Module code: SOC3090

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to provide an insight into the most up to date methods employed within investigations and methods that are currently being developed that may be deployed in the future. Students will also focus on the implications of bias and psychology in decision making during investigations and the multidisciplinary nature of forensic investigation which supports the need to work collaboratively to address shared goals within the criminal justice system. This is to ensure that students have knowledge of cutting-edge techniques and are equipped with key transferrable skills which can be applied in their future careers.

Module provider


Module Leader

RHODES Claire (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 4

Independent Learning Hours: 102

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The indicative content of this module includes:

  • The forensic science landscape

  • Decision making and interpretation

  • Interdisciplinarity within Forensic Investigation: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Cutting edge research and the opportunities for application within investigations

  • The role of the Forensic Capability Network

  • The role of the National Police Chief’s Council

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Forensic Science Process Map 40
Coursework Report 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

  The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Forensic Science Process Map (40%): Students will be required to map out the process that would be likely to be undertaken throughout the forensic investigation of the incident provided, in relation to the one forensic evidence type.  This will incorporate the point that the CSI arrives at the scene, until the point of the outcome of the interpretation of that evidence type.

Report (60%).  Students will complete a Research Report which clearly outlines their findings and recommendations to address a challenge faced by practitioners within a forensic organization.


Formative assessment

Informal formative assessment is conducted throughout the module during workshops and seminars where students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities and to receive both peer and tutor feedback, with the aim of allowing students to assess their progress week by week.


Feedback and feedforward on summative assignments will be provided via SurreyLearn. This will indicate what students did well, less well, and what they need to do to improve in the future and will relate both to issues specific to the module and to transferable skills. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module within in-class discussions and activities, and tutorials

Module aims

  • To contextualise the current global landscape of the forensic sciences and investigation
  • Explore current issues within forensic science and investigation
  • To develop and understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of forensic investigation and outline the challenges and opportunities associated with this
  • To explore current and future research in relation to forensic science techniques and investigations

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Reflect on the current global landscape of the forensic sciences and investigation CKPT
002 Critically evaluate key current issues within the forensic sciences CKT
003 Explain the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to forensic investigation, both in terms of practice and a robust evidence base CKT
004 Critically discuss the value of forensic techniques CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Allow students to learn in a mutually supportive environment where they can benefit from the input of tutors, peers, and professional guest speakers.

  • Enable students to develop a critical and evaluative understanding of cutting edge research and the opportunities for application within investigations.

  • Engage students with the current forensic science landscape, with the purpose of reinforcing the significance of properly understanding the wider investigative issues considered in both previous modules that comprise the programme.

  • Maximise learning by encouraging students to be actively engaged in decision-making, negotiation, evaluation and interpretation of information, and the application of theory to practice, to address challenges and solve problems commonly faced by practitioners in a forensic investigation.

Having previously learned about the investigative processes from crime scene to court and the application of investigative methods within the criminal justice system; in this module students will learn about the future of forensic investigation and the challenges and opportunities this presents.  As one of the final modules studied on the programme students will build upon knowledge studied previously to critically discuss and evaluate the current context of the forensic science landscape and the role of multiple agencies in shaping the future.  This module therefore provides students with the key knowledge and transferrable skills required to succeed in their future career.

To achieve this, learning and teaching methods will include lectures, seminars, workshops, casework examples, videos, active learning/discussion sessions, professional guest speakers, and online resources. Collectively, these methods will combine guided learning, independent learning, peer review, and self-reflection. The lectures will introduce and explain key concepts, theories, and core aspects of the practical application of the issues discussed. The seminars will provide students with the opportunity to be active participants in their learning experience by undertaking interactive exercises and group discussions, demonstrating their acquired understanding and knowledge, critical thinking, and communication skills. To build confidence and to engage students with diverse learning backgrounds, students will be encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas, and reflections, including those relating to their own experiences. Ongoing feedback opportunities from staff and peers will be variously present in seminars and tutorials, and online.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3090

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module enhances students skills in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.

Employability: This module allows students to develop their understanding of the forensic science landscape and new and emerging techniques that could be applied to forensic investigation. Given that this is the final 'forensic-specific' module of the programme, students will leave in possession of the latest and best available information relating to their subject area, a proportion of which will have been delivered by external speakers, giving students direct access to professionals currently working in the field and thereby supporting their future career planning for roles in forensic investigation. This will hold clear benefits in relation to their employability as they approach the end of their degree. Coupled with the development of critical thinking, reasoning, decision-making, collaboration, self-reflection and evaluation, the ability to evaluate established evidential techniques, and other transferable skills, the module allows students to further practice wider attributes that will be attractive to employers in this field. The focus of the assessment strategy will help to prepare students for the realities of the world of work because it allows them to be familiar with how different types of forensic evidence are utilised into the wider context of investigation, and to conduct their own review of previous professional practice and cutting edge research.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.