Introduction to Forensic Science

CHE10007 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 36 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2022 teaching periods



Higher Ed. Semester 2

20 Jun 22 - 31 Jul 22

16 Aug 22

Last self enrolment:
20 Jun 22

1 Jul 22

Last withdraw without fail:
15 Jul 22

1 Aug 22 - 30 Oct 22

6 Dec 22

Last self enrolment:
14 Aug 22

31 Aug 22

Last withdraw without fail:
16 Sep 22



Aims and objectives

This unit aims to introduce students to fundamental processes involved in forensic science. Students are introduced to the chemical and biochemical techniques used by forensic scientists to assist the judicial system to help solve crimes, or to help prove that a law has been broken. The students will be exposed to practising Forensic experts that will describe their work practises and discuss relevant examples. Students are made aware of the history of this discipline. They are also provided with an introduction to some of the legal issues associated and some of the toxicology associated with forensic science.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:
1. Articulate key concepts of forensic science.
2. State the major chronological landmarks in the history of forensic science.
3. Distinguish between admissible and non-admissible scientific evidence in the legal system and argue how a new scientific technique can gain acceptance in a court of law.
4. Give examples of the forensic application of Infra-Red (IR), Mass Spectroscopy (MS), High Performance Liquid. Chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography (GC) in areas such as document fraud and environmental damage.
5. Apply the general principles of forensic science to case studies related to drugs in racing, sport and the workplace.
6. Demonstrate the principles and limitations of DNA fingerprinting.