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FSCT 8320 - The Science of Fingerprints - Theory

Forensic Investigation Part-time Studies Course

School of Computing and Academic Studies

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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.



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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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