HLTH SC 1000 - Introduction to Forensic Sciences

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of a variety of topics within the area of Forensic Sciences including Crime scene Investigation, Forensic photography, Digital Forensics, Ballistics, Fingerprinting, Court and police organisational structures and Forensic DNA analysis. Topics to be covered also include identification of the deceased and disaster victim identification structures. It is not intended to provide students with a detailed knowledge of any of these areas, but rather to give insight into how they may be applied in criminal investigations.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HLTH SC 1000
    Course Introduction to Forensic Sciences
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Course Description The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of a variety of topics within the area of Forensic Sciences including Crime scene Investigation, Forensic photography, Digital Forensics, Ballistics, Fingerprinting, Court and police organisational structures and Forensic DNA analysis. Topics to be covered also include identification of the deceased and disaster victim identification structures. It is not intended to provide students with a detailed knowledge of any of these areas, but rather to give insight into how they may be applied in criminal investigations.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Carl Winskog

    IFS course email address: ifs@adelaide.edu.au


    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:


    1. Gain knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the forensic sciences and the law


    2. Understand the methods and principals of forensic investigations and how forensic science can be applied in criminal investigations.


    3. Explain at an introductory level the organisational structures and procedures within forensic sciences


    4. Use and understand the basic terminology for forensic science correctly and contextually


    5. Gain a basic understanding of the history of forensic sciences and how forensic sciences in the real world differs from the forensic sciences in fictional depictions.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1-5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    N/A
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    N/A
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Max M. Houck, Jay A Siegel. Fundamentals of Forensic Science. 2006 (electronic book)

    James Curtis Fraser. Forensic science a very short introduction / Jim Fraser. 2010 (electronic book)
    Recommended Resources

    Recommended textbooks (available through the Adelaide University library) are:



    Siegel JA, Knupfer GC, Saukko PJ. Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences 3 Volumes. Academic Press, 2000, (also electronic).
    Online Learning
    Online modules and teachiong material will be available for students in this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The content of the course is delivered through lectures and online material accessable via MyUni (University online service). Some lectures are replaced with material delivered online in a teaching module. Questions in different formats are available online and these questions are in for training and learning. They are in the form of formative exams - meaning that students can assess their knowledge. Some questions might be used for summative exams.

    Lectures will not be recorded and available online due to the nature of the content and the potentially sensitive material shown during the lecture. It is therefore highly recommended to attend lectures as material presented at lectures could be included in examinations. A summary of the lecture will however be available after the lecture slot is completed.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    There are 2 scheduled lecture slots per week together with online material accessed through MyUni.
    Learning Activities Summary

    1. Gain knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the forensic sciences and the law

    Forensic science – an overview

    Crime, injury and death

    The coroner, the act and the system

    The structure of the courts



    2. Understand the methods and principals of forensic investigations and how forensic science can be applied in criminal investigations.

    Genetics

    DNA and CSI

    Digital forensics

    Forensic photography

    Alternative light sources

    Ballistics

    Ancient DNA

    Fingerprinting

    Identification of a deceased person (not DNA)

    Evidence handling

    Document and traces

    Entomology

    Profiling

    Forensic diving and underwater criminal investigations

    What on earth is a forensic pathologist

    How dangerous is traffic

    Anthropology

    Forensic odontology



    3. Understand at an introductory level the organisational structures and procedures within forensic sciences

    Crime scene investigations – a police perspective

    Interpol and police organisations

    DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) – global perspective and action



    4,5. Use and understand the basic terminology for forensic science correctly and contextually. / Gain a basic understanding of the history of forensic sciences and how forensic sciences in the real world differs from the forensic sciences depicted on television.

    Homicides, suicides and accidents in adults

    Crime. What is a common crime

    CSI and the real world
    Specific Course Requirements
    None required.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    There are two online test during the semester and they are worth 25% of the course each.
     
    The final examamination is worth 50% of the course.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    None
    Assessment Detail
    The two online MCQ and short answer tests consisting of 25% each of the total mark will focus on the lectures/online material provided in the section prior to the test. The first test will cover the material in the first 5 weeks and will be conducted at the end of week 6. The second test will be available at the end of week 10 and will cover the lectures between week 6 and week 9. This material will also be re-examined within the final examination in conjunction with the remaining content covered in weeks 10-12.

    The final examination is worth 50% of the overall marks and will cover the entire content of the course. The final examination will consist of MCQ questions. 

    A replacement or additional examination can be in the form of a theory examination or in the form of an oral examination.

    Submission
    Students will be required to complete two online tests during the course worth 25% each. Failure to submit the online test in time could lead to a failure of this part of the examination process.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.