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FPA5002 - Forensic science support for forensic pathology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Michael Burke


Clayton First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


Forensic pathology brings practitioners into contact with the forensic sciences in the course of death investigation. Specimens are provided and often results are interpreted in the context of other findings by the forensic pathologist. Practitioners need to be familiar with the scope and limitations of the various branches of forensic science to know when and how they may assist in particular cases. Appropriate specimens must be collected correctly to maximise their usefulness. Some understanding of how forensic science tests are conducted will underpin comprehension of the results and their applicability to the issues in question.


On completion of this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Show familiarity with the principles of forensic science generally and its scope;
  2. Comprehend the scope and limitations of forensic science generally and its subsections in particular;
  3. Understand the tests and analyses used in branches of forensic science to assist in the proper application of their results in particular cases;
  4. Know what specimens would be applicable for forensic science analysis in particular cases;
  5. Demonstrate competence in the collection, storage and security of forensic specimens;
  6. Evaluate results of forensic scientific analysis meaningfully;
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the role and limitations of the various forensic sub-specialties in death investigation.


Case studies and workshop presentations (30%), Case book (30%), Assignment (1500 words, 30%) and Oral presentations (10%).

Contact hours

Tutorials and case and practical work over a calendar year.