Courses & Units

Forensic investigation HGA313



This unit does not count toward the Sociology major. Students can take this unit as a student/degree elective or as part of the Criminology major.


Forensic science is becoming an integral component of the criminal justice system. However, the role of forensic science in the criminal justice system is only now beginning to emerge as an area of research interest among criminologists.

This unit provides a survey and overview of the field of forensic investigation by examining the significance of forensic science in various stages of the criminal justice process; that is, from the crime scene to the courts. The unit covers topics such as crime scene investigation, forensic science, e-forensics, forensic interventions in social work and psychology, and the sociology of forensic studies. Discussion includes identification of diverse experts in the field, analysis of different notions of expertise and objectives, the role of forensic evidence in serious and volume crime (and in miscarriages of justice), forensic intelligence, forensics and human rights, and evaluation of media images of forensic work. The unit provides a general introduction to the history and development of forensic investigation, as well as specific approaches, perspectives and techniques within the broad field. The potential to develop a critical sociological/criminological approach to the role of forensic science in the criminal justice system will be explored.


Unit name Forensic investigation
Unit code HGA313
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Sociology and Criminology

Dr. Loene Howes

Teaching staff

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 12/7/2021 10/8/2021 30/8/2021 17/10/2021

* 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 (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the strengths and limitations of various forensic roles and techniques as applied in the criminal justice process.
  2. Explain some of the social processes that can impact the effective collection, analysis, and use of forensic science in the process from crime scene to court.
  3. Critically evaluate the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system.
  4. Develop an informed argument that is communicated clearly.
  5. Articulate your own position on key debates surrounding the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system.


Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
099903 $1,812.00 $850.00 not applicable $2,108.00

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



25 points at introductory level in any discipline in any faculty


Teaching Pattern

Weekly Lecture (120 Minutes)

Weekly Tutorials (60 minutes)


Task 1: Major essay, 3000 words (40%)

Task 2: Case or problem activated learning, 800 words (20%)

Task 3: Tutorial attendance (10%)

Task 4: Exam, four questions, including a compulsory first question on key concepts, 2 hours (30%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable




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