SCIE11018 - Introduction to Forensic Science

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit has been designed as an introductory level unit with broad appeal to a wide range of students. For example, students studying health, social work, nursing, psychology, education or business as well as those studying science-based subjects might consider this elective option offered by online delivery (distance education). Its aim is to enable you to develop an appreciation of contemporary forensic analysis, with a particular emphasis on understanding DNA methods and applications. Topics studied includes: the scope of forensic science; how crime scenes are processed and how trace evidence from such scenes is collected and analysed; the different types and significance of trace evidence, including hairs, fibres and fingerprints; forensic investigations of fires and explosions; forensic examination of body fluids and human remains; forensic DNA methods. The unit involves online group discussions, peer evaluation and self-assessment within some of the assessment tasks. You will also undertake literature research on aspects of DNA profiling as part of the written assessment.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2022

Term 3 - 2022 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Group Discussion 20%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 30%
3. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 3 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.7 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 44.62% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student Evaluations.
Most students were satisfied with the way the unit was run
No changes need to be made.
Action Taken
A number of improvements were taken despite the positive feedback in the previous year. Video material was refreshed and updated, and new dimensions were added to assist the students that struggle with writing. Support was offered to full-time working parent students in such as allowing levels of flexibility for zoom meetings over the weekend or after they put children to bed. This was acknowledged in student feedback.
Source: Moodle feedback
The prescribed textbook should be recommended as a ‘supplementary’ text rather than ‘prescribed’
The unit textbook I currently listed as ‘supplementary’ and will remain as such for Term 2, 2021.
Action Taken
Source: Moodle feedback
Practice quiz had only 30 sample questions and should have all possible questions
Practice Quiz will be renamed to Sample Quiz to clarify that it's purpose is to show the format of the quiz.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the scope and application of contemporary forensic science.
  2. Discuss, using specific case examples, the underlying principles governing forensic crime analysis.
  3. Explain the practical roles of the various sections of the forensic laboratory in the scientific investigation of different types of crime.
  4. Evaluate forensic journal articles, case information and other evidence in relation to contemporary forensic science.
  5. Engage in self-assessment, peer-assessment and group discussion with respect to forensic science topics.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Group Discussion
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Group Discussion
3 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)