FOR5013 - Non accidental injury in childhood - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 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)

Dr Susan Marks
Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Dr Susan Marks

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)


A registered medical practitioner who is involved in assessing (or may be required to assess) children where there are concerns of non-accidental injury.




Paediatric forensic medicine encompasses the medico-legal issues arising from the provision of a medical service to children. The unit will largely focus on developing practitioners' skills required for the medical assessment of cases of suspected non-accidental injury in children. Such assessments require knowledge of the relevant legislation, injury patterns, specialised investigative techniques, documentation and interpretation. Teaching will focus on trauma and forensic principles, childhood development, injury patterns (both accidental and non-accidental), medical conditions that may mimic injurious events presentation of findings and opinions to the courts.


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

  1. Compare and contrast types of injuries and common injury patterns observed in childhood development stages with those observed in non-accidental injuries and abuse.
  2. Accurately assess and document injuries using notes, diagrams and photography.
  3. Apply knowledge of non-accidental injury to the analysis of bones, intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic trauma.
  4. Outline the processes involved in assessing children when there are concerns of neglect.
  5. Critically apply knowledge of the epidemiology of child neglect and physical assault to support injury assessment.
  6. Interpret and apply current legislation concerning offences against children.


  • Assignment 1 (4 x short answer questions) (750 words each) (20%)
  • Assignment 2 (3 x case studies) (750 words each) (20%)
  • Case Presentation (10 minutes) (20%)
  • Essay (3,000 words) (40%) (Hurdle)

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: