City University of Hong Kong. Information on a Course offered by Department of Biology and Chemistry with effect from 2012 / 2013

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1 City University of Hong Kong Information on a Course offered by Department of Biology and Chemistry with effect from 2012 / 2013 Part I Course Title: Course Code: Course Duration: No. of Credit Units: Level: Forensic Chemistry BCH4051 One Semester Three B4 Medium of Instruction: Prerequisites: (Course Code and Title) Precursors: (Course Code and Title) English BCH2004 Principles of Analytical Chemistry BCH3027 Analytical Chemistry; BCH4028 Instrumental Analytical Chemistry Equivalent Courses: (Course Code and Title) Nil Exclusive Courses: (Course Code and Title) Nil Part II 1. Course Aims: This course helps students develop knowledge of the various analytical chemical, biochemical and chemometric principles and techniques that are applied to aid the enforcement of the law and the analysis of evidence found at crime scenes or on/in the bodies of crime suspects/victims. Forensic chemistry is a field of applied chemistry and this course ties in with the emphasis of the Applied Chemistry programme of BCH on the applications of chemical knowledge and techniques to the industry and community as a whole. 1

2 2. Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to: No. CILOs 1. Describe the concepts of forensic pathology, forensic odontology and forensic anthropology in personal identification and reconstruction. 2. Describe the operation of firearms and perform simple comparison of markings on bullets and other projectiles, cartridge and shell cases and analyze gunshot residues using various physical and chemical techniques. 3. Apply relevant chemical, biochemical and bio-analytical principles to examine and discover to reveal criminalistic and forensic toxicological evidences including glass, soil, fibers and hairs, blood and other body fluids, arson accelerants, explosive residues, residues of chemical warfare, drugs and the various toxic substances in human tissues and organs. Critically evaluate the applicability of various forensic techniques to different scenarios. 4. Critically evaluate the various forensic techniques in terms of identification, individualization and reconstruction and recommend or advise on the most appropriate selection for an investigation. Weighting 3. Teaching and learning Activities (TLAs) (designed to facilitate students achievement of the CILOs) ILO No CILO 1 CILO 2 CILO 3 CILO 4 TLAs Students will learn to describe the concepts of forensic pathology, forensic odontology and forensic anthropology in personal identification and reconstruction primarily by case studies. Complementary guest seminars will further engage students in discussion of real-life forensic examination. In large and small group activities and field visits to examine the operation of common firearms and to obtain hands-on experience in analyzing gun-shot residues. Through a number of forensic case studies and simulated crime scene walkthroughs, students have to apply the various chemical, biochemical and bio-analytical techniques to discover and collect criminal evidence. Discussion with experts in forensic sciences during guest seminars and tutorials will further prompt students to critically evaluate the applicability of various forensic techniques to different scenarios. In large and small group critical evaluation tasks and debates students will discuss the principles, limitations, relevance and applicability of the various forensic techniques and approaches in terms of achieving the three basic goals of forensic science, which are identification, individualization and reconstruction. Hours/week 2

3 The TLAs provided above are indicative of the likely activities that students will undertake in this course. Final details of the individual course components, including large and small group teaching sessions, case studies, discussions and oral presentations, will be provided in the student course documents distributed at the commencement of the course. 4. Assessment Tasks/Activities (designed to assess how well the students achieve the CILOs) ILO Type of assessment tasks/activities No CILO 1 Short quizzes and end-of-course examination, which will enable students to describe the concepts of forensic pathology, forensic odontology and forensic anthropology. CILO 2 Visit reports, evidence tracing exercises and end-of-course examination, which will enable students to describe the processes of examination of firearms, bullets and gunshot residues. CILO 3 Short quizzes, tutorial assignments based on case studies and end-of-course examination, in which students will apply the various chemical, biochemical and bio-analytical techniques to reveal criminalistic evidence. CILO 4 Group presentations, peer and self assessment and end-of-course examination, in which students will critically evaluate the various forensic techniques to achieve the three basic goals of forensic science, which are identification, individualization and reconstruction. Weighting Remarks The Assessment Tasks and Activities provided above are indicative of those that students will undertake in this course. Final details of the individual assessment, including short quizzes, tutorial assignments, discussions, case/visit reports, oral presentations and end-of-course examination will be provided in the student course documents distributed at the commencement of the course. Starting from Semester B, , undergraduate students must satisfy the following "Minimum Passing Requirement" for BCH courses: "A minimum of 30% in coursework as well as in examination, in addition to a minimum of 40% in coursework and examination taken together". 3

4 5. Grading of Student Achievement: Refer to Grading of Courses in the Academic Regulations Grading will be based on students performance in assessment tasks/activities. Allocation of marks will be as follows: Coursework (including visit reports, tutorial assignments/quizzes and group presentations), 30%; Examination (3 hrs), 70% (see above table under Assessment Tasks/Activities). The table below is indicative of the assessment weighting for each CILO. ILO Short Tutorial Group Visit Examination Total No. Quizzes Assignments Presentations reports CILO 1 5% 10% 15% CILO 2 5% 5% 5% 15% CILO 3 5% 5% 40% 50% CILO 4 5% 15% 20% Part III Keyword Syllabus: Forensic toxicology: Drugs of abuse; Dangerous drugs & controlled drugs; Forensic analysis of pharmaceutical materials; Forensic analysis of nonmedicinal agents; Analytical & chemometric methodologies used in forensic toxicology. Analysis of blood, bloodstains and other biological fluids and stains: Analytical techniques for the identification of blood, semen, saliva, urine, feces, vomitus, vaginal secretions; Determination of bloodstains; Interpretation of bloodstain patterns; Genetic markers in blood. Examination of physical forensic evidence: Examination and identification of fingerprints, footwear impressions, tool marks, tire tracks & tire impressions. Microanalysis and examination of trace evidence: Microscopic examination and microanalysis of glass, synthetic fibres, hairs & furs, paint and soil particles; Chemical and instrumental analysis of trace evidence. Examination of firearms, bullets and explosives: Working principles of modern firearms; Ballistics; Gunshot residues; Chemical natures of common explosives; Chemical analysis of explosives. Investigation of arson cases: Chemistry and behaviour of fire & explosion; Fire accelerants and their chemical analysis. Forensic DNA analysis: DNA fingerprinting; Sampling, isolation, extraction and analysis of genetic materials for forensic examinations; Parentage testing. Forensic medicine, odontology & anthropology: Forensic pathology; personal identification by forensic dentistry; personal identification and reconstruction based on bodily / skeletal remains. Examination of questioned documents: interpretation of handwriting; analysis of papers, inks and other materials used to produce documents; counterfeit banknotes; forged documents; anti-counterfeit and anti-forgery technologies. Recommended Reading: Text(s): Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, 2 nd Edition, 4

5 Stuart H. James & Jon J. Nordby Eds., Taylor & Francis Group, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, Online Resources: N.A. Teaching pattern: Duration of course: one semester Suggested lecture/tutorial/laboratory mix: Lectures: 26H Tutorials: 13H 5

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