British Columbia Institute of

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FSCT 8320 - The Science of Fingerprints - Theory

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 covers the history of fingerprints as it relates to individualization; friction skin development; how to obtain a proper set of known fingerprint impressions; the Henry Classification System, the Auto-Class Classification System and Real Time Identification (RTID) System; fingerprint individualization with emphasis on Ridgeology; palm print individualization including the use of palmar flexion creases; procedures utilized in crime scene examination and recovery of fingerprints; chemical techniques for fingerprint detection; the Identification of Criminals Act; and the expert witness in the Canadian Court System.


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

At the end of this course the student will be able to:

  • Explain the history of fingerprint individualization.
  • Define friction skin and how it is formed.
  • Explain and defend, through scientific knowledge, how fingerprint individualization can be so positive and infallible.
  • Define the composition of ecrine sweat.
  • Explain the requirements of a properly obtained known set of fingerprints and demonstrate correct techniques.
  • Explain both the Henry, Auto-Class classification systems and RTID.
  • Explain how a fingerprint comparison is conducted and demonstrate correct techniques.
  • Explain crime scene techniques for latent fingerprint examination and recovery.
  • Explain chemical techniques for latent fingerprint examination.
  • Define and understand the Identification of Criminals Act.
  • Discuss various aspects of an expert witness in the Canadian court system.

Effective as of Fall 2015

Related Programs

FSCT 8320 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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