AP0405 - Scientific Support

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the structure of the contemporary police with a clear focus on the scientific support department. You will explore the roles of the personnel involved and the scientific and technical processes that are commonly encountered within the scientific support department during a criminal investigation. You will discover how to undertake a thorough and conscientious examination of a crime scene as a crime scene investigator, formerly known as a scene of crime officer, and recognise the importance of appropriate detailed recording. An emphasis is placed on the location, recovery and documentation of marks found at a crime scene and their subsequent evaluation at the scientific support department. You will have the opportunity to attend our crime scene facility to apply your knowledge in the recording and recovery of evidence in a simulated crime.

Topics will include:
• Contemporary police: roles and responsibilities
• Contemporary scientific support department: structure, roles and responsibilities
• Photography: principles and practice of crime scene recording; evidence recording
• Marks: location, visualisation, recovery and evaluation of commonly encountered marks at a crime scene including for example fingerprints, footwear, toolmarks.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a series of lectures, laboratory activities and attendance at our bespoke crime scene facility. The lectures will cover the concepts and principles encountered within the scientific support department. You will be able to apply this information in a practical manner in the laboratory environment to consolidate this knowledge. Attending the crime scene gives you the opportunity to undertake a crime scene examination as a CSI and apply the taught principles of evidence location, recovery and documentation in an authentic environment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during the laboratory and crime scene activities. Module content will be made available using the virtual learning platform, Blackboard and your learning experience will be enhanced by using module group discussion boards facilitated by the module tutor as well as using other electronic communication mechanisms (e.g. wikis/journals/email) for response to individual questions. You will also be supported with the inclusion of a digital reading list.

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:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the role the scientific support department has in a criminal investigation
• Demonstrate an ability to locate and recover materials that have value in a criminal investigation and record information in an appropriate manner

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrate an ability to find appropriate information from literature sources

Personal Values Attributes
Show an awareness of the role of forensic science within a diverse and global community

How will I be assessed?

Your learning and student experience will benefit from undertaking formative assessments and discussions prior to your summative assessment. You will have opportunities to undertake self assessment quizzes, participate in (e-)group discussions incorporating a virtual case management and presentation tool (R2STM) and opportunities for the recovery, visualisation and documentation of marks (scene and laboratory exercises).

There are two summative assessments in this module:

Assessment 1 – online exam - short answer questions 50% MLO's 1,2,4

Assessment 2– online exam - short answer questions 50% MLO's 1,2,3





Module abstract

This module informs you of the contribution the scientific support department plays in contemporary police. You will discover how to undertake a thorough and conscientious examination of a crime scene as a crime scene investigator, formerly known as a scene of crime officer and have the opportunity to locate, recover and document some of the evidence types commonly encountered by the scientific support department. This will involve using online learning resources such as a virtual case management system (R2STM) to complement attendance at our crime scene facility. Advances in visualisation techniques will be discussed (research led teaching) in comparison to the accredited recommended methods currently used. Assessment is electronically managed through the blackboard site. Key skills that you will gain include ability to assimilate and apply knowledge in an authentic environment in both a practical and written format.

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 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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