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Online course

Introduction to Forensic Science

Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Introduction to Forensic Science

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Why join the course?

The course addresses four major evidence types: drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence, and discusses these through the exploration of a case-based scenario presented across a six-week modular framework.

A murder case set on the murky shores of Loch Lomond provides the backbone to the course. As the case unfolds each week, a number of evidence types, and the forensic science approaches that may be used to evaluate the evidence, are explored. All will be revealed in the final week, so make sure you are there to find out the identity of the murderer!

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What topics will you cover?

  • Explore the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case
  • Examine the four major evidence types: drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence
  • Learn how the initial crime scene is processed
  • Review various types of evidence including drugs of abuse, fingerprints, DNA, footwear marks and firearms
  • Formulate (and defend!) opinions on the case, based on your evaluation of the evidence

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the fundamental principles applied to any investigation where forensic science is involved.
  • Summarise the basic principles of crime scene investigation.
  • Explain the theory of fingerprints, blood pattern analysis, DNA, footwear and tool mark impression evidence, and drugs of abuse in the context of Forensic Science.
  • Explore the nature and limitations of the evidence that scientific tests deliver.
  • Interpret the evidence presented as part of a case study by considering the subjective and objective nature of the evidence and what this may mean to the strength of your conclusions.
  • Reflect on the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system.

Who is the course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required. Warning: Some of content presented in this course may be distressing to individuals, particularly younger learners. Notwithstanding, the material is representative of that encountered by forensic scientists and we have presented it in an objective and professional manner.

Who will you learn with?

Penny Haddrill

I am a forensic scientist and educator based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, teaching principally on the MSc and PgDip Forensic Science degrees.

Who developed the course?

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university located in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, commited to useful learning.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


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