AP0405 - Scientific Support

What will I learn on this module?

You will explore the roles of the scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners involved in contemporary forensic investigations, as well as the scientific and technical processes that they may employ. You will build on your existing knowledge of the importance of undertaking a thorough and conscientious examination of a crime scene and the importance of appropriate detailed recording and the subsequent handling of exhibits in the laboratory within the context of the specialist scientific discipline studied. You will have the opportunity to apply the theory delivered in lectures to practical work both at our crime scene facility and in the laboratory using simulated crime scenarios. Throughout this module you will also consider the Forensic Science Regulator quality assurance oversight and the accreditation and validation of processes employed by scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners.

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 for example as a CSI or specialist practitioner and apply the taught principles of evidence location, recovery and documentation in an authentic environment. Formative feedback will be given in lectures with the use of embedded questions and audience polling software and in seminars and practicals by academic staff and peer-review and written feedback provided via eLP as appropriate.

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 and specialist practitioners have in a criminal investigation (MLO1)
• Demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used to locate and recover materials that have value in a criminal investigation and record information in an appropriate manner (MLO2)

Personal Values Attributes
• Show an awareness of the wider context of quality assurance and regulation in forensic science (MLO3)

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 and opportunities for the recovery, visualisation and documentation of evidence (scene and laboratory exercises).Formative feedback will be provided through questions embedded within the lectures and the use of audience polling software. Formative feedback will also be provided by academic staff during laboratory practicals and additional post-lab materials provided on the eLP.

There are two summative assessments in this module:

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

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

Individual written feedback will be provided for the summative assessments. All feedback will be provided within the university timeline guidelines.





Module abstract

This module will introduce the contribution of police scientific support departments and specialist scientific disciplines to contemporary forensic investigations. You will explore how the use of specialist techniques by crime scene investigators and practitioners both at the scene and in the laboratory can exploit the evidence available at a crime scene to further an investigation. Topics such as, but not limited to, scene recording, latent mark enhancement and digital evidence will be considered. In addition, the methods and techniques studied will be considered within the context of accreditation and quality assurance regulation with Forensic Science Regulator oversight. Case examples ranging from volume crime to serious crime will be used to demonstrate the valuable contribution of scientific support departments and specialist practitioners in crime scene investigation.

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 2024 or September 2025

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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