CULT 2016 Evidence and Investigation

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102691

Coordinator John Edwards Opens in new window

Description This unit provides an overview of police investigations with a specific focus on understanding the interaction of police powers and the investigative process. The unit will build on knowledge of the common criminal offences covered in the unit 'Criminal Law for Policing' and outline the investigative process through scenario-based case studies. The unit will refer to both NSW and Commonwealth legislation, and examine the role of the courts in applying the rules of evidence to determine its reliability to be admitted as evidence at a trial. The unit will examine the impact of technological change and forensic science on the traditional investigative process, and provide students an introduction to research into the organisation, processes and governance of Investigative Units.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Criminology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects JUST 2005 - Criminal Investigations

Incompatible Subjects CULT 2006 - Evidence Investigations and Police Intelligence

Assumed Knowledge

An understanding of the basic criminal law offences in the Crimes and Summary Offences Act and Criminal Code Act (Cwlth), to allow non-Policing students to enrol in this subject as an elective without otherwise having to seek a rule waiver by the specification of a prerequisite subject.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Explain and utilise a range of investigative practices.
  2. Apply relevant legislation to the investigative process.
  3. Identify the role and limits of police powers and their interaction with the investigative process.
  4. Compare and contrast reliable and unreliable evidence and the role of the courts to evidence gathered by investigators.
  5. Describe the organisation, processes and governance of different investigative models.

Subject Content

The process of criminal investigation and the scientific method, including the impact of modern technological advances on the investigative process across a range of jurisdictions.
Police powers of search and the rules of evidence as enacted by the Law Enforcement (Powers & Responsibilities) [LEPRA] Act.
The different sources and types of evidence applied by police in accordance with the Evidence Act NSW.
Models of investigation.
International co-operation in investigation of transnational crime.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Professional Task - Complete police statements as a Brief of Evidence 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Literature Review - Students will select a topic area of interest from the lectures and locate five relevant resources and to explain that material 1,000 words 30 N Individual
Essay - Review an investigation and answer a question in essay format 1,500 words 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods


Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact John Edwards Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window



Subject Contact John Edwards Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window