AR2F17-Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Analysis

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Stuart Black


Summary module description:
The module will provide an introduction to the theoretical aspects, methodology and practical aspects of forensic archaeology and crime scene investigations.

The module aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the theoretical aspects, methodology and practical aspects of forensic archaeology and crime scene investigations. It will aim to demonstrate the scientific basis of each technique and its application to crime scene investigations and give some examples of how these have been used in archaeological investigations. The students will also obtain ‘hands on’ practical experience of investigating a mock crime scene taught by professional practitioners.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be familiar with different aspects of crime scene investigations and how the role of the forensic archaeologist fits into modern policing. Students should be able:
•To understand the basic scientific concepts of different areas of crime scene investigation;
•To understand the role of the forensic archaeologist in modern crime scene investigations.
•To offer a critical understanding of the modern scientific evidence used in a forensic context;
•To understand the sources of uncertainty in forensic evidence and how it is portrayed in modern crime scene investigations.
•To understand the main sources of academic literature regarding forensic archaeology and crime scene investigations;
•To undertake practical investigation of a crime scene to apply the theoretical skills obtained throughout the course under the supervision of professional crime scene investigators;
•To explore a series of case studies of modern and historical investigations and the methodologies used.
•To present data and findings from a practical investigation of a crime scene in the form of a modern expert witness report.

Additional outcomes:
The module also encourages skills in problem-solving through the use of analytical techniques as well as ‘hands on’ practical experience. The students will also benefit from being taught by professional forensic practitioners which will offer real world experience and use up to date, modern policing examples of case studies. There will also be additional transferable skills engagement via the practical sessions where collecting, identifying and processing different sources of information in a group, compiling data and writing and an understanding of how to structure an argument incorporating scientific data in a forensic context as well as management of time to meet assignment deadlines.

Outline content:
The module will consider modern scientific techniques of crime scene investigation including DNA, material transfer, isotope provenancing, forensic archaeology and anthropology in the context of modern policing and wildlife crime investigation. A mock crime scene exercise will give students the opportunity to experience modern crime scene investigation under tutorage of forensic science practitioners.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is taught in a series of illustrated lectures, discussions, practical sessions and group tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 9
Work-based learning 2
Guided independent study 71
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Report 50

Other information on summative assessment:
One report up to 3000 words on a practical investigation (50%).

One seen and open book examination taken during the examination period (50%). The paper will be made available to those sitting the examination at least three days prior to the examination date. Students may bring into the examination papers, books and notes but no electronic devices.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    90 minute open book exam

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework during the re-sit period (August-September) and resit of the exam but it cannot carry more than a pass mark.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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