AP0551 - DNA Profiling

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will build on your existing knowledge of biology and genetics by introducing the specific laboratory methods and DNA markers used in contemporary forensic genetics. You will gain a thorough knowledge of the fundamental science underpinning key stages in the laboratory to facilitate effective communication of the methodology to the lay person via a written statement. During the course of the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the range of methods and genetic markers available in the context of forensic sample types, which may be of poor quality and low quantity. Key topics covered are listed below:

• DNA extraction from a variety of sample types
• DNA quantity and quality analysis
• PCR based analysis of forensic DNA markers
• Interpretation of forensic DNA profile data in the context of a case
• Statistical assessment of the strength of DNA evidence

How will I learn on this module?

Theoretical material will be delivered using a combination of traditional lectures, online content, seminars, tutorials and in-class discussions. To embed the knowledge you will also be given the opportunity to carry out practical laboratory work relevant to the module.

Technology enabled learning is used throughout this module to ensure that you have access to the required materials from a range of online sources including PC, laptop, tablets and mobile devices using the relevant software and apps.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Staff within the Department operate an 'open-door' policy meaning that you are to visit their offices to discuss matters relating to this module whenever they are free. In addition, appointments can be made via e-mail for face-to-face or online appointments.

Formative assessment will be used to gage your progress throughout the module and feedback will be provided by academic staff and via peer-review during tutorial sessions. 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 be expected to use your practical and theoretical knowledge of forensic genetic technique to understand and evaluate scientific findings in the context of a criminal investigation

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will be required to demonstrate effective written skills to explain the laboratory methods used to generate a forensic DNA profile, interpret the results of such methodology and form conclusions in the context of a criminal investigation.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be used to breakdown the summative assessment task in to smaller sections so that feedback can be provided by the module teaching team and from your colleagues (peer review) prior to submission of the final piece of coursework.

Summative assessment for this module will be in two parts.

Component 001: Written streamlined forensic report (SFR), expert witness statement or equivalent (as determined by guidelines published by the Forensic Science Regulator). Word count to be flexible to suit the scenario used each year but will not exceed 2000 words. (MLO: K1)

Component 002: Unseen examination (1.5 hours) with questions addressing the laboratory processes required for generation of forensic DNA profiles as well as some aspects of data analysis and interpretation. This examination can take place on-campus or online (MLO: I1)

Pre-requisite(s)

NA

Co-requisite(s)

NA

Module abstract

This module will build on your existing knowledge of biology and genetics by introducing the specific laboratory methods and DNA markers used in contemporary forensic genetics. A thorough knowledge of the fundamental science underpinning key stages in the laboratory will be gained to facilitate effective communication of the methodology to the lay person via a written statement or report. During the course of the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the range of methods and genetic markers available in the context of forensic sample types, which may be of poor quality and low quantity. Case examples such as volume crime (e.g. burglary, auto-theft) and serious crime (e.g. homicide, sexual assault) will be used to augment the theoretical and practical knowledge taught on this module. Written communication skills will be developed through formative assessment building towards summative assessment, which will comprise two parts, an unseen examination, covering technical aspects of the module and a written streamlined forensic report (SFR) or witness statement covering the interpretation of forensic DNA profiling data.

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 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.

 

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