University of Technology Sydney

65319 Biological Criminalistics

6cp; 3hpw live attendance classes (5 wks laboratory classes; 3 wks on campus workshops; 4 wks online workshops), plus weekly online Canvas activities and videos in asynchronous learning mode
Requisite(s): 65316 Criminalistics AND 65342 Crime Scene Investigation


This subject covers the role of a Forensic Biologist from the receipt of a packaged crime scene exhibit, through the examination and analysis of biological traces on the exhibit, to the interpretation and evaluation of the biological evidence for court. Students develop the skills required for locating and detecting biological material, along with DNA sampling, as would be conducted in an operational forensic science laboratory. Students gain experience in detection and collection of biologically relevant evidence (including blood and semen), which is extended through to the application of presumptive testing, confirmatory testing, and recovery of material for DNA analysis. Students also learn and apply the theory of bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) from a guest BPA forensic practitioner. Finally, within varied case contexts, students learn how to evaluate biological evidence given propositions at each level within the Hierarchy of Propositions and how to avoid the source and activity level fallacies. This culminates in the examination, testing and evaluation of biological evidence from exhibits within a mock case to aid the court in addressing the evidence given source and activity level propositions, presented as both written and oral evidence. Online activities and videos are complemented by practical laboratory classes and discussion-based workshops.

Detailed subject description.

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