FORENSIC 707A/B : Project in Forensic Science


2020 Semester Two (1205) / 2021 Semester One (1213) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A research essay on an aspect of forensic science.

Course Overview

Students who take this course will be reading and researching a 15000 word essay on an aspect of forensic science. The topic of the essay is selected from a list supplied by the director. Topics are given to the director by forensic science staff at ESR and members of the School of Chemical Sciences; referred to as the essay mentor. If a student wishes to write on a particular subject that interests them, they should discuss the topic with the director to see if it is possible that a research essay could be made from it.

For many students this is one of the largest single pieces of work that they have done, and it provides good practice for those who want to enroll in an MSc degree or some further study.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Permission of Programme Director Restriction: FORENSIC 705 To complete this course students must enrol in FORENSIC 707 A and B, or FORENSIC 707

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate the scientific and other literature relating to a part of forensic science (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  2. Develop an ability to marshal large amounts of information into a coherent piece of work (Capability 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Explain the results of the research in the essay and in a seminar given to the class and lecturers (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Demonstrate writing skills in a large scale project (Capability 3 and 4)
  5. Communicate the essence of the research essay in a 20 minute seminar through careful selection of material from the essay. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay plan 10% Individual Coursework
Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Essay 80% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Essay plan

The essay plan is around 1500 words long, and delivered to the essay mentor at the end of the first semester, and should show that the student has planned the essay appropriately around the topic. The seminar and essay itself are delivered to at the end of the second semester. Hand in dates will be given to the class during the first semester.

Learning Resources

The essay mentor will supply the student with a reading list and guidance as to the p[roject direction at the start of the first semester. A guide to the requirements of the course will be posted on Canvas.

Special Requirements

Delivery of an essay plan and seminar is compulsory.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 1 hours of lecture, attendance at a day of seminars. Careful planning of time is essential so that the workload doesn't jump towards the end of semester 2.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 10/07/2020 11:39 a.m.