FOR4004 - Elements of the forensic sciences - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Alistair Ross
Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Mr Alistair Ross

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email or phone 03 9684 4115.

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (Online)


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. Topics to be covered include:

  • Essentials of Forensic Sciences(including quality management and sample collection;
  • Biological Examination including DNA;
  • Firearms Examination;ballistics and gunshot residue (GSR)
  • Fire;
  • Fingerprint Examination;
  • Forensic Entomology.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the principles of forensic science generally and its scope.
  2. Critically assess the scope and limitations of forensic science generally and its subsections in particular.
  3. Evaluate the application of tests and analyses used in branches of forensic science to assist in the proper application of their results in particular cases.
  4. Apply skills and knowledge in deciding what specimens would be applicable for forensic science analysis in particular cases.
  5. Develop advanced competencies in the collection storage and security of forensic specimens.
  6. Critically evaluate results of forensic scientific analysis meaningfully.


  • Case report 1 (1,500 words) (25%)
  • Case report 2 (1,500 words) (25%)
  • Case study (1,500 words) (25%)
  • Assignment 1,500 words) (25%)

Hurdle Requirement

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

It is expected that students will need to undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the semester. This will include contact time, private study, assessment tasks (case studies, assignments) and, where possible, involvement in casework. Students are required to attend all workshops offered at the Department of Forensic Medicine during the semester.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: