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.

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Unit Overview


This unit is taken over two successive semesters and parts 1 and 2 must be completed to fulfil the requirements of the unit. Students can commence the unit in either semester 1 or semester 2. The unit primarily consists of independent research into a topic of interest within the discipline of forensic odontology, supported by meetings with the unit coordinator (a practising Barrister). Students must observe a real trial (or part of a trial) at the Magistrates, District or Supreme Court. They also attend mock court exercises as observers. Upon arrangement with the lawyer leading their evidence-in-chief they may have the opportunity for a pre-trial meeting.

3 points

Students are able to (1) demonstrate advanced knowledge of relevant protocols for the handling, storage and transport of forensic dental evidence, and an appreciation of the consequences if these protocols are not adhered to; (2) convey a comprehensive understanding of the underlying theories and principles of forensic odontology in sufficient detail to be able to explain this to a lay person; (3) describe, in detail, the full range of methods, protocols and technologies utilised in the field of forensic odontology; (4) identify alternative methods available and their advantages and disadvantages; (5) explain the origins of the discipline of forensic odontology and its range of applications to complex problems of a forensic nature, with particular emphasis on the problem presented in the case study; (6) describe the current state of the discipline and its acceptance in the law enforcement and legal communities including an explanation of any points of contention amongst individuals; (7) acknowledge the current limitations of the discipline of forensic odontology and how these may affect the interpretation of evidence; (8) understand the Australian legal system sufficiently to be able to present scientific or technical evidence in court; (9) demonstrate a basic understanding of the key differences between the Australian legal system and that of other countries; and (10) gain further practical experience in conveying complex scientific or technical evidence to a lay person in both a written and oral format. Additional topic-specific learning outcomes may exist depending on the precise topic selected.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a critical court observation report (5 per cent); (2) an extensive court report (60 per cent); (3) presentation and defence of evidence in the mock court (25 per cent); and (4) self appraisal of recorded performance (10 per cent). A higher standard is expected in this unit than in its prerequisite, FNSC5621 Expert Testimony (Odontology) Part 1. The weighting of the assessed components is designed to reflect this. 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
FNSC5621 Expert Testimony (Odontology) Part 1
FNSC5625 Advanced Expert Testimony (Anthropology) Part 1, FNSC5623 Advanced Expert Testimony Part 1
Contact hours
mock court: 2 full days (1 as an observer, 1 assessed)
meetings: 3 x 15 minutes, by arrangement
  • 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.