CHE-30010 - Forensic Toxicology
Coordinator: David F Thompson Tel: +44 1782 7 34954
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

This Level 6 module will draw upon material delivered at Levels 4 and 5 and will develop students' understanding of pharmacology, biochemistry, pathology and toxicology and their application to forensic investigations. The outline content will be as follows: a review of the various analytical techniques available to the toxicologist; methodologies for detecting foreign substances in tissues and body fluids and interpretation of the data acquired; the relevant legal aspects governing the presentation of toxicological evidence in written reports and in court. Extensive use of case studies will develop the principles of toxicology and enable students to appreciate and apply toxicology both in the laboratory and in the field.

The role of forensic toxicology in the investigation of crime will be developed and reinforced. This module will exemplify the applications of biochemistry and toxicology to the purposes of the law and further develop students' understanding of the pharmacological basis of drug action. The use of precise analytical techniques to formulate informed conclusions will be illustrated and reinforced by using appropriate recent case studies.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe and explain how the disciplines of biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology and toxicology can be applied to crime solving: 1,2
identify and explain the analytical techniques most commonly used in toxicology for crime solving and have an awareness of their limitations: 1,2
explain how relevant aspects of civil and criminal law relate to the presentation of evidence from toxicological investigations: 1,2
suggest and justify methods for detecting foreign compounds in fresh and aged body fluids and tissues and recognise the symptomology of poisoning by foreign compounds: 1,2
illustrate principles of forensic toxicology with reference to a variety of industrial, environmental, agricultural and natural compounds, including drugs and alcohol, in particular: 1,2
critically evaluate written scientific evidence: 1,2
critically review the importance of tissue characterisation, autopsy and inquest:

Study hours

Lectures: 23 hours.
Problem-based learning sessions: 3 hours
Class tests: 4 hours
Research into appropriate cases: 30 hours
Private study: 90 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 30%
Case Study
An individual written report (total equivalent to 1500 words) on a forensic toxicology case study with appropriate referencing and data retrieval

2: Class Test weighted 70%
Class Test
Two class tests undertaken during the semester. The student effort is equivalent to that required to prepare for and complete a 2 hour exam.