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Course (2017)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2017 academic year.

Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (GradCertForSc(ProfessionalPractice))


  • Course Outline
  • Course Structure
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Title Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (GradCertForSc(ProfessionalPractice))
Course Code C1131
Study Level Graduate Certificate
School School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Academic Contacts

Academic Chair: Associate Professor James Speers | Email: J.Speers@murdoch.edu.au | Tel: 9360 7414

Qualification Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (GradCertForSc(ProfessionalPractice))
Duration 1 semester full-time or part-time equivalent
Availability Murdoch campus (internal)
Restriction All graduate courses are subject to restriction.
Description This course provides graduates in life sciences with professional training in forensic science leading to the acquisition of skills relevant to criminal investigation. Crime scene reconstruction is emphasised as is the collection, processing and interpretation of biological and physical evidence. Instruction in anatomy, pathology and death-investigation is provided with a focus on injury-recognition. Specimen preparation, sources of contamination, quality assurance, statistical interpretation and the admissibility of evidence are discussed as a prelude to the preparation and delivery of courtroom testimony.
Admission Requirements: Onshore course offerings A recognised Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7) in Forensic Science, Biomedical Science, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology or a closely related field of education; or equivalent training.

Equivalent of an Academic IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no band less than 6.0.
Course Learning Outcomes KNOWLEDGE
CLO 1: Demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of the application of the biological and chemical sciences to the investigation of major crime
CLO2: Gain an understanding of the criminal code as it pertains to the investigation of major crime including the role of the Coroner/ and Criminal Courts in the application of justice
CLO 3: Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of investigator bias, expectation and context effects; their significance in crime investigation and their potential to pervert the course of justice

CLO 4: Gain proficiency in crime scene documentation and competence in the collection and preservation of evidence
CLO 5: Gain basic proficiency in crime scene reconstruction
CLO 6: Demonstrate an understanding of artefacts and human error that can compromise or complicate the interpretation of forensic data
CLO 7: Gain basic proficiency in the preparation and delivery of courtroom testimony and in the generation of expert testimony reports which conform to the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Expert Witnesses in the District Court of Western Australia

CLO 8: Develop a practical understanding of the role of crime scene investigative teams in crime scene investigation and in crime scene reconstruction
CLO 9: Through a study of case histories, become familiar with forensic errors in criminal cases that have led to wrongful convictions
CLO 10: Apply statistical analyses to forensic data so as to elucidate investigative findings and assess the relative probabilities of different interpretations
Employment Prospects This course is designed to generate graduates with the skills needed to work with the police and other investigative authorities as Forensic Investigators or Crime Scene Officers.
Main research areas Forensic DNA Analysis; Fingerprinting Technologies; Toxicology and Metabolomics; Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; Wildlife Forensics.
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Course Structure - 12 credit points

Core Units - 12 credit points

BIO596 Crime Scene Investigation I - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal

BIO597 Homicide and Death Investigation - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal

BIO598 Fingerprinting and Impression Evidence - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal

BIO599 Human DNA Profiling - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal

For assistance with course planning, please contact your Student Advisor.

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