British Columbia Institute of


FSCT 8156 - Instrumental Analysis for Forensic Chemistry

Forensic Investigation Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

Course Details

This course provides practical instruction in the area of forensic analysis with a strong emphasis on the instrumental analysis of samples to aid in forensic investigations including homicide, arson analysis, driving impairment cases, and death investigation. The course focuses on the theory and practice of instrumental methods commonly used in the chemical analysis of samples by forensic scientists. Chromatographic techniques such as GC and HPLC will be reviewed prior to discussion on their use as components of hyphenated techniques such as GC-MS, LC-MS and LC-MS/MS. The related technique of ICP-MS/MS will also be discussed. Specific emphasis will be given to application of these techniques for forensic science. Correct operation and troubleshooting of all instruments used will also be emphasized. In addition to their practical sessions, students will give a group presentation on a topic related to the use of instrumental methods for forensic analysis.


FSCT 8140 or 2nd year Analytical Chemistry course



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Learning Outcomes

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

  • Explain the principle of operation of instruments being used for chemical analysis in forensic science.
  • Assess the advantages and the limitations of selected instruments used for chemical analysis in forensic science.
  • pply the principles of analysis to instrumental analytical methodology through proper standard and sample preparation.
  • Perform analysis using the following instrumentation: GC, HPLC, GC-MS, LC-MS/MS and ICP-MS/MS
  • Demonstrate proper evidence handling techniques and maintenance of the chain of custody
  • Demonstrate the ability to set up and perform routine analysis of forensic samples in a variety of areas including arson analysis, drug analysis, homicide and blood alcohol determination
  • Conduct data interpretation of instrumental results for evidence and quality control samples.
  • Present an oral critique of a recent article based on the application of analytical chemistry to forensic science.
  • Present the results from routine forensics analyses in a report and presentation.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2019

Related Programs

FSCT 8156 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Computing and Academic Studies

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


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Registration is now open for the Spring/Summer 2020 term.

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