Module code: CHE1033

Module provider


Module Leader

BAILEY MJ Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 6

Independent Study Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 11

Laboratory Hours: 9

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CSI FIELD DAY 10
Practical based assessment PRACTICAL WORK 30
Examination EXAMINATION - 1.5 HOURS 60

Alternative Assessment

No alternative to Examination Failure of practical units of assessment will be required to attend during the Late Summer Assessment period and complete a defined practical course.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The purpose of this module is to give students a fundamental understanding of the conceptual frameworks underpinning forensic science. In this first year module a very wide array of evidence types are covered. Casework examples are used to give students a broad understanding of how forensic evidence is retrieved, packaged, analysed and reported in court. This module interacts with material that students are taught through analytical chemistry modules and demonstrates the application of relevant techniques to forensic casework.

Module aims

To introduce organisational and legal aspects of forensic science

To examine laboratory methods associated with searching and recovery of items of evidence

To introduce policies, procedures and protocols associated with accreditation of laboratories and expert witnesses

To introduce the use of chemical methods in forensic science

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate knowledge of organisational, accreditation and legal aspects of forensic chemistry K
Demonstrate knowledge of the different forms of analysis applied to different forms of physical evidence KP
Demonstrate knowledge of crime scene management KP
Demonstrate recording of a crime scene KP
Give an account of the potential utility of chemical methods in examination of forensic evidence C

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

What is forensic science? Locard’s Principle; The nature of forensic evidence, forensic science categories. The history of forensic science and its place in modern society. When is forensic science needed?


Providers of forensic science: LGC, DSTL, independent practitioners

Crime scene investigation, the nature of a crime scene, zoning and crime scene management, collection protection and documenting of evidence

Trace and contact evidence.  Direct and circumstantial evidence, physical and biological evidence, fingerprint evidence

General examination methods (blood, firearms, explosives)

Document, ink and handwriting examination, post-mortem interval and identification of human remains, introduction to forensic pathology

Introduction to the law; types of offences, CPS, types of course, statements and presentation of forensic evidence

Forensic case studies


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students with hands on experience of current forensic chemistry methods by practical sessions, workshops and the CSI days

Provide students with an understanding of the legal and organisation aspects of forensic science, collection of evidence and presentation in court through lectures, casework examples, videos and discussions.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Workshops (2 x 3 hour sessions)

Laboratory sessions (3 x 3 hour sessions)

Crime scene field day

Lectures (11 total)

Exam tutorial


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

The assessment strategy is designed to assess whether students meet the learning outcomes of the module.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Examination – 1.5 hours
3 Laboratory write ups
CSI field day write up – approximately 2,000 words


Formative assessment

Multiple choice test questions during exam tutorial



Laboratory scripts marked and returned during the semester; discussion sessions; practise exam questions


Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.