AP0602 - Contemporary Issues in Forensic Science

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how scientific strategies associated with crimes and challenges facing the police and criminal justice system are complemented by criminological theory. You will discover the impact these advancements have upon both society and upon forensic science. By understanding crime, contemporary policing, prisons and imprisonment within the criminal justice system, crime prevention strategies will be evaluated for their effectiveness for particular crime types. For example, you will explore current research and innovation strategies that combine innovative science and technological advances with criminological research in response to existing, new and emerging crimes and challenges. You will address key themes such as:
• Crime/policing – e.g. the prevention and detection of drugs in society, volume crime, human trafficking
• Security and counter terrorism – e.g. prevention and detection of terrorism activities (domestic versus international), radicalisation and
• Policing/identity management – e.g. surveillance in society, crime mapping and the role of biometric identification

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a series of lectures, (e-) group seminars and e-tutorials (using electronic journals). The lectures will introduce you to appropriate criminological theories associated with the key themes (crime and policing; security and counter terrorism; policing/identity management) and how the scientific concepts and principles of existing and new innovative technologies are employed in the investigative or reductive solutions of crime. The seminars allow small group discussion of key concepts and the electronic journals allow a continuous one-to-one electronic discussion specifically relating to the topic you will have chosen for your assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during the seminars and e-tutorials. Module content will be made available using the virtual learning platform, Blackboard and your learning experience will be enhanced by using module group discussions and electronic discussion boards facilitated by the module tutor as well as using other electronic communication mechanisms (e.g. journals/email) for response to individual questions. You will also be supported with the inclusion of a digital reading list, but you will also receive guidance and direction given the contemporary nature of the module and the diversity associated with the autonomy of topic choice that you independently research.

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 demonstrate an ability to discuss and interpret scientific and technological concepts as applied within the criminal justice system

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will demonstrate an ability to research and extract appropriate information from relevant resources

How will I be assessed?

Your learning and student experience will benefit from undertaking formative e-tutorials and in class discussions prior to your summative assessment.

There are two summative assessments in this module:

Science communication piece e.g. article in popular science magazine, court primer, podcast, website entry etc… (50% weighting, K4, I3)

Poster and defence (50% weighting, P1)





Module abstract

This module spans both the scientific principles applied to commonly encountered crime types within the criminal justice system as well as an understanding of criminological theories to explain crime. Key themes will be discussed, centring on crime and policing, terrorism and identity management. Explanations of crime will be discussed and how science and technology have advanced in the criminal investigation of these crime types. You will have the opportunity to participate in group and one-to-one discussions with the module team. The assessment is electronically managed through the blackboard site. Key skills that you will gain include ability to research and formulate solutions that can be applied to crime detection and prevention strategies and be able to communicate, defend and justify your opinions.

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 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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