CH2FA-Forensic Analysis 1

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Part 1 or A level Chemistry. Please note priority is given to Chemistry with Forensics students.
Co-requisites: CH2AN3 Analytical Chemistry
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Matthew Almond


Summary module description:
A series of lectures, workshops and practical classes designed to introduce students to the basics of forensic analytical techniques and to provide a broad overview of important areas of work in forensic science.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the key concepts and some of the techniques used in forensic analysis.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to:
- Describe and discuss the subject matter of the module, and explain the concepts raised within it;
- Critically examine questions raised in lectures and practicals, and solve numerical and other problems on material contained within the module;
- Understand the application of selected analytical methods to forensic science;
- Understand the principles of "Scene of the Crime" investigation;
- Present information orally and in written reports.

Additional outcomes:
Students should improve their team working skills through practical work.

Outline content:
N Page (3 Lectures + 3 x 2 hour practicals)
Introduction, fingerprinting and arson.

H. Gerrish (2 lectures)
Scene of Crime Investigation

W C Hayes (3 lectures )
Forensic Toxicology; introduction for methods of analysis of blood samples and body fluids;

L. O’Connell (1 lecture + 1 x 2 hour practical)
Introduction to Forensic Anthropology.
M. Cox (1 lecture)
Introduction to Forensic Archaeology
S. Atkinson (1 lecture)
Counterfeit Medicines

M J Almond (1 Lecture )
FTIR and Raman microscopy applied to forensic analysis.

P.J.F. Harris(1 Lecture + SEM practical training 1 hr)
Electron microscopy applied to forensic analysis. This class will involve the use of the Scanning Electron Microscope in Centre for Applied Microscopy.

M J Almond (2 x 1 hr Lectures)
The use of X-ray methods in forensic analysis, including powder diffraction and X-ray fluorescence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
In most weeks teaching will be broken down to sessions comprising one hour of lecture material, followed by two hours of workshop/case study or practical. In the final week of the Autumn Term and over the following vacation, students will prepare a substantial report on one area of the course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 9
Guided independent study 57 18
Total hours by term 80.00 20.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Set exercise 30

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will prepare both a written report and give an oral presentation on one aspect of the course - topics to be set by staff involved. Some of the workshops carried out during the module will lead to summative assessment.

Relative percentage of coursework: 100 %
30 % problems; 50 % extended essay; 20 % oral presentation.

Submission Dates:
Assignments – Week 11 Autumn
Christmas Vacation Essay – Week 1 Spring

Formative assessment methods:
Problems, Essay and Oral Presentation.

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:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will comprise of an essay worth 50%, a coursework assessment worth 30% and an oral presentation worth 20%.

    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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