Forensic Investigation MED4054

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This is an Honours option which allows students to study Forensic Medicine and Science elements useful for criminal law practice. This course places the emphasis on investigations carried out by forensic pathology/science and related elements of forensic data, reports and evidence used in court.


One 2-hour teaching session per week. 15 teaching weeks over Semesters 1 & 2

Requirements of Entry

Places on this course will be allocated based on academic merit. This course is only available to LL.B students

Excluded Courses





2500 word essay - 25% and 3 hour written examination - 75%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are:

■ To provide an overview of forensic medicine and forensic science and aspects of the law and ethics which particularly relate to legal proceedings for example crime and death

■ To review the main categories of injury and sudden, traumatic and suspicious death, their causes and how they are investigated by the forensic pathologist and scientist

■ To introduce the non-specialist to basic ideas of forensic science, from management of the crime scene to laboratory examination of evidential material

■ To introduce methods used for critical evaluation of scientific data and reports

■ To show how this information is interpreted and presented in court

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Exhibit knowledge of chemical, biological and physical evidence found in a forensic context

■ Compare and contrast the roles of the principals involved in a medico-legal or scientific investigation and court proceedings, including the forensic pathologist, forensic scientist, police and Procurator Fiscal

■ Identify the major causes of death and injury which lead to forensic medical or scientific investigations and the mechanisms which are involved in these deaths and how they occur

■ Describe how forensic expert reports support legal proceedings following an investigation

■ Interpret and critically evaluate expert witness evidence

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components [including examinations] of the Course's summative assessment