Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Each session in this unit comprises a classroom briefing of the topic, a practical session (using supplied data or live sessions on instruments with data collection), followed by a discussion and lecture on the topic. Topics, in a normal sequence, include (1) the digital image and its relationship to analogue images; the image capture and storage process; image formats; sources of error in digital images; image quality measurements, including signal-to-noise ratio (S/N); (2) colour—observation, perception, recording, capturing and reproduction; colour quantification and comparison; printing 'jargon'; (3) image enhancement techniques, including histogram equalisation, gamma correction, edge enhancement, spatial and frequency filtering, and feature detection; basic image analysis and feature comparison; (4) three-dimensional tomography and reconstruction techniques; (5) sample management and presentation for electron and optical microscopy; (6) sample requirements, sample preservation and sampling methodology; (7) optical microscopy techniques; (8) confocal laser microscopy; (9) errors and limitations of microscopy and microanalysis; (10) environmental scanning electron microscopy; and (11) common applications of light and electron microscopy in forensic science, e.g. paint analysis, toolmark analysis, gun-shot residue detection, particle characterisation.

6 points

Students are able to (1) describe the role and importance of imaging and microanalysis in forensic science; (2) critically evaluate the application of imaging techniques to forensic evidence; (3) develop an awareness of how to resource advanced microscopy expertise for forensic application; (4) recognise errors and omissions in imaging methodology presented in forensic evidence; (5) understand the basic and common digital imaging techniques and procedures applied to forensic evidence; (6) report light and electron microscopy results to the forensic audience; (7) identify and apply the correct style and format of scientific writing across several mediums; (8) explain the importance of, and correct conventions for, referencing scientific research; (9) explain the importance of communicating scientific research; (10) identify the resources available for undertaking a literature search; and (11) work competently as an individual and within groups.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a critical literature review and written reports (20 per cent); (2) research methods—a practical activity and written reports (20 per cent); (3) applications—practical application and a written report (30 per cent); (4) digital image analysis—evaluation and critical review paper (10 per cent); and (5) research issues—a critical review paper (20 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Daniel Franklin
Unit rules
FNSC8553 Electron, Light and Laser Microscopies
Contact hours
lectures: 1–2 hours per week
practicals and demonstrations: 2–3 hours per week
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.