General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
70 %
Subject Area
FORS - Forensic Studies
LIFE - Life Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Fiona McArdle, Ted McGowan, Edmund Henry, Aodhmar Cadogan
Programme Membership
SG_SFORE_G07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Forensic Invest & Analys(Emb) SG_SFORE_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forensic Investigation and Analysis SG_SFORE_B07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Science in Forensic Investigation and Analysis SG_SANAL_G06 201900 Higher Certificate in Science in Analytical Science

This module introduces the role of the forensic scientists in the context of the Irish legal system.

Students will be introduced to basic forensic analytical techniques and carry out investigations on forensic materials.

Students will be introduced to the Irish legal system, the courts, criminal law and the role of the forensic scientists in the courts.

Learning Outcomes

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


Chart the development of Forensic Science and state the Government organisations responsible for Forensic Investigations in Ireland.


Perform basic forensic tests and state the context in which these are used in forensic investigations.


Arrange the Irish Courts in order of superiority and outline some differences between Criminal and Civil proceedings.


Identify the role of various personnel involved in legal proceedings and recognise the role of the Expert Witness legal proceedings.


Discuss some aspects of criminal justice in Ireland.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials, site visits and workshops. Students will learn by actively engaging with each of these activities and through accessing directed on-line materials.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% continuous assessment. the students will have an attendance requirement of 70%. There will be a range of practical activities carried out which will require report writing, presentation (written & oral) and debate and team work. There will also be a number of short tests to assess knowledge.  

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Forensic Science

Overview of role/function of Forensic Science (criminal, civil, sport, commercial, environmental).

History of Forensic Science (fingerprints, microscopy, DNA, Dental records, Bertillionage).

Forensic Science in Ireland (Forensic Science Laboratory, Garda Technical Bureau, National Bureau of Road Safety, State Laboratory, Private laboratories) and comparison with other jurisdications.

Practical exercises in fingerprinting, textiles and organic samples (toxicology). 


The Legal Systen

The Irish Courts system and jurisdiction of Courts.

Civil versus criminal cases (fundamental differences).

Role of all persons involved in legal proceedings.

The Expert Witness - duties and responsibilities pre court case and during court case.

Mock court cases, court visits, role play.

Case studies - criminal investigations.


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Multiple choice questions Coursework Assessment Open Book Exam 20 % Week 3 1
2 Written Reports Coursework Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 6 1,2
3 Legal Report Coursework Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 10 3,4,5
4 Short Questions Coursework Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 12 3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Practical / Laboratory Science Laboratory Practical 2 Fortnightly 1.00
Workshop/Seminar Flat Classroom Workshop 2 Fortnightly 1.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent & Team Learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2015-08-28 An Introduction to Irish Criminal Law Gill & MacMillan
ISBN 0717159736 ISBN-13 9780717159734

Fully revised and updated edition, with a greater focus on standard university criminal law syllabi. All major changes to criminal law up to the end of 2013 are discussed, including: New Legislation Covered in Detail Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006 Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2007 Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2010 Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2011 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 New Legislation, individual provisions of which will becovered Criminal Justice Act 2006 Criminal Justice Act 2007 Criminal Justice (Human Trafficking) Act 2008 Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 Criminal Procedure Act 2010 Criminal Justice Act 2011 Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Adults) Act 2012 Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) (Amendment) Act 2013 Law Reform Commission Papers Report on Homicide: Murder and Involuntary Manslaughter (LRC 87-2008) Report on Defences in Criminal Law (LRC 95-2009) Report on Inchoate Offences (LRC 99-2010) Consultation Paper on Sexual Offences and Capacity to Consent (LRC CP 63-2011) Written For: Law students Legal professional entry exams Social care and social science courses "

Required Reading
2014-06-11 Criminalistics
ISBN 1292062029 ISBN-13 9781292062020

For introductory courses in Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation. This best-selling text, written for the non-scientist, is appropriate for a wide variety of students, including criminal justice, law enforcement, law, and more Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 11e, strives to make the technology of the modern crime laboratory clear and comprehensible to the non-scientist. The nature of physical evidence is defined, and the limitations that technology and current knowledge impose on its individualization and characterization are examined. By combining case stories with applicable technology, Criminalistics endeavors to capture the pulse and fervor of forensic science investigations. A major portion of the text centers on discussions of the common items of physical evidence encountered at crime scenes. These chapters include descriptions of forensic analysis, as well as updated techniques for the proper collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes. Particular attention is paid to the meaning and role of probability in interpreting the evidential significance of scientifically evaluated evidence.Teaching and Learning Written by a well-known authority in forensic science, this text introduces the non-scientific student to the field of forensic science. It provides: * Clear and comprehensible writing for the non-scientific student: Makes text appropriate for a wide variety of students, including criminal justice, law enforcement, and more * Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of forensics and its role in criminal investigation: Captures the pulse and intensity of forensic science investigations and the attention of the busiest student * Outstanding pedagogical features: Supports both teaching and learning

Required Reading
2009-10-06 Meshfree Methods Taylor & Francis
ISBN 9781439853832 ISBN-13 1439853835

Understand How to Use and Develop Meshfree Techniques An Update of a Groundbreaking Work Reflecting the significant advances made in the field since the publication of its predecessor, Meshfree Methods: Moving Beyond the Finite Element Method, Second Edition systematically covers the most widely used meshfree methods. With 70% new material, this edition addresses important new developments, especially on essential theoretical issues. New to the Second Edition Much more details on fundamental concepts and important theories for numerical methods Discussions on special properties of meshfree methods, including stability, convergence, accurate, efficiency, and bound property More detailed discussion on error estimation and adaptive analysis using meshfree methods Developments on combined meshfree/finite element method (FEM) models Comparison studies using meshfree and FEM Drawing on the authors own research, this book provides a single-source guide to meshfree techniques and theories that can effectively handle a variety of complex engineering problems. It analyzes how the methods work, explains how to use and develop the methods, and explores the problems associated with meshfree methods. To access MFree2D (copyright, G. R. Liu), which accompanies MESHFREE METHODS: MOVING BEYOND THE FINITE ELEMENT METHOD, Second Edition (978-1-4200-8209-8) by Dr. G. R. Liu, please go to the website: An access code is needed to use program to receive it please email Dr. Liu directly at: Dr. Liu will reply to you directly with the code, and you can then proceed to use the software.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Criminalistics, An Introduction to Forensic Science, Saferstein, R., 11th  Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2014.

Practical Skills in Forensic Science, Langford, A., Dean, J., Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyers, J., Jones, A., Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2005.

Crime Scene to Court: The Essentials of Forensic Science, White, P., Royal Society of Chemistry, 1998.

Cracking Crime: Jim Donovan-Forensic Detective, O'Connor, N.,  O'Brien Press, 2001.

Offences Against the Person (1992) Peter Charleton ISBN: 0-947686-89-4

Charleton, Controlled Drugs and the Criminal Law, (An Clo Liuir, 1986)

Charleton, Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (Butterworths, 1992)

Cole, Cases on Criminal Law (Golden Eagle Books, 1975)

Forensic Science; An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, James, S. H. And Nordby, J.J., 2nd Edition, Taylor & Francis, 2009.

Law Society of Ireland, Garda Siochana Guide, 6th Edition (Law Society of Ireland, 1991)

McCutcheon, Larceny Act 1916 (Round Hall Press, 1988)

O'Siochain, Criminal Law of Ireland, 6th Edition (Folilsiuchain Dli, 1988)

O'Connor, Irish Justice of the Peace (1915: Reissued by Butterworths) (2 volumes)

Ryan and Magee, Irish Criminal Process (Mercier Press, 1993)

Woods, District Court Practice and Procedure in Criminal Cases (Limerick, 1994).

Guidlines for Prosecutors, Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP Ofice, 2006

Journal Resources

Journal of Forensic Science

Science Direct

Web of Science

Other Resources


Additional Information