Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsWelcome to King's Forensics, and this online course in forensic science. At King's, we have an integrated approach to education, and here, we are linking it with not only our casework, but also our research. Students here at King's have access to world class teaching facilities and sophisticated equipment. In this particularly laboratory, they're doing their drug analysis, and you'll see this and more in the coming weeks. We're here in the heart of London on the banks of the River Thames. This is the South Bank, home to its concert halls and theatres, and also King's Forensics. Our case will start way downriver, and over the next few weeks, you will experience the collection of evidence, its forensic analysis and, finally, the court case.
Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsAs you embark on this course, I hope you will touch on every aspect of this, and that you will not only enjoy the course, but have learned a lot about forensic science and King's Forensics.
Welcome to the course
A very warm welcome to Week 1 of The Science Behind Forensic Science. We start with a gruesome discovery on the banks of the Thames. This is called the scene of crime, and for you it’s an opportunity to find out exactly how information is gathered – how the police secure an area, how they search, what they must record as they work, and how they gather vital evidence.
First, please watch this short video giving you an overview of the King’s College Forensics Department, what to expect in the following weeks and introducing the main course leaders, Dr Barbara Daniel, Dr David Ballard and Prof Denise Syndercombe Court. After watching the video, please continue reading this page to learn more about the course and its tutors.
Good luck with the programme. We hope you enjoy it, learn a lot from the experts who are presenting, and of course contribute your thoughts as we go along.
Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the Forensic Sciences study programme at King’s College London is the longest-running programme of its type in England, having been first established in 1985. This MOOC will be run by the same team, and will cover introductory material at Level 7 for learners with an interest in Forensic Science.
The course will give an introduction to the Chemistry and Biology behind Forensic Science, linked to the real-world application of these techniques in crime scenes and in the court room. We intend starting off with a crime scene then linking each test to the science behind it, for example why a knowledge of pKA is important in the toxicology and analysis of drugs and why a knowledge of the genome is of fundamental importance to forensic DNA profiling.
The course is led by Dr Barbara Daniel, Reader in Forensic Education and MSc Forensic Science programme lead.
Dr Daniel studied Zoology at UCL specialising in cell biology and immunology and continued at UCL for her PhD studying the invertebrate immune response with relation to infection with Schistosoma margrebowieii. She moved to King’s College London in 1990 as a postdoctoral scientist working on IgE immune reactions.
Barbara took over the MSc Forensic Science in 2006 as she had become deeply interested in Forensic Science and the scientific challenges wrought by trying to work with evidential material away from the sterile ‘controlled’ laboratory environment. It is now the longest running accredited programme of its kind in England consistently receiving commendations from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
This course has many other contributors from King’s Forensics and our external partners. To find out more about the many people who have contributed to this course, please download the ‘Meet the Team’ file below for your reference.