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Forensic study is increasingly popular in universities and a forensic approach is often used in the workplace. This course focuses on debating and examining how criminology and law work in practice and how criminology influences forensic study.
It is suitable if you work in criminal justice or are considering a career with agencies such as the police, the probation service and the courts.
* the historical developments of the agencies involved in criminal justice and how they interact in today´s society
* how they work together to detect crime, arrest suspects, and deal with offenders when imprisoned and in the community
* the history behind criminological theories and theories which apply today
* how theory influences research and policy, which informs practice in the criminal justice system, and how practice may inform research
You learn research methods used in forensic criminology and the resulting ethical problems. You also study modules that focus on
* the institutional framework of criminal law
* laws of evidence
* advocacy skills.
Our lecturers draw on their professional experience in criminal justice practice to develop your understanding of how academic theories relate to crime. Throughout the course you gain critical analysis skills, which you use to complete a dissertation in an area of your interest.
Our criminology department has an active criminological society run by students. It involves visits to appropriate organisations and guest speakers who give an overview of their speciality.
This module provides the necessary grounding to study law effectively. It teaches the core skills required with emphasis placed on research and legal reasoning. You examine the court system and legal professions and we introduce the Human Rights Act of 1998.
Criminal litigation is essentially the steps required to take a criminal case to trial. This module examines the initial stages of an investigation.
* police powers
* the processing of crime scenes
* the importance of continuity of evidence and establishing a chain of custody
* the general principles of criminal law required to ensure that charges are understood and correctly drafted
* the law on confessions and inferences from silence
* the law concerning taking samples from suspects
* the initial stages of a criminal prosecution with emphasis on how they are significant to expert witnesses
Law of evidence
This follows on from the criminal litigation module and progresses the investigative process from the initial court hearings through to the completion of the trial.
It addresses subjects including
* rules and principles on expert testimony
* the burden of proof
* the significance of disclosure and pre trial hearings for expert witnesses
* the rules governing advocacy and trials
* salient rules of evidence, such as hearsay
You also examine recent miscarriages of justice involving expert witnesses to identify how error arose and how to eliminate repetition.
Forensic criminology 1 - conceptual and methodological issues
You develop a critical awareness of various theoretical issues in forensic criminology. You examine the development of forensic criminology in its wider social and political context.
Forensic criminology 2 - issues in policy and practice
You develop your ability to think critically about the links between theoretical and policy developments relating to forensic criminology. You analyse policy developments in the criminal justice sector resulting from the increasing impact of forensic criminology.
This module allows you to demonstrate researcher skills at masters level. You produce a persuasively argued piece of writing that demonstrates knowledge and skills, researcher competence and the ability to work independently.