Forensic science has long captured the public imagination as evidenced in crime dramas, documentaries, and podcasts. However, the representations do not always reflect reality. This unit introduces the emerging field of forensic studies, contrasting the fiction with the facts, exploring the forensic processes that influence police investigations, disaster victim identification, understandings of patterns of crime, and even crime prevention. It will highlight with a range of forensic disciplines and applications of forensic science and invite a critical analysis of some of the challenges of using forensic science effectively in practice. The unit is informed by scholarship on the role of science in society and framed around the tensions between science, medicine and law as alternative knowledge systems (epistemologies) in contemporary society.
|Unit name||Forensic Science in Society|
|College/School||College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
|Discipline||Sociology and Criminology|
|Coordinator||Doctor Loene Howes|
|Available as an elective?||Yes|
|Delivered By||University of Tasmania|
|Location||Study period||Attendance options||Available to|
- International students
- Domestic students
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|Study Period||Start date||Census date||WW date||End date|
* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).
Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).
- Explain the role of forensic science in achieving justice.
- Analyse the critical decision-making points in the use of forensic science in serious criminal investigations.
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of forensic disciplines and their use in criminal and civil investigations and court processes.
- Communicate your ideas clearly, incorporating key elements of academic writing in criminology.
|Field of Education||Commencing Student Contribution 1,3||Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3||Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3||Domestic Full Fee 4|
1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.
Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.
You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:XBR205
Weekly 1.5 hour online Lecture
Weekly 1 hour tutorial or online discussion
|Assessment||Tutorial participation (10%)|Forensic quiz (20%)|Critical decision flowchart (30%)|Position Paper (40%)|
|Timetable||View the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable|
Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.
|Links||Booktopia textbook finder|
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