Forensic Biology (8379.2)
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|0.125||3||Faculty Of Education, Science, Technology & Maths|
|Discipline||Study level||HECS Bands|
|Academic Program Area - Science||Level 3 - Undergraduate Advanced Unit|| Band 2 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021)
Band 3 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)
Learning outcomes1. Express an opinion in the field of forensic biology, in the form of a written case report, with confidence and clarity. Forensic biologists are often called to give evidence in court.
2. Collate, analyse, manipulate, evaluate, interpret and present information and numerical data from forensic biology case studies. As a forensic biologist, you will be called upon to write reports that could be used as court records or form the basis for prosecution or defence
3. Select and use appropriate information and communication technologies to retrieve, manipulate and present data from forensic biology case studies. This will include the use of spreadsheets and digital outputs from analytical instruments
4. Implement and evaluate strategies for the resolution of problems in forensic biology. You will need to select appropriate analytical techniques to examine evidence.
5. Work with others as part of a group. You will need to allocate tasks among group members to complete a case report for a forensic biology case study.
6. Have the ability to cope with uncertainty. Expert opinion in a court room is always challenged and you will need to be able to communicate uncertainty in your findings.
7. Act responsibly, ethically and with integrity in the context of forensic biology. Court room evidence must be as unbiased as possible with rigorous chain-of-custody requirements for handling of exhibits
8. Accept service to the community as the primary purpose for a professional life in forensic science. Your role as a forensic biologist is ultimately to use the scientific method to answer legal questions
Graduate attributes1. UC graduates are professional - communicate effectively
1. UC graduates are professional - display initiative and drive, and use their organisation skills to plan and manage their workload
1. UC graduates are professional - employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills
1. UC graduates are professional - take pride in their professional and personal integrity
1. UC graduates are professional - work collaboratively as part of a team, negotiate, and resolve conflict
2. UC graduates are global citizens - adopt an informed and balanced approach across professional and international boundaries
2. UC graduates are global citizens - behave ethically and sustainably in their professional and personal lives
2. UC graduates are global citizens - think globally about issues in their profession
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - adapt to complexity, ambiguity and change by being flexible and keen to engage with new ideas
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - evaluate and adopt new technology
3. UC graduates are lifelong learners - reflect on their own practice, updating and adapting their knowledge and skills for continual professional and academic development
PrerequisitesPermission of Unit Convener.
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There are no required texts or readings for this Unit. The following recommended texts are available as e-books from the University of Canberra Library (with links from the Moodle site for this Unit):
- Houck, M.M. (2015) Forensic Biology. Academic Press (Elsevier)
- Butler, J.M. (2010) Fundamentals of Forensic DNA Typing. Academic Press (Elsevier)
- National Research Council Committee on DNA Forensic Science (1996) The evaluation of forensic DNA evidence. National Academy Press
- Buckleton, J., Triggs, C.M., & Walsh, S.J. (2005) Forensic DNA evidence interpretation. CRC Press (Taylor & Francis)
- Gill (2014) Misleading DNA evidence: Reasons for miscarriages of justice. Academic Press (Elsevier)
There are a number of journal articles available on the University of Canberra Library e-reserve site for this unit.
Submission of assessment items
Extensions & Late submissions
Case files must be submitted to a Forensic Studies staff member. You must attach an assignment cover sheet to the front cover of your case file (available on the Moodle site for the unit). The coversheet should NOT be included in the numbered pages and must be signed by at least one person responsible for the case file. If you want a receipt, please give the assignment to a Forensic Studies staff member who will also sign and provide you with a photocopy of the cover sheet as proof of submission.
When a student does not submit an assessment task on or before the due date and time, their mark will be reduced by five percentage points per day from the total mark available (eg. if an assessment was submitted three days late a mark of 70% would be reduced to 55%, or put another way, if a student was awarded 21 out of 30 and submitted three days late their mark would be reduced to 16.5 out of 30), up to a maximum of seven days at which time the assignment will no longer be accepted, unless there are approved extenuating circumstances which must be supported by documentation (attached).
Extensions must be applied for before the due date. Students can apply for an extension to the submission due date for an assessment item on the grounds of illness or other unavoidable and verifiable personal circumstances. Documentary evidence will be expected for an extension to be granted. It should be noted that such documentation will be considered but will not guarantee that the application will be successful. The Unit Convener will decide whether to grant an extension and the length of the extension.
Special assessment requirements
In order to pass this unit, you must:
- Complete the Laboratory Safety Induction
- Upload a copy of your AIM badge to Moodle (indicating that you have passed the Academic Integrity Module)
- Receive a minimum of 5/20 for each of the wiki page, case file and court report and 15/40 for the final exam
- Achieve an overall, aggregate mark of 50 % or higher
Students have a responsibility to uphold University standards on ethical scholarship. Good scholarship involves building on the work of others and use of others' work must be acknowledged with proper attribution made. Cheating, plagiarism, and falsification of data are dishonest practices that contravene academic values. Refer to the University's Student Charter for more information.
To enhance understanding of academic integrity, all students are expected to complete the Academic Integrity Module (AIM) at least once during their course of study. You can access this module within UCLearn (Canvas) through the 'Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism' link in the Study Help site.
Use of Text-Matching Software
The University of Canberra uses text-matching software to help students and staff reduce plagiarism and improve understanding of academic integrity. The software matches submitted text in student assignments against material from various sources: the internet, published books and journals, and previously submitted student texts.
The workload for this Unit consists of 5 contact hours (2 hour lecture plus 3 hour lab) per week over 11 weeks for a total of 55 contact hours. The remaining 95 hours should be apportioned according to the weighting for each assessment item. For example, the case files and court reports are worth 20 % of the final assessment and therefore should each account for 19 hours outside of contact hours.
Participation at lectures and laboratory classes is not required as a condition for passing this unit. Your participation in both lectures and laboratory practicals will, however, enhance your understanding of the unit content and therefore the quality of your assessment responses. Lack of participation may result in your inability to satisfactorily pass assessment items.
All aspects of lectures and laboratory work are assessable. No exemptions, special consideration or revision of lecture material will be granted for a student who does not attend a lecture or laboratory class without a medical certificate or statutory declaration outlining sufficient reason for non-attendance. Acceptance of such a reason is at the discretion of the Unit Convener.
Laboratory work will be performed in groups and it is the responsibility of group members to ensure that laboratory work is shared.
Required IT skills
Basic word processing and internet skills are assumed. Some basic knowledge of spreadsheets is required (eg. Microsoft Excel).
A laboratory coat, safety glasses and USB digital data storage device are required for all laboratory work. These can be purchased from the University campus shop.
Work placement, internships or practicums
All communication relating to this Unit will be conducted trough Moodle. Notifications through the Moodle Announcements Forum or the Moodle Discussion Forum are deemed to be made to the whole class. It is your responsibility to check for announcements on the Unit's Moodle website (Moodle forum messages are also emailed to student email addresses only). Students should ensure they check their student email regularly or divert student email to a preferred email address.
This unit involves research-led education. There are active researchers delivering this unit who are able to engage students in deep and active learning and transmit to students their passion for the research they are carrying out.