AP0551 - DNA Profiling

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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, 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.

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 a single piece of coursework (2500-3000 words) which will take the form of a written witness statement MLO 2. As part of this task you will be required to analyse and interpret forensic DNA profile data in the context of the given scenario MLO 1 and to include a technical explanation of the laboratory methods used in the generation of that data MLO's 1,2

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. 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 the single piece of summative assessment, a written statement.

Course info

UCAS Code F410

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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