Topic: Introduction to Forensic Science
- Synopsis: The first section illustrates the scope and diversity of Forensic Science, and places it in its legal context. Basic ideas such as Association and Reconstruction are discussed, the all important Locard Exchange Principle is expounded and some of the limits of Forensic Science are suggested. The ideas in the Introduction underpin all subsequent sections.
- Case studies in this section: Walter Dinivan; Jetkor Miang Singh; Roberto Calvi; Buck Ruxton & the Jigsaw Murders; The 2005 London bombings; "Brides in the Bath"; Gareth Williams; The Woodchipper Murder
Topic 1: Atomic Structure & Spectroscopy
- Synopsis: This section seeks to link the concept of Atomic Structure with the methods for the determination of the presence of different elements in a given sample. This allows students to appreciate how these techniques can be reliable and sensitive.
- Case studies in this section: The Death of Napoleon; The Kennedy Assassination; "Adam", the Torso in the Thames
Topic 2: Molecular Spectroscopy & Chromatography
- Synopsis: Some of the ideas of the preceding section are extended here, as they can apply to the analyses of compounds. The methods of Chromatography, Infra-red Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry are also discussed. These are essential for later sections, such as Narcotics and Toxicology.
Topic 1: Time of Death
- Synopsis: The changes that the body and bodily remains undergo on time scales ranging from minutes to centuries are key to determining the Time of Death. These are surveyed in this section.
- Case studies in this section: Peter Thomas; Danielle van Dam; Ötzi
Topic 2: Blood
- Synopsis: Blood will be spilled in violent crimes. In this section, methods to identify and individualise blood are discussed, but DNA methods are left to a separate section. The information that can be deduced from blood spatter is also discussed.
- Case studies in this section: Christopher Nudds; Lord Lucan
- Synopsis: DNA has become essential and ubiquitous in forensic science. The nature of DNA and how it can be employed are presented in this section. The section includes the first DNA case, cold cases, paternity and maternity testing, mitochondrial DNA and several other topics.
- Case studies in this section: Colin Pitchfork; The Identification of the Last Tsar of Russia; the story of Peter Falconio & Joanne Lees
Topic 1: Fingerprinting
- Synopsis: Fingerprinting is introduced by a short history. The composition, means of visualisation and classification of fingerprints is discussed, and the question of faking them is raised.
- Case studies in this section: The Pioneering Stratton Brothers; the Brandon Mayfield Debacle
Topic 2: Polymers & Fibres
- Synopsis: Fibres, whether natural or synthetic, make up a large part of our world and how they can be used in forensic science is the subject of this section. This includes a discussion of the different kinds of fibre, and how to distinguish and individualise them. The importance of hair is highlighted. This section draws upon knowledge from the spectroscopy and chromatography sections.
- Case studies in this section: Robert Curley; Wayne Williams; Sarah Payne
Topic 3: Firearms
- Synopsis: Around the World, firearms are involved in many crimes. In this section, a brief history and explanation of firearms is presented. Forensic topics, including GSR and striations, are discussed.
- Case studies in this section: The Jill Dando Shooting
- Synopsis: A survey of some of the more significant drugs is presented.
- Case studies in this section: "Krokodil"
- Synopsis: Poisoning - accidental, deliberate or occupational - dates back into the mists of antiquity. In this section, different aspects of Toxicology are introduced, Paracelsus’ concept of poison is discussed, and harmful substances are classified. Specific poisons such as arsenic, sarin and thallium, are discussed in detail.
- Case studies in this section: Florence Maybrick; the Maine poisoning; Graham Young and his Strange Hobby; Paul Agutter and the Toxic Tonic; Georgi Markov and the Poisoned Umbrella; Alexander Litvinenko
Topic: Case Studies
- Synopsis: The course comes to its completion with a number of Case Studies that highlight important aspects of forensic science and some additional topics.
- Case studies in this section: The King in the Carpark; Annie Le; Peter Griffiths; JonBenét Ramsey; George Metesky; Rachel Nickell; Ted Kaczynski; The Soham Murders; Dr. Crippen
Coursera est une entreprise numérique proposant des formation en ligne ouverte à tous fondée par les professeurs d'informatique Andrew Ng et Daphne Koller de l'université Stanford, située à Mountain View, Californie.
Ce qui la différencie le plus des autres plateformes MOOC, c'est qu'elle travaille qu'avec les meilleures universités et organisations mondiales et diffuse leurs contenus sur le web.