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Course details

This course serves as an introduction to the analysis, interpretation and reporting of common drugs encountered by a practicing forensic toxicologist. Other topics that are explored include laboratory techniques and instrumentation, pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of common drugs including cannabis, CNS stimulants, Opioids, CNS depressants and novel psychoactive drugs, the application of forensic toxicology to post-mortem, sexual assault and impaired driving cases, and presenting expert testimony in court. Directed reading, practical quiz and participatory discussions will introduce you to the science of forensic toxicology.


  • Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.





Course offerings

Winter 2023

Below is one offering of FSCT 8240 for the Winter 2023 term.

CRN 47557


Thu Jan 05 - Thu Apr 06 (14 weeks)

  • 14 weeks
  • CRN 47557
  • $770.28
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Jan 05 - Apr 06 Thu 19:00 - 21:30 Online

Micheal Rosland

Course outline

Course outline TBD — see Learning Outcomes in the interim.



Important information
  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. This course will be taught ONLINE and consists of weekly live lectures which will be recorded. Lecture materials will be released each week along with assigned reading from the textbook, a weekly quiz or assignment, and compulsory discussion forum. The details of the course structure will be posted in the online course material. Co-instructor for this course is Kim Young. Students who have been accepted into a Forensic Science program where this course is a part of the program matrix may register without any further approvals. Students who are not currently accepted in a Forensics program or, if this course is NOT part of your program matrix, please contact the Program Assistants for departmental approval @ For information on Forensic programs and courses, please visit:


This course offering is full. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Outline the types of cases encountered by a Forensic Toxicologist and the samples that may be encountered during a case submission, including the benefits and shortfalls of each type of sample.
  • Explain, in detail, the analytical process for extracting, screening, confirming and determining a level for a particular drug or drug group. Be able to illustrate how the process was contamination free, samples were not mixed up and that the analysis was accurate.
  • Compare the scientific instruments used in Forensic Toxicology including their scientific principles and components, as well as how they are used to confirm that a drug is present.
  • Differentiate the pros and cons of the different analytical techniques utilized during analysis, and what techniques are better for certain drugs and drugs groups and why.
  • Evaluate in detail the chemical properties, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics of commonly encountered drugs or drug groups including alcohol, CNS depressants, CNS stimulants, opioids, cannabis and hallucinogens.
  • Describe the specific issues and concerns encountered in Forensic Toxicology including drug stability and storage, post mortem redistribution, post mortem production of alcohol, time between sample collection and sample analysis, use of particular vials/additives for analysis.
  • Contrast which components of driving are and are not affected by drugs as well as any risk factors associated with a drug or drug groups after reviewing the scientific literature.
  • Outline the elements of giving expert testimony and the type of evidence expected for qualifications, direct or cross examination as well as how to prepare an expert CV.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2019

Related Programs

Forensic Toxicology (FSCT 8240) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

  1. Combined Honours in Biochemistry and Forensic Science
    Bachelor of Science Part-time
  2. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Advanced Certificate Part-time
  3. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Bachelor of Technology Part-time


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