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Students must obtain the approval of the Unit Coordinator prior to enrolling in this unit.


This unit provides a survey and overview of interventions in the field of forensic studies. 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, 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 studies, as well specific approaches, perspectives and techniques within the broad field.

Summary 2021

Unit name Foundations of Forensic Studies
Unit code HSP503
Credit points 25
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Policing and Emergency Management

Dr. Loene Howes

Teaching staff

Dr. Loene Howes

Level Postgraduate
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. An advanced understanding of the social processes involved in the collection, analysis and use of forensic evidence from crime scenes to courts (i.e. the forensic process), including the critical decision-making points.
  2. An advanced understanding of the diversity of forensic techniques and forensic roles, and the associated complexities, involved in forensic-led criminal investigations.
  3. A critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of forensic evidence in criminal investigations and court processes.
  4. An ability to communicate complex ideas in written and verbal form.
  5. An ability to critically evaluate and articulate your own position on key debates surrounding the use of forensic evidence in the criminal justice field.





Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern

Weekly lecture (1.5 hours)
Weekly tutorial (1 hour)


Task 1: Topic proposal, 200 words (10%)

Task 2: Tutorial discussion participation (10%)

Task 3: Topic outline essay, 1500 words (30%)

Task 4: Major essay, 5000 words (50%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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