This Postgraduate Certificate programme aims to provide an academically challenging and vocationally relevant education for those who wish to enter the field of Forensic Studies or undertake research in this area. It aims to promote comprehensive knowledge, understanding and practical application of forensic techniques to enable investigation of crimes from medico – legal point of view. This course will meet the professional development needs of forensic scientists, forensic nurses, coroners and their officers, forensic psychologists, probation officers, social workers, senior prison officers and those wishing to pursue a career as expert witnesses.
Students from the Republic of Ireland and other countries may also find the programme useful, bearing in mind the differences in law in their jurisdiction. At present the course includes Northern Irish and English law and operating procedures. Training of new staff from all sections of the community together will help to build good team working and morale.
Duration and Mode of Attendance
PGCertificate in Forensic Studies 1 year (all distance learning)
Students complete three taught modules with a total credit value of 60 points for a Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Studies. All modules are rated under the Credit Accumulation and Transfer scheme (CATS).
Structure and Content
Students complete three taught modules with a total credit value of 60 points for a Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Studies. All modules are rated under the Credit Accumulation and Transfer scheme (CATS). The length of the course for Pg Cert is two semesters (half-time study) over one academic year.
Principles of Law Relating to Forensic Practice (15 credit point module, level M): provides an introduction to the legal system within which the discipline of forensic medicine is carried out. Critical appraisal of the development and structure of the English and Northern Ireland legal systems is required.
Medical Aspects of the Law (15 credit point module, level M): permits application of the legal structures studied in the previous module to the medical field. The ability to integrate the legal background with medical practice is essential.
Crime Scene Investigation (30 points, level M): introduces the field of medico-legal investigation. Develop the ability to investigate crimes from a forensics point of view and make sound judgements in the absence of complete data. Students will be able to evaluate the process and principles of investigation of crimes and show originality and leadership in the area.
Teaching and Learning Methods The course uses a variety of teaching and learning methods. All teaching is by distance learning using internet-based teaching, multi-media resources, and online group discussion. The distance-learning course is delivered through the world-wide web, and in addition to the course team, distance learners are supported by e-tutors who act as mentors and provide personal and academic guidance.
The course is taught by both lecturers from the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Built Environment at the University of Ulster and by professionals within the field of Forensics such Forensic Medical Officers and staff from the Coroner Office and State Pathology.