FSC-20009 - Drugs of Abuse
Coordinator: Charlene E Greenwood Tel: +44 1782 7 32821
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

The role of Forensic Science in the investigation of drugs and drug-related crime will be examined. This module will develop students understanding of the systematic abuse of drugs and alcohol and introduce the relevant legal issues. Aspects of pharmacology and toxicology will be introduced by examining various classes of drugs in detail, and the determination of drugs and alcohols in biological specimens will be demonstrated using appropriate methodologies and analytical techniques.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge of relevant and up-to-date UK legislation relating to drugs and alcohol: 1,2
Explain how drugs and alcohol are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and eliminated from the body, and how a biological response is triggered by a drug: 2
Determine the appropriate detailed calculation(s) needed for blood alcohol concentrations in drink-driving offences and deduce the correct outcomes: 2
Explain the chemical complexity of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs and how this can provide the forensic scientist with valuable information: 2
Propose and describe a general scheme for identification of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs: 1,2
Apply a range of established experimental/spectroscopic techniques to effectively investigate casework through problem-solving and understand the parameters involved in method selection: 1
Interpret analytical results in the context of casework and express these in an impartial and appropriate manner: 1,2
Describe in detail the major types of controlled drugs, their origins, chemical composition, uses and effects, including some specific individual drugs of abuse: 1,2

Study hours

Problem Classes and Laboratory Sessions: 30 hours
Content study: 20 hours
Independent study: 50 hours
Assessment completion: 50 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Practice Based Assessment weighted 50%
Expert Witness Statement
Submission of a single report based around a drugs-related criminal investigation and all analyses equivalent to 2500 words.

2: Open Book Examination weighted 50%
Problem Based Assessment
Problem based assessment consisting of a number of long questions based on the topics covered in the module, equivalent to 2500 words.