FSC-10003 - Forensic Chemistry and Analysis
Coordinator: Natalie J Capel Room: N/A Tel: +44 1782 7 33584
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 30
Study Hours: 300
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This is a core module that covers the principal concepts of chemistry with emphasis on those that are relevant to the field of forensic science, aiming to extend students┐ understanding and practical experimental skills. It focuses on some of the key characterisation and separation techniques used in forensic analysis, such as microscopy, spectroscopy, microspectroscopy and chromatography, and provides hands-on experience in a variety of analytical methods through practical work. In addition, it introduces the important topic of statistics in the interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence.

This module covers the principal concepts of chemistry necessary for the study of forensic science. It aims to solidify students understanding of relevant background theory with emphasis on its application to forensic science. This will build to focus upon some of the key characterisation and separation techniques used in forensic analysis, and provide hands-on experience in a variety of experimental skills and analytical methods through practical laboratory work. In addition, it introduces students to the fundamental mathematical concepts necessary for the analysis of forensic evidence, including the study of statistical methods for the interpretation and evaluation of forensic data.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Describe and explain the basic principles of atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding: 4
Describe and explain the principles and applications of selected spectroscopic, microscopic and separation methods within forensic contexts: 3,4
Apply the principles of aspects of physical chemistry to solve standard problems of relevance to forensic contexts and crime scene investigation: 3,4
Interpret organic and inorganic chemical structures, and discuss the appropriate spectroscopic and chromatographic methods for analysing organic and inorganic samples: 1,3,4
Perform fundamental laboratory and instrumental skills to specified standards: 1,3
Interpret and explain fundamental statistical data within forensic contexts: 2
Record, report and present the results of forensic investigation and analysis: 1,3
Be able to recall and demonstrate the application of fundamental chemical principles for forensic science under time pressure: 4

Study hours

Lectures (42h), laboratory and data analysis sessions (39h), problem classes (10h), class test and feedback (4h)
Directed and not directed reading (55 h), preparation of assessments (150 h)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Case Study weighted 25%
Case Report
A report equivalent to ~2500 words combining multiple exhibit analysis forms, displaying laboratory results and their accompanying analysis & conclusions.

2: Assignment weighted 15%
Statistics problem sheet
A problem sheet equivalent to ~1500 words applying statistics to forensic science analysis.

3: Portfolio weighted 20%
Laboratory portfolio
A portfolio equivalent to ~2000 words including short proformas containing laboratory results and analysis.

4: Exam weighted 40%
2- Hour Unseen Exam
2-hour exam with unseen questions on taught material from both semesters, both information recall and problem solving.