British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


FSCT 8240 - Forensic Toxicology

Forensic Investigation Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

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.



This course isn't currently offered through BCIT Part-time Studies. 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

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
    Full-time   Bachelor of Science
  2. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Part-time   Advanced Certificate
  3. Forensic Investigation (General Criminalistics Option)
    Part-time   Advanced Certificate
  4. Forensic Investigation (Forensic Science Option)
    Part-time   Bachelor of Technology


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