THE ROLE OF A FORENSIC SCIENTIST
Forensic scientists locate, examine and prepare traces of physical evidence for use in courts of law. They use the principles of biology, chemistry and maths to obtain and analyse evidence from a variety of sources, including blood and other body fluids, hairs, textile fibres, glass fragments and tyre marks.
As a forensic scientist, the main focus of your work would be looking for evidence to link a suspect with a crime scene. However, your duties could vary depending on your specialism and may include some or all of the following:
- blood grouping and DNA profiling
- analysing fluid and tissue samples for traces of drugs and poisons
- identifying, comparing and matching various materials
- examining splash patterns and the distribution of particles
- analysing handwriting, signatures, ink and paper (known as questioned documents)
- providing expert advice on explosives, firearms and ballistics
- researching and developing new technologies
- recovering data from computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment (known as 'electronic casework')
- attending crime scenes, such as a murder or fire
- giving impartial scientific evidence in court (if you have been trained as a 'reporting officer')
- supervising assistant forensic scientists in the lab.
You would use a variety of techniques and equipment to examine evidence, ranging from photography to infra-red, ultraviolet-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy.
Level 3 Diploma in Forensic Science
The Level 3 Forensic Science course is divided into 21 comprehensive modules...
The origins of forensic science, which can be traced back to Imperial Rome and even earlier to Ancient China, are discussed in the first module where you will have a brief introduction to the pioneers of forensics. The assessment for this module will require you to draw up a time line of forensic developments and to match forensic innovators with their particular contribution to the body of forensic knowledge.
The second module is composed of a case study describing a particular crime scene. The module will examine who does what at the crime scene, which specialists attended or were involved, which branches of forensic science were involved, how evidence was collected, preserved and presented. At the end of this module there will be a completed example case study report and some knowledge checks designed to get you to organise the information you have acquired into a format that you feel comfortable with. There is also a requirement to submit a 500 word essay.
Subsequent modules will present a detailed discussion of the forensic specialists and specialisations involved in the case study. Each module will be followed by knowledge checks and an essay requirement. This pattern will be followed throughout the course and you will examine a number of case studies. It is only the essays and/or case study exercises that need be submitted for assessment. There is no examination. You will be assessed solely on the course work.
How does this course compare with an NVQ?
This level 3 home study course is recognised as being of an equivalent level of learning as the NVQ of the same grade. It clearly provides you with a much better option than a level 3 NVQ because it is extremely content rich unlike most NVQ’s that end up being a repetitive box ticking process with no actual learning involved.
Previous Knowledge Required
The good news is that no prior learning knowledge or experience is essential to take this course. This course is openly available to anyone wishing to learn more about Forensic Science and would like to take part in a highly rewarding home study course. You have the freedom to start the course at any time and continue your studies at your own pace for a period of up to 12 months from initial registration with full tutor support.
- Module 1: Pioneers of Forensic Science
- Module 2: Case Study 1 – The Bodies under the Bridge Case
- Module 3: Forensic Pathology
- Module 4: Forensic Anthropology
- Module 5: Forensic Biology
- Module 6: Case Study 2 The Body in the Carpet
- Module 7: Cranio-facial Reconstruction
- Module 8: Serology – DNA – Body Fluids
- Module 9: Case Study 3 – Who Killed Bambi?
- Module 10: Crime Scene Management
- Module 11: Ballistics
- Module 12: Fingerprints
- Module 13: Forensic Photographer
- Module 14: Case Study 4 – Doctor Death
- Module 15: Forensic Toxicology
- Module 16: Disputed Documents
- Module 17: Computer Crime
- Module 18: Case Study 5 Miscarriages of Justice
- Module 19: The Chain of Evidence / The Professionalisation of the Investigative Process
- Module 20: Case Study 6 Cold Cases
- Module 21: Careers in Forensics