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Clinical and Community Death Investigation XFSC 7835

Forensics Microcredentials Course

Course details

​This course is intended for nurses interested in the role of a forensic nurse death investigator, or positions in hospital risk management, patient safety and quality improvement. This course will prepare students to apply the legal and scientific principles underlying the methods used in the investigation of death in in both clinical and community settings. Students will learn that causation in death investigation is something that is determined not observed. Students will analyze competing causal factors and apply forensic principles to arrive at accurate and reliable determinations that meet the scrutiny of medicolegal cases. ​






Course offerings

Spring/Summer 2023

Below is one offering of XFSC 7835 for the Spring/Summer 2023 term.

CRN 68785


Mon Jun 12 - Fri Aug 18 (10 weeks)

  • 10 weeks
  • CRN 68785
  • $775.39
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Jun 12 - Aug 18 N/A N/A Online

Colin Harris

Course outline




Important information
  1. Departmental approval needed
  2. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.
  3. Students MUST receive a min. 60% in FSCT 7810 before taking this course. This is an ONLINE, asynchronous course, however, it is not self-paced. There will be specific deadlines for assignments, discussion postings and quizzes. Course content will be in the form of recorded presentations and some reading material each module. There will be weekly interactive discussions and a short quiz each module. You will also have a mid-term and a final assignment to complete. On the start date of your class (not before), log into to access your course link. Please contact with your student number (A0#) for departmental approval to register. For information on Forensic programs and courses, please visit:

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Examine the role of coroner and medical examiner systems and their legal authority in death investigation.
  • Compare and contrast the various classifications of death.
  • Differentiate between cause and mechanism of death.
  • Evaluate the nursing process and how it applies to death investigation
  • Explain the process in planned home deaths and how complications can arise.
  • Investigate the interrelationship between medical misadventures, risk management, patient safety and quality improvement and clinical death investigations.
  • Differentiate the steps required for a successful death investigation, in both clinical and community settings from initial reporting to the scene, documentation, investigation, chain of custody and final body disposition.
  • Assess post-mortem changes in the body and their relationship to the variables of time of death and describe body positional factors that might affect investigative pathways.
  • Evaluate the potential for applying the death investigation skill set in non-traditional settings such as occupational health and safety, public health, disaster response and others..
  • Contrast the difference between clinical and forensic autopsies and their relationship to causation.
  • Analyze the nuances of the process of infant versus adult death investigation.
  • Discuss the importance of collaboration with a multitude of other agencies in death investigations.
  • Compare and contrast criminal and quasi-judicial proceedings such as a Coroners Inquest. ​

Effective as of Fall 2022

Related Programs

Clinical and Community Death Investigation (XFSC 7835) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Forensic Nurse Death Investigator
    Microcredential Part-time


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