Subject details

After successfully completing this subject you should be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the demand and utility of forensic science in the criminal justice system;
  2. Compare and contrast forensic techniques covered in the course;
  3. Make critical and scientific assessments of any new forensic technique they encounter; and
  4. Communicate clearly and coherently to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
    • Forensic Science and Criminalistics
    • Science and Law
    • Impact of Forensic Science on CJS
    • Forensics I: Individualisation
    • Forensics II: Source Association
    • Forensics III: Reconstruction
    • Forensics IV: DNA as Gold Standard?
    • DNA Databases as Forensic Tools
    • Forensic Evidence and Wrongful Convcitions
    • Future Directions
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Online assignment submission
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Standard Media
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Online Assessment
      • Printable format materials


This is not an introductory subject, it is a second year subject. You must have a basic understanding of the first year criminology subjects. Students who have completed more than 2 OUA units (GPA 4.0+) and are planning on completing the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice are strongly encouraged to enrol in the course. Part of this process will involve registering your study plan with Griffith University, which will help to ensure that you are studying the required units.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This is not a "hands-on" C.S.I.-type laboratory course, nor is it a "war stories" course recounting real world experience applying forensic techniques. Instead, the course will explore the demand for forensic science in the criminal justice system and its impact on the administration of justice. It will include how social science research can help us examine questions about the scientific underpinnings of forensic techniques and services and will assess a variety of forensic techniques, such as DNA typing, fingerprinting, fire and arson analysis, and hair analysis.

Forensic science is enjoying an unprecedented level of attention in popular culture and is having an enormous impact on society. The development of DNA typing and other advances in forensic science are remaking the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted and changing our understanding of the criminal justice system. At the same time, the development of DNA typing has raised questions about the scientific validity of existing forensic techniques.

  • 4 Online Quizzes (20%)
  • Critical Essay (40%)
  • Final Invigilated Exam (40%)

Textbook information is pending.

Textbook information is pending.

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