AP0723 - Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn the core knowledge and skills underpinning forensic science to provide you with a holistic view of forensic disciplines, principles and practices.
You will develop your critical thinking in terms of processes, evidence evaluation, interpretation and application of knowledge in forensic casework.
Example topics included within this module are as follows:

- Key forensic principles
- Forensic evidence types, such as trace evidence, body fluids, drugs & toxicology and DNA
- Case evaluation and assessment
- Evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
- Case reporting and statement writing
- Legal system and expert testimony

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, laboratory based practical sessions and a practical teaching session at a simulated crime scene. These will be facilitated by a range of staff from the forensic teaching team, enabling students to benefit from their area of specialist expertise. Many of the teaching team have practical forensic experience, so teaching incorporates examples of typical or actual case scenarios and their investigations, which facilitates an authentic learning environment, promotes discussion and engages students in deeper learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during laboratory practicals and scene house examinations. 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 able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge and critical understanding of facts, concepts and principles in forensic science such as Forensic evidence types, such as trace evidence, body fluids, drugs & toxicology and DNA, case evaluation and assessment

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. You will use evidence and criteria to integrate, evaluate, interpret and synthesise information and data from a variety of sources

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3. You will be able to engage in critical self-appraisal of your own learning experience, personal strengths, limitations and performance within a diverse and global community.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework, 2000 words - 50% overall module mark. Students will be required to answer a question which will demonstrate their depth of understanding of forensic disciplines, principles and practices of evidence recovery, case assessment and laboratory analysis strategies (K1&I2) (MLO1,3).

You will be required to examine a simulated crime scene, compile an expert statement for court on your scene examination, including an interpretation and explanation of results and conclusion of your findings – approximately 800-1000 words (I2) (MLO 1,2,3). You will then undertake a 20 minute court testimony exercise in which you will be required to explain and defend your expert statement in a simulated court environment (I5) (MLO2,3). The marking is broken down as follows;
Scene Examination 20%
Statement 60%
Court Presentation: 20%

(50% overall module mark).

Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

The students undertake formative laboratory practical sessions covering forensic recovery, packaging and the examination of items. These laboratory sessions will incorporate enhancement and recovery techniques as well as presumptive, confirmatory and analytical tests. Such sessions will situate the theory taught in lectures and formative feedback will be provided during the sessions.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

Electronic feedback on coursework will be provided on elP via annotated notes and directions by the tutor on individual papers. Feedback on the summative presentation will be given to each student at the end of their presentation and will be followed by written feedback, within the university time line guidelines





Module abstract

This module will provide the basis of the theory for the major specialisms in forensic science and will consider the processes involved in the investigation of a crime from crime scene to court. Students will investigate a simulated crime scene, choose the most appropriate analyses to be carried and produce a report for court based on the interpretation of their findings. This module will culminate in delivery of evidence in a mock court room as an expert witness.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 or 3 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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