50 hour Forensic Science Certificate

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About the course

Are you curious about Forensic Science and how it is used to solve crimes?

Many crimes are solved by a “smoking gun” such as an eyewitness or being caught in the act. Other crimes are more complex to solve and require forensic evidence to identify and prove the perpetrator’s guilt.

Forensic science has become the modern “smoking gun” to help solve many of these cases. Perhaps you’ve been watching too many CSI shows on TV and you’ve been wondering if all their techniques are real? Maybe you are interested to know how basic principles of science can be used in crime investigation, are considering a career as a forensic scientist, or need to know more to advance your current field, such as criminology, forensic psychology, criminal law, or crime-writing?

If your answer “yes” to any of these questions, our online Forensic Science course is uniquely designed for individuals like you, who:

  • Have an interest in science
  • Have a passion for solving crimes and justice
  • Enjoy obtaining new knowledge
  • Want a better understanding of criminal investigations and court cases
  • Are considering a new career or want to enhance your current career
  • Would like to have an impressive addition to your resume


Course Syllabus:

Module 1: Historical Development and Role of Forensic Sciences
  • Introduction to forensic sciences and basic principles
  • Special areas and contributions of the forensic sciences
  • Development of medico-legal investigation
  • Forensic pathology and toxicology
Module 2: The Crime Scene
  • Processing the crime scene
  • Reconstruction of the crime scene
  • Legal considerations of the crime scene
  • Using science to link crimes
  • The significance of physical evidence
Module 3: Fingerprinting
  • Fundamental principles of fingerprinting
  • Classification of fingerprints
  • Methods of detecting and preserving fingerprints
  • Digital imaging techniques
  • Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS)
  • Case study: product tampering and Stella Nickell
Module 4: DNA Analysis
  • The nature of DNA
  • Collecting DNA samples
  • DNA Typing
  • Analysis of DNA evidence
  • The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)
  • Case study: the exoneration of Earl Washington
Module 5: Toxicology
  • What is forensic toxicology?
  • Techniques used in toxicology
  • The significance of toxicological findings
  • Toxicology and identification of poisons
  • Toxicology and identification of drugs
Module 6: Arson and Explosion Investigations
  • The Chemistry of Fire
  • Investigating the Fire Scene
  • Type of Explosions
  • Collecting and Analyzing Explosives
  • Case Study: Is Daniel Dougherty Guilty of Arson?
Module 7: Serological Evidence
  • The Nature of Blood
  • Stain Patterns of Blood
  • Forensic analysis of blood, semen, and other bodily fluids
  • Collection and Analysis of Rape Evidence
Module 8: Firearms
  • Forensic ballistics
  • Gunpowder residue
  • Bullet and cartridge casing comparisons
  • Striations and tool marks
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Case study: family murderer Christopher Vaughn proven guilty
Module 9: Time of Death Determinations
  • Stages of decomposition
  • Body temperature calculations
  • Stomach contents
  • Decomposed skeletonized remains
  • Forensic entomology (insects)
  • Case study: the murder of Leanne Tiernan
Module 10: The Forensic Scientist as Expert Witness in Court
  • Preparation for testimony
  • Testimony and cross-examination
  • Admissibility of Scientific Evidence
  • Ethical Considerations
Module 11: Collaboration in Criminal Investigations
  • Working with detectives
  • Working with forensic psychologists
  • Working with the prosecutor or defense
  • Conducting research
  • Lecturing and consulting


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