AP0726 - Forensic Genetics

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will discover the biological principles underpinning the scientific and statistical methods used to enable the identification of individuals from biological material recovered following unlawful activity. During the course of this module you will cover all of the major techniques that have been used in forensic genetics, from the original DNA fingerprinting method to contemporary STR profiling. You will also explore emerging technologies such as Next Generation DNA Sequencing and RNA profiling that will provide investigators with an ever increasing array of genetic information to progress a case. The ethical implications of the use of genetic information for criminal investigation and storage of information in DNA databases will also be considered during this course.

How will I learn on this module?

Theoretical material will be delivered to you using a combination of traditional lectures, 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?

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:
1. You will be required to provide your own opinion on the utility of genetic markers currently used in forensic science as well as recognising the potential of emerging technologies in the field.

2. In an examination format you will be required to critically examine, understand, apply, discuss and evaluate philosophies, techniques, tools and methods relevant to forensic genetics in a range of applications


How will I be assessed?

1. Coursework (50%)

You will be asked to write a 2000 word critique of contemporary genetic markers used within a case based framework. This assessment will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary and future genetic markers and will prompt you to provide your own opinion on their use in forensic science (MLO 1)

2. Exam (50%)

You will sit a 2 hour unseen examination at the end of the course where you will be required to answer a variety of short and long answer questions relating to the material covered in the module. This exam will test the broader range of knowledge you will gain during the module and will include questions designed for you to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the technologies used for forensic genetic investigation (MLO2)

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

In this module you will discover the biological principles underpinning the scientific and statistical methods used to enable the identification of individuals from biological material recovered following unlawful activity. During the course of this module you will cover all of the major techniques that have been used in forensic genetics, from the original DNA fingerprinting method to contemporary STR profiling. You will also explore emerging technologies such as Next Generation DNA Sequencing and RNA profiling that are providing investigators with an ever increasing array of genetic information to progress a case. The ethical implications of the use of genetic information for criminal investigation and storage of information in DNA databases will also be considered during this course. The theoretical and practical knowledge gained in this module will provide the background necessary to pursue a career as a forensic DNA analyst upon completion of your degree programme.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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