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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Forensic Chemistry (BIO682)

Organisational Unit Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit provides instruction on the discipline of forensic chemistry as applied towards the provision of forensic services in the fields of illicit drugs, trace evidence and toxicology. Students receive training in routine applications in Forensic Chemistry including arson investigation, drug analysis and clandestine laboratories, coronial and police investigations involving toxicology, and the examination of other types of physical/trace evidence. Practical exercises provide 'hands-on' experience in a range of forensic chemical techniques utilised in Australian and international forensic chemistry laboratories.
Unit Learning Outcomes Knowledge
1. Students will have specialised knowledge within a systematic and coherent body of knowledge that may include the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills in a new or existing discipline or professional area
Students will have:
2. cognitive skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge and identify and provide solutions to complex problems
3. cognitive skills to think critically and to generate and evaluate complex ideas
4. specialised technical skills in the field of Forensic Chemistry
5. communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts
6. communication skills to transfer complex knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences
Application of Knowledge and Skills
Students will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:
7. to make high level, independent judgements in a range of technical or management functions in varied specialised contexts
8. to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate broad functions within varied specialised technical contexts
9. with responsibility and accountability for personal outputs and all aspects of the work or function of others within broad parameters
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 25 hours over 9 teaching weeks; Labs: 30 hours over 9 teaching weeks; Workshop 5 hours over 1 week; Tutorial: 5 hours over 1 week
Unit Learning Experiences The unit consists of structured lecture content carefully aligned with practical laboratory exercises designed to replicate methods and protocols utilized in forensic laboratories. The unit will include a scenario-based workshop, bringing together numerous elements of forensic chemistry towards the resolution of a criminal investigation. Concurrently, the practical laboratory exercise will further develop the students' problem-solving skills.
Other Learning Experiences Field trip to a forensic chemistry laboratory
Assessment To reinforce the student learnings, the assessment of this unit will consist of the following:
· The production of an expert opinion scientific report following the examination and comparison of a selected evidence type;
· A laboratory-based practical skills assessment;
A final written examination.
Prerequisites Enrolment in:
C1131 Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) OR Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) OR M1255 Master of Forensic Science (Professional Practice) OR Master of Forensic Science (Professional Practice and Research)
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (GradCertForSc(ProfessionalPractice)) [New in 2015]
Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (GradDipForSc(ProfessionalPractice))
Master of Forensic Science (Professional Practice and Research) (MForSc(ProfessionalPracticeRes))
Master of Forensic Science (Professional Practice) (MForSc(ProfessionalPractice)) [New in 2015]
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.


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