Skip to main content

Course Outlines

FSCT 7320

Introduction to Forensic Science

School School of Computing and Academic Studies
Program Forensic Science and Technology
Course Credits 3
Minimum Passing Grade 60%
Start Date September 07, 2021
End Date November 30, 2021
Total Hours 45
Total Weeks 13
Hours/Weeks 3.46
Delivery Type Other
Pre-requisites Admission to a Forensic credential program or permission of the Program Coordinator.
CRN 32936

Acknowledgement of Territories

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Instructor Details

Name Adrienne Law
E-mail Instructor to provide
Location Email only
Office Hours Instructor to provide

Course Description

This course provides on overview of the fundamental principles of forensic science and its origins. Techniques and instrumentation employed by forensic experts and methodology used to maintain continuity and integrity of evidence are examined. The role of physical evidence in civil and criminal trials is also discussed.

Course Learning Outcomes/Competencies

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

  • Describe the principles of scientific methodology, comparison, and identification.
  • Describe the techniques used by the forensic identification specialist to document the crime scene.
  • Describe the techniques used by the forensic identification specialist to detect, recover, and analyze evidence.
  • Explain the methods used by the forensic identification specialist to minimize the impact on the crime scene and maintain continuity and integrity of evidence.
  • Identify biological evidence suitable for forensic DNA analysis.
  • Explain the overview of forensic DNA analysis.
  • Describe the methods used by the forensic entomologist to determine time since death.
  • Describe features of the human skeletal system used by the forensic anthropologist to determine sex, age, stature, and race.
  • Describe unique features of the human skeletal system used by the forensic anthropologist to aid in the identification of human skeletal remains.
  • Discuss the applications of trace chemical evidence.
  • Describe the classification and identification methods used by the trace chemical evidence expert.
  • Describe the principles and procedures in making firearm and tool mark identifications.
  • Explain the responsibilities of the BC Coroners Service.
  • Describe the principle of facial recognition and the use of facial reconstruction as an investigative tool.
  • Describe the fingerprint Henry Classification System, levels of friction ridge detail, and the philosophy of fiction ridge individualization.
  • Describe the methods and techniques used by the forensic video analysis expert for the scientific examination, comparison and/or evaluation.
  • Describe the methods and techniques used by the forensic toxicologist to analyze and interpret the presence of drugs/poisons from biological fluids and tissues.

Learning Resources

No text book is required for this course, however if you would like additional information on various topics of Forensic Science the following text is a good source.

Criminalistics – An Introduction to Forensic Science (12th Edition), Richard Saferstein 2016; Pearson.

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria % Comments
Introduction Vidoe 5
Debate Assignment 25
Midterm Exam 30
Final Exam 40

Other information

All lectures and course information will be on D2L class website.

Course Schedule and Assignments

Date Material Covered Readings Assignment Due Date

BCIT Policy

Any student who needs special assistance in the event of a medical emergency or building evacuation (either because of a disability or for any other reason) should promptly inform their course instructor(s) and Accessibility Services of their personal circumstances.

Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination:
The BCIT community is made up of individuals from every ability, background, experience and identity, each contributing uniquely to the richness and diversity of the BCIT community as a whole. In recognition of this, and the intrinsic value of our diversity, BCIT seeks to foster a climate of collaboration, understanding and mutual respect between all members of the community and ensure an inclusive accessible working and learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion is a supportive resource for both students and employees of BCIT, to foster a respectful learning and working environment. Any student who feels that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment (personal or human rights-related) can confidentially access this resource for advice and support. Please see Policy 7507 – Harassment and Discrimination and accompanying procedure.

Students should make themselves aware of additional Education, Administration, Safety and other BCIT policies listed at

Guidelines for School of Computing and Academic Studies

Students must successfully complete a course within a maximum of three (3) attempts at the course. Students with two attempts in a single course will be allowed to repeat the course only upon special written permission from the Associate Dean. Students who have not successfully completed a course within three attempts will not be eligible to graduate from their respective program.


I verify that the content of this course outline is current.
Adrienne Law, Instructor
September 02, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed.
David McKay, FSA PTS Administration-122120
September 07, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed and complies with BCIT policy.
Jennifer Talman, Associate Dean
September 07, 2021

Note: Should changes be required to the content of this course outline, students will be given reasonable notice.