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Forensic Science

two students selecting courses for trent's forensic science program

Forensic Science

Undergraduate Course Listing

Please visit the Academic Timetable to see which courses are presently being offered and in which location(s). Not all courses listed below run every term or in all locations. For specific details about program requirements and degree regulations, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

Course Code Description Cross Listed With
FRSC-1010H Introduction to Forensic Science Introduces students to forensic science by exploring multiple disciplines, including forensic psychology, chemistry, entomology, pathology, and dentistry, plus DNA forensics, wildlife forensics, arson investigation, food forensics, and bioterrorism. Students are also instructed in investigative procedures using the crime scene house. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in FRSC 1011H. FRSC 1011H is now a pre-requisite for FRSC 1010H. Register in FRSC 1011H in the winter of Year One and FRSC 1010H in Year two
FRSC-1011H Introduction Crime Scene Investigation Introduces students to forensic investigations and crime scene processing. Students are instructed how to gather and document scientific evidence while processing crime scenes in the crime scene house, and then present their findings as written reports, and as expert witnesses in a courtroom setting.
FRSC-1100H Introduction to Canadian Justice Introduces students to the Canadian justice system with an emphasis on the criminal justice system. Students are provided opportunities to apply their knowledge through analyzing legal cases and various pieces of legislation, and participating in a mock trial.
Course Code Description Cross Listed With
FRSC-2020H Scientific Methdology Forensic Science Provides an introduction to the scientific method, data management, and basic statistics as a foundation for collecting, analyzing, and presenting scientific data in a scientific or forensic setting. Prerequisite: FRSC 1010H and 1.5 additional science credits. Open only to students registered in a Forensic Science program.
FRSC-2050H Introduction to Genetics Develops a basic understanding of genetics. Mendelian inheritance, chromosome structure, genetic recombination, mutation, the structure of DNA, the nature of genes, and current topics in genetics are investigated using examples from plants, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in BIOL 1030H or BIOM 1000H, and 60% or higher in one of BIOL 1020H or 1050H. BIOL-2050H
FRSC-2100H Criminal Code Provides a systematic and detailed review of the Criminal Code. It focuses on implications of the Criminal Code for forensic science, current issues in its interpretation by the courts, and its implementation by law enforcement agencies. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in FRSC 1100H.
FRSC-2110H Police Powers Focuses on the legislation governing criminal investigations, including the Constitution Act and Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the practical application of those laws, and their judicial interpretation in the day-to-day activities of police officers and other law enforcement personnel. Prerequisite: FRSC 2100H.
FRSC-2220H Forensic Chemistry Designed to introduce the variety of sub-disciplines that encompass forensic chemistry. Students discover how analytical chemistry techniques can be applied to the areas of forensic toxicology, fire and explosives investigation, documents examination, firearms, and trace evidence analysis. Emphasizes a practical approach to the different types of examinations relevant to these subdisciplines. Prerequisite: CHEM 2400H and one of FRSC 1010H or 1011H.
FRSC-2400H Data Analysis in Forensic Science The way in which data is generated and analyzed has changed. Ranging from genome sequence to forensic accounting to monitoring Internet traffic, Big Data has revolutionized business, research, and security. This course introduces students to the analysis and interpretation of Big Data by exposing them to its history, theory, and application. Prerequisite: MATH 1051H and 1052H (or 1050Y).
FRSC-2750H Computer Crime & Forensics Computer crime is the fastest-growing area of illegal activity in the world. Users beware After some background information (how computers work, number systems, information-hiding algorithms), we examine the schemes and techniques used by computer criminals, the forensic techniques used to catch the criminals, and ways to prevent victimization. Recommended prerequisite: COIS 1010H. COIS-2750H
Course Code Description Cross Listed With
FRSC-3000H Laboratory Dna Forensics Examines the theoretical foundations and techniques of DNA analysis with leading-edge technology in light of forensic cases. Students learn the theory and practice of generating forensic DNA evidence. Prerequisite: FRSC-BIOL 2050H, 3700H (or 3620H), and BIOL 3080H. BIOL-3000H
FRSC-3010H Crime Scene Investigations Explores forensic investigation techniques-observation, analysis, evidence identification, collection and preservation, and interviewing. Emphasizes gathering experts' scientific evidence and assessing it. Students explore use of evidence in Canadian court cases, the decision-making processes in court, and the roles of investigators, advocates, judges, and juries. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in FRSC 1010H and 2020H. Recommended: PHYS 1001H or PHYS-BIOL 1060H. Open only to students registered in a Forensic Science program.
FRSC-3020H Professional Placement Students in the Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program gain practical experience in a forensic science specific or related field and apply the theories and concepts acquired in their first two years of the program. Limited enrolment. Open only to students registered in the BScFS program. Prerequisite: A minimum 70% cumulative average and 10.0 university credits including FRSC 1010H, 1011H, 2020H, and 2100H. Excludes FRSC 2010H.
FRSC-3100H Trends in Forensic Science Covers recent developments in forensic science and reflects the recommendations of practitioners. Typically includes updates in the theory and practices related to DNA analysis, blood-spatter analysis, tire-track and footwear impressions, ballistics, and so forth. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in FRSC 1010H and 2020H. Open only to students in a Forensic Science program.
FRSC-3110H Criminology in Forensics Provides students with a comprehensive view and appreciation of criminology, including the scientific study of criminal behaviour, its forms, causes, legal implications, and controls. Provides a forum for discussion and debate and enhances students' knowledge of crime, criminal justice, and society in a forensic context. Only open to students registered in the BScFS program or joint-major in Forensic Science program. Prerequisite: 9.0 university credits including FRSC 2100H.
FRSC-3111H Non-Human Dna Forensics DNA has revolutionized how human forensic investigations take place, yet there are a myriad of non-human applications of DNA technology, including food, wildlife, environmental, and bioterrorism forensics, the tracking of sources of disease outbreaks, and invasive species detection. Theoretical and practical foundations and techniques of DNA analysis are examined through forensic case reviews and in labs. Prerequisite: BIOL-FRSC 2050H, 3700H (or 3620H), and BIOL 3080H.
FRSC-3330H Forensic Entomology Many insect species associated with the process of decay of corpses and their maggots have been used as an important tool for identifying both the timing and location of death. This course explores the relationship between insects and the decay of corpses. Prerequisite: 7.5 university credits including 60% or higher in BIOL 1030H or BIOM 1000H and 1.0 BIOL credit at the 2000 level, or permission of instructor. BIOL-3330H
FRSC-3400H Chromatography Theory and practice of chromatography, sampling, and quality control. Particular emphasis is placed on applications in environmental analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 2400H. CHEM-3400H, ERSC-3400H
FRSC-3404H Human Osteology A lab-based introduction to the anatomy and biology of the human skeleton. Topics include basic skeletal anatomy, bone biology and development, the functional morphology of bones, identification of complete and fragmentary bones, and skeletal pathology. Prerequisite: ANTH 2410H (or 2400Y). Excludes ANTH-BIOL-FRSC 3415Y, 3420H. ANTH-3404H, BIOL-3404H
FRSC-3405H Forensic Anthropology An introduction to forensic anthropology. Focuses on the methods used by forensic anthropologists to analyze unidentified skeletal remains, including sex determination, age estimation, stature estimation, assessment of ancestry, and identification of trauma and pathology. Prerequisite: ANTH-BIOL-FRSC 3404H. Excludes ANTH-BIOL-FRSC 3415Y, 3420H. ANTH-3405H
FRSC-3410H Spectrophotometry & Spectroscopy Modern analytical spectroscopic instrumentation, techniques, and application to the analysis of organic, inorganic, and biochemical contaminants with a particular focus on the forensic and environmental fields are addressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 2400H. Strongly recommended: CHEM 2100H and 2110H. CHEM-3410H, ERSC-3410H
FRSC-3700H Applied Population Genetics Introduces students to the application of genetics to the study of taxonomy, structure of natural populations, mating systems, and forensics. Topics include the molecular tools that quantify genetic variation, mathematical models of population structure, paternity analysis, and DNA fingerprinting. Prerequisite: 7.5 university credits including FRSC-BIOL 2050H, or permission of instructor. Excludes FRSC-BIOL 3620H, BIOL 3600H. BIOL-3700H
FRSC-3711H History of Incarceration Explores the history of incarceration from the late 1700s to the modern day, focusing on the rise of institutions designed to segregate those labelled sick, deviant, or in need of reform. Through secondary and primary literature, incarceration is studied from the perspective of authorities, the public, and inmates. Prerequisite: 4.0 university credits or permission of the chair. HIST-3711H
FRSC-3720H Advanced Topics in Forensic Chemistry Focuses on the major applications of various chemistry disciplines to forensic science. Specific focus is placed on the services which are routinely performed by the Chemistry section of the Centre for Forensic Sciences, including accelerants and explosives, drugs, paint, inks and dyes, polymers, and trace evidence. Prerequisite: FRSC-CHEM 2220H or 2.0 CHEM credits at the 2000 level. CHEM-3720H
FRSC-3751Y History Crime in England A social history of crime between 1500 and 1900, from the perspective of the prosecutors and the courts as well as that of the criminals. Topics include witchcraft, sodomy, murder, theft, rape, and prostitution. Prerequisite: 4.0 university credits or permission of the chair. Excludes HIST 3850Y, 4751Y, 4850Y. Offered only at Trent University Durham in alternate years. HIST-3751Y
FRSC-3800H Forensic Toxicology Analyses to test for the presence of alcohol, drugs, and poisons are frequently utilized in death and criminal cases to provide important information pertaining to forensic investigations. This course explores the pharmacology and interpretation of drugs and drug classes in the context of forensic science. Prerequisite: FRSC 1010H, 1011H.
FRSC-3900H Reading Course Provides an opportunity for more intensive or broader study of a selected topic in forensic science under the guidance of a faculty member. Students may take only one reading course. May be taken as a science credit with permission of the department chair. Prerequisite: Open only to students enrolled in the BScFS or joint-major in Forensic Science with a minimum of 10.0 university credits and permission of course supervisor.
Course Code Description Cross Listed With
FRSC-4000H Professionalism Frsc Perspective Students gain valuable tools necessary to excel in postgraduate research or a forensic science (or related) career. The theories and concepts that have been acquired throughout the professional program are revisited as transferable skills necessary for successful postgraduate study or employment. Emphasis is on communication, ethics, and career skills. Prerequisite: Open only to students registered in the BScFS program with a minimum of 15.0 university credits.
FRSC-4010Y Independent Project This self-directed research course requires students to investigate research topics relating to forensic science and to prepare a thorough, detailed research proposal in an area of research pertinent to forensic science. Students defend their research questions and their proposed methodology in a class discussion. Research is carried out individually or working in small groups. Open only to students registered in the BScFS program with a minimum of 15.0 university credits.
FRSC-4020D Research Thesis A double credit. Students design and carry out research under the supervision of a faculty member, and attend fourth-year Forensic Science seminars on research-related issues. Permission of the program and the availability of a thesis supervisor are required. Students are contacted by the course coordinator regarding the application process before the end of the Fall term of third year. Open only to students registered in the BScFS program or joint-major Forensic Science program with a minimum 80% cumulative average. Students with a cumulative average lower than 80% will be considered provided they include a written letter of support from a prospective supervisor with their application.
FRSC-4110H Firearms and Ballistics (sc) An introduction to firearm examination and ballistics. Students learn the science behind firearm examinations, including gunshot residue analyses, erased number restoration, and classification of firearms-related deaths. Students complete an independent case-based project and present firearmsrelated evidence to their peers. Prerequisites: 60% or higher in each of PHYS 1001H, FRSC 2220H, and FRSC 3100H.
FRSC-4111H Basic Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Develops a fundamental knowledge of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis. Students learn the basic theoretical and practical aspects that are associated with the discipline. Scientific evidence-based analysis and conclusions are emphasized. Techniques are discussed in lectures; practical aspects are learned through participation in laboratory experimentation. Open only to students in a Forensic Science program. Prerequisite: FRSC 1010H, 1011H, 3010H, and one of PHYS-FRSC 1020H or PHYS-BIOL 1060H.
FRSC-4312H Presentation of Forensic Evidence Explores the legal functions and processes of courts and tribunals and the laws governing evidence and testimony by witnesses. Communication theory and techniques are applied to the experience of testifying in a courtroom setting and to understanding the impact of ethical and effective testimony. Open only to students in a single-major Forensic Science program. Prerequisite: 14.0 university credits including FRSC 2100H.
FRSC-4320H Forensic Psychology (Sc) Examines how empirical psychological research informs police, the law, and courts. Topics include suspect interrogation and lineups, critical approaches to deception detection, eyewitness memory and testimony, jury biases and jury selection, mental illness and drug courts, risk assessment tools and methods, psychopathy and predictive assessment, sexual and intimate partner violence, and theories of homicidal offenders. Prerequisite: FRSC 2100H and PSYC 2300H. PSYC-4320H
FRSC-4380H Advanced Topics in Law & Policing Allows fourth-year students specializing in law and policing the opportunity to delve into a topic area within that study in more detail. Students pick a focus area, research relevant case law and literature, and conduct independent investigation into the specialized area. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in each of FRSC 2110H, 3010H, 3100H, and 3110H.
FRSC-4510H Species At Risk Biol & Policy Examines the quantitative assessment of biological parameters impacting species and populations at risk under governmental species-at-risk legislation. Prerequisite: A minimum cumulative average of 65% in completed BIOL courses and 10.0 university credits including BIOL-FRSC 2050H or BIOL 2260H, or permission of instructor. BIOL-4510H
FRSC-4570H Biocrime & Bioterrorism Students gain knowledge of microbes and other biological agents used in criminal endeavours and an overview of the methods used to detect crimes involving biological agents and link them to individual perpetrators. Bioterrorism and agricultural bioterrorism are discussed. Prerequisite: 60% or higher in FRSC 1010H and 1011H; and one of BIOL 3080H, FRSC 3000H, FRSC 3111H, or BIOL 3250H. BIOL-4570H
FRSC-4600H Applied Molecular Genetics This seminar-based course introduces students to the application of DNA profiling to forensics, medical genetics, and natural resource management (molecular ecology/conservation genetics). Prerequisite: 10.0 university credits including BIOL-FRSC 3700H (or 3620H). BIOL-4600H
FRSC-4710H Molecules of Murder The crime of murder by poisoning has always held a terrible fascination. This course explores a range of real world poisoning cases from the viewpoint of the forensic scientist. Several natural and synthetic molecules are examined, with special focus on the chemistry of the toxic agents involved. Prerequisite: CHEM 2110H, 2300H, and 3400H. CHEM-4710H
FRSC-4751Y History Crime in England A social history of crime between 1500 and 1900, from the perspective of the prosecutors and the courts as well as that of the criminals. Topics include witchcraft, sodomy, murder, theft, rape, and prostitution. Prerequisite: 4.0 HIST credits or permission of the chair. Excludes HIST 3751Y, 3850Y, 4850Y, 4953Y. Offered in alternate years. HIST-4751Y
FRSC-4800H Bioinformatics Biological data has grown in size and complexity. Bioinformatics-the application of computer programming to the management and analysis of biological information-is necessary for storing, manipulating, and analyzing large datasets. A tutorial-based computer lab focusing on genome sequence data allows students to learn the basics of computer programming and bioinformatics. Prerequisite: FRSC-BIOL 2050H, 4600H, and one of FRSC-BIOL 3000H or FRSC 3111H. BIOL-4800H
FRSC-4890Y Frsc Comm Based Research Project Designed to allow fourth-year students the opportunity to work on a research project with a forensic community agency under the supervision of a faculty member. Students must contact the Forensic Science placement officer before the end of the Winter term of third year. Only open to students enrolled in the BScFS or joint-major in Forensic Science program. Prerequisite: a minimum 75% cumulative average and 14.0 university credits, including at least 3.0 FRSC credits at the 2000 or 3000 level.