Forensic Chemistry 2 builds upon the fundamentals of Chemistry introduced in first year chemistry studies and introduces students to forensic chemical techniques as applied to the analysis of physical evidence collected from crime scenes. Students receive training in routine applications in Forensic Chemistry including arson investigation, drug analysis and the examination of other types of physical evidence. Practical exercises provide 'hands-on' experience in a range of forensic chemical techniques.

Unit details

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RCS1601 - Chemistry 1A

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply basic concepts underpinning qualitative and quantitative forensic analysis;  
  2. Interpret various data from the examination of physical evidence from a range of forensic scenarios and report findings and draw appropriate conclusions;  
  3. Articulate fundamental forensic principles behind the examination of physical evidence clearly expressing ideas and perspectives;  
  4. Apply standard methodology to the analysis of various forensic samples including method selection, sample preparation, instrumental operation and data analysis so as to develop current industry specific competency in collaboration with peers; and  
  5. Evaluate the quality of analytical data and review team members' data and report the findings to peers and demonstrators with initiative and judgement.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written Assignment (1000 words) 20%
Laboratory Work Portfolio of laboratory work with summary addressing criteria (2000 words) 40%
Examination Final Exam (2 hours) 40%
Laboratory skills are a critical part of the Learning Outcomes of this Unit and therefore students MUST pass the laboratory component in order to pass the Unit. The laboratory component of this Unit has a minimum attendance requirement of 80% (which equates to missing no more than 2 lab sessions out of 11 sessions) and students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirements may wish to submit a Special Consideration application to the Unit Convenor.

Required reading

The below texts are Recommended Texts only.

Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science 11th ed.
R. Saferstein, (2014)
Pearson Higher Ed USA

Crime Scene to Court: The Essentials of Forensic Science 4th ed.
P. White, J. Millington, B. Rankin, P Wiltshire and D. Gennard (2016)
Cambridge, Royal Society of Chemistry

Practical Skills in Forensic Science 2nd ed.
A. Langford, J. Dean, R. Reed, D. Holmes, J. Weyers and A. Jones, (2010)
Pearson Education, USA

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