Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 16/05/2022 13:07:34

Title of Module: Science & Crime

Code: CHEM07006 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Ann-Sophie  Korb

Summary of Module

This module is about Forensic Science and its place in modern investigations. Students will examine how Forensic Science has developed, what it can achieve and how it is presented to the public through the media.

Science in a legal setting is examined particularly in court, and the role of expert witnesses. Alcohol, drugs, and driving are also looked at from a forensic perspective and students have a chance to demonstrate their research and presentational skills as they take part in a mock trial of a drink driving case. Chemical and analytical techniques important to modern investigations are looked at through a combination of lecture and laboratory work e.g. chemical analysis and latent fingerprint enhancement.

As the starting point for forensic analysis, Crime Scene Investigation is introduced and students have a chance to work on mock crime scene.

The module is part of the Forensic Science degree program but is suitable for any student with an interest in Forensic Science.

This module will work to develop a number of the key 'I am UWS' Graduate Attributes. Those who complete this module will have developed competencies in report writing, working to deadlines, making presentations and working in teams.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
check mark







Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the normal work of forensic scientists from the crime scene to the laboratory and their role as an expert witness.

L2. Describe how Forensic Science has developed in parallel with other scientific advances and how forensic science is portrayed in the media

L3. Show an understanding of the application of science to a selection of forensic topics; explosives, fingerprinting, drugs, alcohol and crime scene investigation.

L4. Carry out basic practical exercises relating to forensic science including laboratory examinations of unknown materials, developing fingerprints and crime scene examination

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Participants will develop an understanding of the role of science in society and in crime investigation.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Students will apply subject knowledge gained and information about the work of professional forensic scientists to a variety of exercises including laboratory work, crime scene investigations and court room presentations

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Within the module students will have the opportunity to discuss and debate forensic science information from the media and from laboratory work. Student will also evaluate information presented in court

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Students will develop their written and oral communication skills to present complex scientific information gained from library research or laboratory work.

ICT skills will be used to access the resources available on Moodle and other websites. Powerpoint will be used to present Crime Scene Investigation information

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Students will be able to display initiative in researching and presenting evidence in a mock drink driving trial. Through study and role play students will be able to gain an understanding of a variety of professional roles in a court room.

As a group students will be able to carry out and report the results of a crime scene investigation.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
The Science and Crime module uses a broad variety of teaching and assessment methods suitable to the learning outcomes of the module; these include formal lectures, laboratory exercises to develop practical skills, role play and group working. There is written coursework making use of appropriate forms of IT and assessment via the VLE.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Independent Study152
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Andrew Jackson and Julie Jackson, Forensic Science, 4th Ed., Pearson Education Ltd. (2017) ISBN 978-1-292-08818-1

Peter C. White (ed.): Crime scene to court: The essentials of forensic science, 4th edition Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing 2016, ISBN 978-1782624462

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDr Callum McHugh
External ExaminerI Turner
Accreditation Details
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Continuous Assessment
Online Assessments 55%
Reports on practical work 45%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck markcheck mark550
Report of practical/ field/ clinical work  check markcheck mark150
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Paper check markcheck mark 150
Presentationcheck mark check markcheck mark150
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is suitable for any student with appropriate chemistry background, however it should be noted that in order for you to complete this module the laboratory element of coursework will require to be undertaken, special support can be provided where necessary, consequently, if special support is needed to complete this part of the module, then the University’s Health and Safety Officer should be consulted to make sure that safety in the laboratory is not compromised.

Current University Policy on Equality and Diversity applies.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.