General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
FORS - Forensic Studies
LIFE - Life Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Aodhmar Cadogan
Programme Membership
SG_SFORE_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Forensic Science and Analysis SG_SFORE_K08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

This module will provide the student with practical skills in the presentation of both oral and written evidence in a court of law.  The module will provide strategies and practice for interpretation of forensic analytical results in a meaningful, structured, non biased manner in context with the intelligence data, databases, literature while maintaining continuity and scientific independence.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Write Forensic Scientist reports that are robust, balanced, impartial and transparent which are unbiased and comprehensible to the intended recipient such as lawyers or a jury.


Assess the frequency of occurrence of evidential materials in order to aid the interpretation of analytical results, using databases, where appropriate, to support interpretation.


Prepare sections of the book of evidence and present oral evidence in mock court as an expert witness


Outline national legislation relevant to presentation of forensic science in court including issues relating to criminal law, laws of evidence, the courts and  legal privilege.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full time, it will include lectures, visit(s) to the court house, mock court presentations augmented by independent learning and directed learning.This approach is expected to address student needs.  Moodle will be used as a repository of education al resources. 

Module Assessment Strategies

The module is 40% continuous assessment and 60% final exam.

Report writing will be assessed in two reports, the second will form the basis of the mock court presentation.  In order to simulate a real courtroom environment, the student will present a case in Sligo Court House and be subject to examination in chief and cross examination.  This is subject to permission and availability of facilities of the local court service.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment and/or final exam.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Report Writing: Role of Expert witness, and report requirements.
Role of the investigative process and the requirements for continuity of evidence. 

Evaluation of scientific evidence: Assess frequency of occurrence, transfer and persistence of selected types of evidence e.g. fibres, hair, glass and biological samples.
Estimating the probability of the scientific evidence supporting the prosecution proposition or the defence proposition in line with Bayes Theorem.
Use of case assessment and avoidance of cognitive bias.
Statistical approach to DNA analysis and DNA Databases and Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Act 2014

Legal aspects: Overview of the criminal justice process including topics such as coroners court, affidavits, subpoenas, warrants, the chain of custody and book of evidence and visits to court.
Preparation for court.  Practice on how to present oral evidence and be cross examined.  Real courtroom or Audio visual recording and feedback.

Case studies: Examination of scientific and legal aspects of real and simulated cases (e.g. murder,  assault and sexual assault, drugs of abuse, hit and run, arson, robbery etc.).

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Forensic Scientist report Continuous Assessment Written Report 5 % Week 2 1
2 Assignment Case study /Legal Continuous Assessment Assignment 15 % Week 9 2,4
3 Forensic Scientist report Continuous Assessment Written Report 5 % Week 10 1
4 Mock Court Continuous Assessment Oral Exam 15 % Week 11 3

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Term 1,2,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop & Court Practice 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Self Study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2016-06-30 Crime Scene to Court Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN 9781782624462 ISBN-13 1782624465
Required Reading
2010-05-17 Data Analysis in Forensic Science Wiley
ISBN 0470998350 ISBN-13 9780470998359

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources



Journal Resources

Forensic Science Journal articles from Web of Science and Science Direct

URL Resources

Other Resources

Chartered Society Forensic Science, UK

European Network of Forensic Science Institutes ( ENFSI)