FORENSIC 707A : Project in Forensic Science


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A research essay on an aspect of forensic science.

Course Overview

This is a double semester, 30 point course and will be taken by students who begin the postgraduate diploma in either the first or second semester. A list of possible topics covering many different aspects of forensic science will be distributed to students at the start of the semester. The students will be assigned, essay-specific mentors who provide advice and guidance throughout the course. The mentors are primarily practising forensic scientists. The course requires an essay plan and short presentation of the plan at the end of the first semester in which this course is taken. A final essay of 15 000 words accompanied by a 20 minute presentation is required at the end of the second semester in which this course is taken.

Course Requirements

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: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop critical reading skills centring around appropriate material for the topic. (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of and be able to critically evaluate a specific topic in forensic science (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Apply scientific literature to the issues raised in the selected topic. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  4. Develop large scale writing skills (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Communicate science effectively by way of an oral presentation (Capability 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Demonstrate and apply an awareness of ethical, cultural and equity considerations to their research (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Seminar 10% Individual Coursework
Essay 75% Individual Coursework
Essay Plan 10% Individual Coursework
Essay Plan Presentation 5% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Essay Plan
Essay Plan Presentation

The marks for the essay plan and presentation of the plan, delivered in the first semester of study, are combined with the marks for the seminar and full essay delivered in the second semester of study. For a double semester total of 100%, the plan (10%), essay plan presentation (5%) the seminar (10%) and the essay (75%) are combined.


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of chemical sciences aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.

Tuākana Chemistry runs a range of activities for students enrolled in this class. This includes weekly workshops, social activities, and opportunities to engage with senior students and researchers within the School of Chemical Sciences. Tuākana-eligible students will be added automatically to the Tuākana Chemistry program when they enroll in this course. For more information, please see the Tuākana program website or email

Special Requirements

no special requirements

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. This means 120 hours per semester approximately.

You should factor in reading, thinking, drafting, preparing your presentation and seminar and participating in the class seminars which are usually held over 2 days at ESR in Mt Albert and total around 12 hours.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

As stated above there is an expectation that all students will attend the seminar sessions.

Learning 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.

An initial list of reading and resources will be given to the student by the essay mentor. The mentor will also be available for discussion of the essay structure and content throughout the course. The student should take responsibility for providing their mentors with regular updates at a mutually agreed frequency.

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.

Students value the expertise of their mentors most of whom are practising forensic experts.

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2023 10:52 a.m.