Forensic Science (Crime Scene Investigation)

CIT’s Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Investigation) program provides graduates with the scientific knowledge and practical skills required to collect, analyse and interpret forensic evidence and to present that evidence in a court of law. The course has been developed with assistance provided by the National Institute of Forensic Sciences, the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society, the Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales Police Force. It focuses on providing skills and knowledge in many areas of forensic science with particular emphasis on the forensic field sciences such as volume and major crime, fingerprint detection and enhancement, blood pattern analysis and fire investigation. Students will also undertake research with an industry supervisor in their final year.

CIT is one of Australia’s pioneers and current leaders in the field of forensic science education. We educate crime scene examiners from every Australian state and territory police force and police forensic scientists from around the world, through the National Centre for Forensic Studies - our partnership with the Australian Federal Police and the University of Canberra. Students also develop confidence in using English through experiencing the Australian culture.

  • Course Details
    Course/s

    Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Investigation)
    CRICOS: 067792J National ID: CRS1200053

  • Course Duration
    Duration

    TOTAL CIT PACKAGE: 3 years
    Bachelor of Forensic Science: 3 years

  • Course Intake
    Intake

    Semester 1 (February) 2018

    Semester 1 (February) 2019

  • Course Campus
    Campus

    CIT Bruce

  • Course Fees
    Fees*

    Tuition Fees:

    2018*: Semester 1 - $12,950 Semester 2 - $12,950

    2019*: Semester 1 - $13,300 Semester 2 - $13,300

    Extra Fees:

    Bachelor:
    Uniform Costs: $100/course
    Textbooks: $300/course
    Stationery: $100/course
    Lab Equipment: $200/course
    Field Exercise: $100
    Personal Protective Equipment: $200/course

  • *Please note - Course fees are listed in $AUD and are based on a semester rate. Total course cost will vary depending on semester start date. Small fee increases happen annually in line with CIT's fee pricing review. 2018 and 2019 fees subject to change.

  • Entry Requirements

    ACT Senior Secondary Certificate or equivalent with passes in tertiary level science, mathematics and English, OR Adult Entry with demonstrated ability to complete study at tertiary level OR have completed the CIT Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques OR have demonstrated equivalent qualifications in science, mathematics and English OR Successfully complete an approved bridging program and/or skills assessment in science, mathematics and English. Students must also meet one of the following English requirements: IELTS 6.0 (no band score less than 5.0) | TOEFL iBT - 60 | PTE Academic - 50 (no band score less than 36) | Cambridge English test (C1 Advanced and B2 First) - 169.

    Students who do not meet the above academic requirements can apply for the Certificate III in Laboratory Skills and the Certificate IV in Laboratory Technology as a pathway into the Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Examination).

  • Course Subjects - Degree

    Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Investigation)
    CRICOS: 067792J | National ID: CRS1200053
    Full fees apply with no concessions available. ACT Government Fee Assistance does not apply.


    Stage 1 - Complete all (8)

    Subject Name
    • Principles of forensic science
      CIT Code: FOSC367
      Description: This subject provides an introduction to the general knowledge, attitudes and skills of forensic investigation that will be further developed in later subjects. Students will be introduced to the organisational structures and disciplines of forensic science, and the guiding principles, approaches, methods and evidential value of these disciplines. An overview of physical evidence types and methods for examination and analysis is provided. The student will begin developing the practical skills of crime scene investigation, including basic skills in forensic photography. This subject also provides an introduction to the Australian legal system and sources of law. Students will be introduced to the court systems, the judiciary and the principles of judicial decision making, and will become acquainted with the participants and their roles in the legal profession, with an emphasis on the law that applies to the collection of forensic evidence. The subject develops knowledge of the principles of ethics and quality assurance, and their applications to forensic investigations.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Chemistry 1 (general chemistry)
      CIT Code: CHEM140
      Description: This subject will provide the student with the concepts and principles that explain the nature of chemical reactions and the skills required to perform experiments in chemistry. Emphasis is placed on providing the participant with the ability to visualise and discuss models of chemistry including the molecular nature of matter and the process of chemical reactions. Students are encouraged to develop a logical, methodical approach to problem solving in science and to apply their knowledge of chemistry to real world situations, including (but not limited to) simple applications of chemistry to forensic science. Practical laboratory skills gained in this subject will provide an important foundation for further subjects including Chemistry 2 (Analytical and Organic Chemistry), Biochemistry and Chemical Criminalistics.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Communication in forensic science
      CIT Code: FOSC361
      Description: This subject develops an awareness of the processes involved in planning, researching, writing, presenting and reviewing reports in technical, scientific, legal and other professional contexts. Emphasis is placed on enabling the student to produce and present both oral and written report types appropriate to investigative, scientific and legal communities. The subject introduces the skills needed to communicate effectively in a variety of situations that are commonly encountered in the workplace by forensic personnel. The development of constructive communication skills and strategies for dealing with workplace situations realistic for forensic practitioners are discussed.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Maths and physics for forensic investigations
      CIT Code: FOSC365
      Description: This subject will provide the student with the skills required to solve mathematical problems in forensic science, and introduce concepts and skills from the discipline of physics which will have applications in forensic investigations. Students will develop the mathematical skills necessary to process and analyse data, and an understanding of the processes required to obtain reliable information using data. Emphasis is placed on concepts and principles that explain the uses and pitfalls of scientific data and on the development of the knowledge and skills required for the treatment of scientific data in the physical and biological sciences, including basic scientific computing (spreadsheet) and computer-based data analysis skills. This subject also introduces the student to the important concepts in Newtonian motion, optics, electricity and electronics, mechanics, heat and nuclear physics as they apply to various specialist disciplines in forensic science.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Principles of forensic investigation
      CIT Code: FOSC366
      Description: This subject provides students with an opportunity to extend and consolidate the general knowledge, attitudes and skills of forensic investigation that were introduced in Principles of Forensic Science with an emphasis on practical examination skills and procedures. A more detailed overview of physical evidence types and methods for examination and analysis is provided, including an introduction to scene and investigation management considerations. Students will further develop photographic skills (including video and photogrammetry) to accurately and effectively produce digital photographs of crime scenes and record relevant physical evidence material under a variety of conditions to an acceptable standard for presentation before various courts, inquiries and commissions. On completion of this subject, students will be able to apply their theoretical knowledge to produce complex two-dimensional and three-dimensional comparative physical evidence photographs using advanced lighting and optical techniques. Emphasis is placed upon recording of comparative physical evidence, and skills are developed which will be useful in later stage subjects.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Chemistry 2 (organic and analytical chemistry)
      CIT Code: CHEM141
      Description: This subject aims to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and skills in organic and analytical chemistry. Concepts introduced in Chemistry 1 (general chemistry) are extended in relation to organic molecules and reactions, and to principles involved in the separation and identification sciences and instrumental analysis. Emphasis is placed on the description of the scientific principles that underpin the examination, analysis and identification techniques commonly utilised in forensic examinations and the importance of sound analytical principles and methodology.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Anatomy and physiology for forensic science
      CIT Code: FOSC360
      Description: This subject is designed to provide students with the concepts and principles related to major anatomical structures at the macroscopic and microscopic level, and the general physiological processes related to various anatomical structures and body systems. This subject provides the student with the underpinning knowledge of mammalian anatomy and physiology related to the development of an anatomy and physiology vocabulary for use in the workplace; the structural organisation of the body from whole organism to cellular level; and the specific systemic processes involved in a number of body systems. This subject provides a foundation for learning in Biochemistry and Biological Criminalistics.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Biology 1 (general biology)
      CIT Code: BIOL154
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to introduce the participant to the basic concepts in biology, including cellular structures and processes, classification, human genetics and inheritance, and ecology, and to develop the principles and skills needed to investigate a crime scene and retrieved items from a biological perspective. From a solid foundation of biological science, students will develop skills in identifying and preserving biological materials, and will be introduced to the potential significance of biological materials located at crime/incident scenes. The subject will also develop the student's skills in the operation of the various microscopic and macroscopic techniques.
      Prerequisites: Nil


    Stage 2 - Complete all (7)

    • Crime scene investigation 1 (volume crime)
      CIT Code: FOSC362
      Description: This subject aims to develop crime scene examination skills introduced in previous subjects with an emphasis on the forensic examination of volume crime incidents. Focus is placed on scenario-based learning activities which provide the participant with the opportunity to develop and consolidate their procedures for scene assessment, control and examination, evidence interpretation, scene and evidence recording, exhibit collection and case management. Students gain a detailed understanding of the importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for volume crime investigation and an appreciation of basic file management and exhibit management procedures. The subject also develops the participant's awareness and skills for dealing with victims of volume crime incidents, and introduces the student to the concept of client service in the context of the investigation of volume crime by developing skills for effective communication with colleagues, supervisors, police investigators, legal practitioners and other stakeholders.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Biochemistry
      CIT Code: CHEM139
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to provide students with knowledge of the structure and function of biologically significant molecules, their cellular metabolism and the regulation of these metabolic processes. There is an emphasis on the ways in which the properties of molecules can be exploited in qualitative and quantitative analysis and on the recurring themes involved in the mechanisms and regulation of biochemical processes. The practical component of the subject focuses on the development of skills in quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques used in the assay of compounds of biological significance.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Court procedures and protocols
      CIT Code: FOSC358
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to develop skills in the preparation and presentation of evidence according to established legal and ethical standards. Students will prepare reports, statements, photographs, charts and other techniques for presenting technical evidence before courts, commissions and other tribunals. An understanding of the rules of evidence and skills in delivering evidence during examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination will be developed. Emphasis is placed on appreciating and complying with courtroom protocols and procedures. This subject provides the foundation for later stage subjects which deal with the presentation of expert and opinion evidence, and for subjects such as Comparative Analysis (normally undertaken concurrently), Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime), Crime Scene Investigation 3 (Major Incidents) and Professional Practices in Forensic Science, which rely on mock court-based assessment instruments.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Comparative analysis
      CIT Code: FOSC359
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to develop the knowledge of physical comparison applications and the skills required to prepare and present physical matching evidence. The subject will provide the student with the knowledge and skills to carry out examinations of footwear and tyre evidence, fingermark evidence, toolmarks, firearm evidence and other two- and three-dimensional impression evidence. Emphasis is placed on developing skills for the preparation and presentation of comparative evidence before courts and other legal tribunals.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Crime scene investigation 2 (serious crime)
      CIT Code: FOSC363
      Description: This subject aims to further develop the crime scene examination skills introduced in previous subjects with an emphasis on the forensic examination of serious crime incidents. Scenario-based learning activities provide the participant with the opportunity to develop and consolidate their scene assessment, control and examination, evidence interpretation, scene and evidence recording, exhibit collection and case management procedures relevant to serious crimes. The subject introduces advanced procedures for detection and enhancement of physical evidence at the scene of serious crime, and the importance of scene management and appropriate sequencing of examinations is emphasised. Students will develop a detailed understanding of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for serious crime investigation and will further develop their knowledge and skills relating to file management and exhibit management procedures and skills for effective communication with fellow investigators and specialist forensic personnel.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Criminalistics 1 - Chemical Criminalistics
      CIT Code: FOSC364
      Description: This subject develops and contextualises the scientific principles discussed in Chemistry 2 (Organic and Analytical Chemistry) and Biochemistry, with a focus on the field-based examination and analysis of chemical and biological evidence. Emphasis is placed on appropriate techniques for the general examination and assessment of a range of physical evidence in order to provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to develop and implement effective sequencing and triage procedures. Various optical, physical and chemical techniques for the development and enhancement of fingermarks are discussed. The subject also introduces participants to the range of techniques and portable analytical instrumentation available for the field-based examination of chemical and biological evidence and to the advantages and limitations of field-based analysis.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Specialist forensic disciplines
      CIT Code: FOSC368
      Description: This subject provides an overview of the role of specialist practitioners and disciplines in forensic investigations. Participants will gain an understanding of the principles, procedures and analyses involved in disciplines such as forensic pathology, clinical forensic medicine, toxicology, anthropology and archaeology, odontology, entomology and forensic psychology. The subject provides basic skills in identifying and interpreting evidence associated with these specialist disciplines; however emphasis is placed on the role of the forensic science practitioner in requesting, coordinating and assisting the involvement of specialist practitioners, and on the potential value of evidence provided by discipline specialists.
      Prerequisites: Nil


    Stage 3 - Complete all (6)

    • Crime scene investigation 3 (major incidents)
      CIT Code: FOSC220
      Description: Students in this capstone subject will develop their ability to investigate and case manage a simulated complex incident scene. The skills and knowledge developed in previous science, statistics and forensic discipline subjects are extended in order to enable the student to apply the principles of crime scene investigation and case management to scenes involving greater physical and/or conceptual complexity. Scenario-based learning activities involving multiple scenes, plausible alternative hypotheses, fire and explosion scenes and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) scenarios are used to instruct the participant in the appropriate scene investigation procedures, management approaches and scientific methodology required for the investigation of complex scenes. On completion of the subject, students will have developed sound analytical, critical thinking and reflective skills to evaluate forensic investigation problems within a scene management context and justify their decisions.
      Prerequisites: FOSC363 Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime)
      FOSC368 Specialist Forensic Disciplines
    • Criminalistics 2 - biological criminalistics
      CIT Code: FOSC222
      Description: This subject develops and contextualises the scientific principles discussed in Chemistry 2 (Organic and Analytical Chemistry), Biochemistry and Criminalistics 1 with a focus on the laboratory-based examination and analysis of chemical and biological evidence.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Forensic research project 1
      CIT Code: FOSC223
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to develop the student's ability to design, plan and review scientific research in the context of forensic science. Students will develop skills in the use of research terminology and research design and will be able to logically explain and justify courses of action which may be taken in the research process. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of providing a balanced, well considered argument for conclusions drawn from research findings. Students will be able to apply these skills in Forensic Research Project 2 and Professional Practices in Forensic Science.
      Prerequisites: FOSC220 CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION 3 (MAJOR INCIDENTS)
      FOSC235 STATISTICS FOR FORENSIC SCIENCE
      FOSC364 Criminalistics 1 – Chemical Criminalistics
      FOSC222 Criminalistics 2 – Biological Criminalistics
    • Statistics for forensic science
      CIT Code: FOSC235
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to develop theoretical knowledge of the statistical and probabilistic evaluation of scientific evidence for forensic investigators. The theoretical and practical applications of probability determinations are critically assessed, including the use of Bayesian analysis to evaluate the weight that should be given to particular forensic evidence. The statistics of sampling and quality assurance are considered in terms of designing sampling plans, estimating population statistics and comparing samples. Case studies are used to illustrate appropriate and inappropriate use of statistics in forensic casework.
      Prerequisites: FOSC225 MATHS AND PHYSICS FOR FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS
    • Professional practices in forensic science
      CIT Code: FOSC233
      Description: This subject emphasises the management dimension of professional practices and requires the student to evaluate and reflect upon the importance of professional conduct to the wider practice of forensic science. Students are encouraged to consider their roles in forensic science, not just in terms of their practices and behaviours at the crime scene, laboratory or in the courtroom, but also in terms of their contribution to the forensic profession through the application and extension of their learning to all aspects of professional endeavour. Students will gain an understanding of the role of forensic service providers in the investigative and legal systems, develop their knowledge of upper management and peak professional bodies within the forensic science community nationally and internationally, and will further develop their knowledge of the principles of ethics, quality assurance and management and their applications to forensic investigations.
      Prerequisites: FOSC220 CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION 3 (MAJOR INCIDENTS)
      FOSC223 FORENSIC RESEARCH PROJECT 1
      FOSC364 Criminalistics 1 – Chemical Criminalistics
      FOSC222 Criminalistics 2 – Biological Criminalistics
    • Forensic research project 2
      CIT Code: FOSC224
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to develop the student’s ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained in all previous subjects to a novel or specialist area of forensic science. Students are required to execute, evaluate and report on a research-based project which was designed in Forensic Research Project 1. Student learning will be focussed on rigorous scientific methodology, sound interpretation, judgement and evaluation of research outcomes, and applying a suitable style of reporting which follows the conventions for scientific publications.
      Prerequisites: FOSC220 CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION 3 (MAJOR INCIDENTS)
      FOSC223 FORENSIC RESEARCH PROJECT 1
      FOSC235 STATISTICS FOR FORENSIC SCIENCE
      FOSC364 Criminalistics 1 – Chemical Criminalistics
      FOSC222 Criminalistics 2 – Biological Criminalistics


    Electives - Complete 3

    • Bloodstain pattern analysis
      CIT Code: FOSC216
      Description: This subject is intended to develop a fundamental knowledge of the discipline of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA). Participants will develop an understanding of the basic principles of BPA and skills in the practical application of the discipline to actual casework. The subject has been designed for investigators, crime scene technicians and others involved in criminal and medico-legal investigations and crime scene analysis. Emphasis is placed on appropriate use of bloodstain pattern analysis terminology, consideration of occupational health and safety concerns, an understanding of the properties of blood and bloodstain principles, and on scene and item analysis including mathematical applications in bloodstain examinations and collection of evidence from scenes, suspects, victims and third parties.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Principles of ridgeology and fingerprint comparisons
      CIT Code: FOSC231
      Description:
      Prerequisites:
    • Principles of ballistics and firearm identification
      CIT Code: FOSC226
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to provide the student with basic skills in the field of firearm identification based upon examination of the class and individual characteristics left on projectiles and cartridge cases during discharge of a firearm. In addition, the student will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to explain the phenomena associated with the propulsion, flight and impact of small arms projectiles, and to calculate projectile trajectories using ballistics software. Students will use and extend skills developed in Comparative Analysis and the theoretical principles introduced in Maths and Physics for Forensic Investigations for the assessment, examination, interpretation and reconstruction of shooting incident scenes, and will develop the knowledge and skills required to report on the examination of shooting incident scenes using appropriate terminology and techniques.
      Prerequisites: FOSC163 COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
      FOSC225 MATHS AND PHYSICS FOR FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS
      FOSC363 Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime)
    • Principles of vehicle examination
      CIT Code: FOSC232
      Description: This elective subject aims to develop the knowledge and skills required for the examination of suspect stolen and re-identified vehicles and components. Emphasis is placed on the procedures employed for the restoration of obliterated identification markings.
      Prerequisites: FOSC363 Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime)
      FOSC364 Criminalistics 1 – Chemical Criminalistics
    • Principles of forensic document examination
      CIT Code: FOSC228
      Description: This subject explores the underlying scientific principles and techniques of the specialist areas of forensic science associated with document examination. The study of documents considers the forensic analysis of handwritten and machine generated documents, as well as the physical and chemical properties of paper, inks and toners. Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to appropriately collect, preserve and restore document evidence for forensic examination. Case studies emphasise critical evaluation of the evidential value of the data produced in these areas of forensic science.
      Prerequisites: FOSC163 COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
      FOSC364 Criminalistics 1 – Chemical Criminalistics
    • Principles of fire scene investigation
      CIT Code: FOSC227
      Description: This elective subject consolidates learning in both professional practice and science profiles in the context of the investigation of fires. Participants will develop investigation skills to determine the cause and origin in structural (building), vehicle and bush fires (wildfire) through scene investigation, interpretation of burn patterns and analysis of evidence. Skills developed and applied in Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime) are extended to the more complex situations typical of fires, and are integrated with scientific principles and techniques introduced in Criminalistics 1 for the analysis of chemical evidence of significance from fire scenes. The scientific basis of combustion and explosions is discussed, and used to determine and support conclusions drawn from scene examinations as to the cause, origin and development of fires. Occupational health and safety issues and aspects of professional practice (including presenting expert evidence at court) are emphasised.
      Prerequisites: FOSC363 Crime Scene Investigation 2 (Serious Crime)
      FOSC222 Criminalistics 2 – Biological Criminalistics
    • Principles of biometric technologies
      CIT Code: FOSC369
      Description:
      Prerequisites:
    • Negotiated forensic study a
      CIT Code: FOSC236
      Description: To develop in students the ability to source and select a module of study which supports their core study program. The selected module will be the basis of a negotiated learning contract which will be completed as Negotiated Forensic Study.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Negotiated forensic study b
      CIT Code: FOSC237
      Description: To develop in students the ability to source and select a module of study which supports their core study program. The selected module will be the basis of a negotiated learning contract which will be completed as Negotiated Forensic Study.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Negotiated forensic study c
      CIT Code: FOSC238
      Description: To develop in students the ability to source and select a module of study which supports their core study program. The selected module will be the basis of a negotiated learning contract which will be completed as Negotiated Forensic Study.
      Prerequisites: Nil
    • Negotiated forensic study d
      CIT Code: FOSC239
      Description: Requirements will be negotiated with each student, and will depend upon the requirements of the selected module of study.
      Prerequisites: Nil


    Optional Subject

    • Chemistry tutorial
      CIT Code: TUTL126
      Description: The purpose of this subject is to provide chemistry support to students enrolled in CIT forensic programs.
      Prerequisites: Nil
  • Job Opportunities

    Forensic field scientist, crime scene investigator, forensic investigator, Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO), degree would be an advantage to general entry to police services, scientific officer with police forensics services or related industries, increased lateral mobility within police services. Graduates will also find opportunities in related scientific disciplines.

  • Teaching Methods and Assessment

    Students learn through face-to-face teaching supported with on-line learning resources.

    Students are assessed through practical and written assessments, oral presentations and mock court presentations throughout the degree.

  • Pathways to Further Study
    • The Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Examination) program provides a key component in a comprehensive forensic science pathway from Diploma through to postgraduate study. This degree program will be recognised for entry to courses at other institutions under normal entry requirements.
    • Pathways for graduates exist through CIT’s partnership in the National Centre for Forensic Studies, where undergraduate studies in the field sciences could lead to postgraduate studies in management, science or a specialist forensic area.
    • Some possible examples of educational pathways for graduates include Honours, Masters and PhD programs at the University of Canberra, Honours programs at the Australian National University, and Honours and PhD programs at the University of Technology, Sydney.
    Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Investigation) (3 years)
    = 3 years of study
    Postgraduate, Honours or Masters