AP0601 - Complex Casework

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide you with the practical attributes of forensic science from the onset of a case through to the presentation of evidence in a court of law. It expands upon core forensic science disciplines and processes taught in previous years and focuses upon the strategy setting, examination and the delivery of interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence within the context of complex case situations. You will study the importance of working together with key stakeholders (police, forensic pathologists, crime scene managers) in determining forensic strategy and priortistaion of key exhibits prior to commencing their practical examination. Whilst the emphasis on this module will be practical based with you undertaking the examination of forensic exhibits, it will be underpinned through taught lectures and seminars.

By the end of this module you will have gained an understanding of the difficulties of complex casework and conveying complex scientific information to the lay person.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn from experienced practitioners through lectures, practical laboratory sessions and seminars designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to conduct complex forensic examinations and draw onclusions on your findings. The lectures will cover theories and concepts that will enable you to put theory into practice in a series of practical laboratory exercises using industry standard equipment. Recent and fundamental research studies will be used to bolster your learning and enable you to develop evidence based opinions when evaluating the significance of forensic trace evidence within the context of a case. This will be delivered using case studies and scenarios’ which provide ‘real-world’ experiences that reinforce the potential of different evidence types to a forensic investigation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during laboratory practicals. These offer a unique opportunity to fully understand the scientific theory underpinning the laboratory tests and the interpretation of your scientific findings.

All lecture and practical material will be available on the University’s eLearning Portal, supplemented with guidance on further reading relevant to the subjects.

Written assessment feedback will also be provided to allow you to understand how you performed and how you can build on this performance in subsequent assessments within your programme.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will critically apply your theoretical knowledge to interpret and evaluate laboratory results within the context of a casework scenarios

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will undertake a spectrum of laboratory experiments and with your finidings interpret and evaluate their significance within the context of a given case scenario
• You will develop your communication skills to present complex scientific language to the lay person

How will I be assessed?

There will be two components to this assessment
• Coursework (60%) MLO's 1 - 3
• Oral presentation (40%) MLO's 2,3

The coursework component will be in the form of a formal written witness statement in which you will evaluate the significance of forensic evidence you have discovered through the practical investigation of a case.

Following the production of a witness statement you will then give evaluative opinion based evidence in a mock courtroom setting.

You will be given the opportunity to gain tutor and peer feedback from formative assessments which include practice written practice witness statements and courtroom sessions.

Pre-requisite(s)

L5 Fundamental Forensic Genetics
L5 Forensic Trace Evidence
L5 Drugs and Toxicology
L5 Body Fluids and Blood Pattern Analysis

Co-requisite(s)

L6 Advanced Forensic Investigation

Module abstract

This module will provide you with the practical elements of forensic science from the onset of a case through to the presentation of evidence in a court of law. It expands upon core forensic science disciplines and processes taught in previous years and focuses upon the strategy setting, examination and the delivery of interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence within the context of complex case situations. You will study the importance of working together with key stakeholders (e.g. police, forensic pathologists, crime scene managers) in determining forensic strategy and priortistaion of key exhibits prior to commencing their practical examination. Whilst the emphasis on this module will be practical based with you undertaking the examination of forensic exhibits, it will be underpinned through taught lectures and seminars.

Course info

UCAS Code MF94

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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