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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 16/05/2022 15:41:19

Title of Module: Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Project

Code: CHEM10019 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 40 ECTS: 20
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Ciaran   T  Ewins

Summary of Module

This module is the honours year project/dissertation for Criminal Justice and Forensic Science students. 

This module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in substantial research and analysis in the Criminal Justice and/or Forensic Science area. A research proposal will be developed and presented in a Poster that will form the basis of  the project. This will enable the students to discuss the direction, focus and validity of their ideas as well as identifying an appropriate methodology and design.

The dissertation may be on an empirical or a theoretical topic and it will contain a literature review. Research can be laboratory or desk-based.

The dissertation allows students to demonstrate all of the developed skills they have acquired during their studies on the programme to date, and to display their grasp of the subject matter of their chosen area of research.

Research and statistical methods lectures will be presented. Support will be given through a series of meetings with a designated supervisor. The student-supervisor relationship will be central to the development of the dissertation, especially in terms of formative feedback, and a continuous dialogue between student and supervisor will be maintained throughout the course of the module.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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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:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Use software and statistical techniques to process, evaluate and present research data

L2. Undertake a review and analysis of relevant and appropriate primary and secondary information sources

L3. Plan and execute a defined research project using appropriate research methodologies and techniques of enquiry

L4. Critically evaluate the methods used and results gathered in the project

L5. Use appropriate academic writing and referencing conventions to produce a research report

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 10.

Critical and integrated understanding of current scientific literature, available research techniques and practice, applicability of appropriate statistical approach and methodology to the relevant research project.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding to the criminal justice and/or forensic science area.

Executing a defined project of research and in identifying and relevant outcomes describe how they might be implemented in practice.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Ability to gather literature relevant to the research topic. Critically review current literature of relevance to the research topic. Make judgments where information comes from a number of sources. Demonstrate some originality in dealing with professional level issues relating to the research project. Offer insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices for completing a research project including to:

Present or convey, formally and informally, information about the chosen topic to informed audiences;

Communicate with other students, academics, and potentially specialists on a professional level;

Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level and adjust features to suit purpose;

Interpret, use and evaluate a range of data sources.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in all activities associated with the completion of a dissertation;

Work, under the guidance of a supervisor, to reach agreed aims and objectives;

Manage complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current ethical codes and practices;

Recognise the limits of these codes and seek guidance where appropriate.

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.

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Learning and Teaching
The module runs across both trimesters of the honours year and learning and teaching will take place through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and on-going, regular supervision.

Students will be allocated a project and supervisor early in Term 1. Lectures will run in trimester 1 covering research methodologies and how to conduct a literature review.

The research will be in an area broadly related to Criminal Justice and Forensic Science and can be laboratory, field or desk-based.

Supervision is an integral part of the learning and teaching process at this level of study. Students will be assigned a supervisor who will guide and advise the student throughout the module. Regular supervision meetings will take place which will be negotiated and scheduled between the individual student and supervisor. A key role of the supervisor is to provide formative feedback.
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 Delivery16
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity10
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop10
Independent Study364
400 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:

Bell, J. (2010) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science. (5th ed) Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press.

Davies, P. Francis,P. Jupp, V. (2018) Doing Criminological Research (3rd ed) Sage Publications

(**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

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Supplemental Information

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


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment will be based on the Project Report (Dissertation), Poster and Oral presentations and Research methods assignment.
(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) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark700
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck mark    100
Demonstrations/ Poster presentations/ Exhibitions check markcheck mark check mark100
Presentation check markcheck markcheck mark 102
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

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

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  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
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs.
This module is suitable for any student having successfully completed the first three years of the programme. However it should be noted that for laboratory based projects, in order for the student to complete this module the laboratory element of coursework will require to be undertaken, disability support can be provided where necessary; consequently, if disability 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.