouraged to formulate (and defend!) opinions on the case, based on your evaluation of the evidence. 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.



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Course Auditing
64.00 EUR
No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.