FNSC5518 Forensic Science and Policing

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Students attend lectures on a variety of allied forensic sciences which are utilised during police investigations of criminal acts and disasters. Lectures are given by academic, professional and industry forensic practitioners. Students also participate in a practical crime scene session and attend seminars by research students to develop an awareness of modern forensic science technologies.
Students are able to demonstrate the following skills: (1) crime and disaster scenes—describe the proper approach to crime and disaster scene preservation and interpretation, while identifying and minimising potential hazards and sources of contamination; (2) evidence types—identify articles of forensic value for different types of events and apply the correct statutes to the seizure of those articles; (3) evidence collection, etc.—demonstrate competency in the collection, packaging, storage and transport of articles present at a mock crime or disaster scene; (4) analysis—correctly determine the order of priority for analysis of articles and ascertain the evidential or intelligence value of those articles, and describe the different analytical methods available for the processing of samples and what results these may generate; (5) reporting—write detailed reports for both criminal investigation information and court-based use; (6) human identification—describe the importance of establishing positive identification of living and deceased human beings in prosecution, coronial and civil scenarios, and describe the various means of establishing human identification and their limitations such as fingerprints, odontology, DNA, circumstantial and facial reconstruction; and (7) aligned forensic disciplines and specialties—demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the application and limitations of various forensic disciplines and aligned areas of speciality.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) attendance at research seminars (5 per cent); (2) observation and participation during the mock crime scene practical (5 per cent); (3) a written assessment mid-way through the unit which covers the topics so far undertaken (30 per cent); (4) submission of a written report relating to the mock crime scene attendance (30 per cent); and (5) a final written examination (30 per cent). Assessment is explicitly tailored to provide continuous feedback on both written and practical work so that individual progress can be monitored. Students may also be required to work both individually and in a team environment, thus reinforcing the skills they require in 'real-world' forensic scenarios. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Daniel Franklin
Unit rules
enrolment in the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Investigation (52210)
the Graduate Diploma in Criminal Investigation (52390)
the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (51220)
the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science (50320)
the Master of Forensic Science (coursework and dissertation) (51520)
the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Forensic Science (00880)
Contact hours
lectures: approx. 2 hours per week; mock crime scene practical workshop: 1 day
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.