FSC-20003 - Forensic Genetics
Coordinator: Victoria Cartwright Tel: +44 1782 7 33584
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734921

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This module aims to provide the essential background knowledge of the molecular tools used for identifying individuals by DNA profiling and to build on this to describe some of the ways in which these tools are used in Forensic Science. The principle concepts in DNA profiling will be explored with the aim of extending the students understanding of human identification, its importance and application in the forensic context, analytical techniques and processes, population genetics and the presentation of DNA evidence in court.

Intended Learning Outcomes

explain the principles and significance of nucleic acid hybridisation: 1,2,3
describe and explain the development and application of LTDNA-typing and its advantages and limitations regarding degradation and contamination: 1,2,3
apply a working knowledge of population genetics to calculate profile frequencies, evaluate their statistical significance and present this information appropriately as an expert witness in court: 1,2,3
critically evaluate the significance of different sources of DNA and appropriate approaches to collection, storage and analysis of the samples with reference to contamination avoidance procedures: 1,3
differentiate and critically assess types of polymorphism and DNA lineage markers and their importance in a forensic context: 1,2,3
communicate the outcomes of a short scientific study under oral examination in the court context: 3
explain the principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing and DNA profiling and their application in Forensic Science: 1,2,3

Study hours

Laboratory Classes: 10 hours
Tutorials/problems classes: 10 hours
Content study: 10 hours
Independent study: 60 hours
Assessment completion: 60 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Examination weighted 40%
Open Book Assessment
Unseen written assessment consisting of a mixture of short and long questions (equivalent to a 2 hour unseen exam). Students will be given 3 hours to complete and submit the assessment within a 24-hour period.

2: Assignment weighted 30%
Coursework portfolio
Equivalent to 1500 words incorporating a proforma and multiple choice questions.

3: Oral Presentation weighted 30%
Case study exercise
The student will complete a short report (~500 words) based on the examination of DNA evidence. This will be followed by a formal oral cross-examination.