NATS 2010 Crime Scene Investigation

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 300873

Coordinator Brenden Riley Opens in new window

Description A substantial amount of forensic evidence used in the prosecution of criminal cases is initially established at the crime scene. Recognising, detecting, recovering, preserving and recording this evidence forms a critical function within forensic science and criminal investigation. This unit introduces the student to a range of crime scene practices that provides the knowledge and skill to interpret a complex scene with voluminous detail, into a more specifically targeted range of forensic evidence items. This unit will explore aspects of crime scene investigation including; crime scene processes, recognition of evidence, documentation of crime scenes, evidence detection and enhancement, and maintaining evidence integrity. It also introduces professional practices associated with maintaining evidence integrity and continuity.

School Science

Discipline Forensic Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Pre-requisite(s) NATS 1008 AND
NATS 1003

Equivalent Subjects NATS 2011 - Crime Scene Investigation

Incompatible Subjects NATS 2014 - Evidence Crime Scene Management

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in 3589 Bachelor of Science (Forensic Science), 3562 Bachelor of Science (Advanced Science) (Forensic Science) or MT3022 Forensic Science

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Describe what constitutes the determination of a crime scene.
  2. Articulate the concepts of the CSI Effect within the criminal justice system.
  3. Apply a range of evidence enhancement and preservation methods.
  4. Apply professional practices associated with maintaining evidence integrity and continuity.
  5. Conduct a complete forensic examination of a crime scene.
  6. Apply a range of field-portable equipment and interpret information provided by these techniques in relation to the crime scene.
  7. Report evidence and conclusions from crime scene investigations accurately and correctly in an appropriate format.

Subject Content

1. Crime scene investigation (CSI) principles
2. Scene documentation paradigm involving contemporaneous note taking, sketching and photography
3. Detection, collection and preservation of evidence
4. Documenting identification features in post mortem examinations
5. Application of CSI principles to outdoor scenes
6. Problems that arise from media portrayals of forensic procedures (?eCSI effect?f) within the criminal judicial system
7. Biological evidence
8. Blood reagents and evidence enhancement
9. Presumptive testing of scene evidence, including the use of field-portable equipment


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
Case file / folio for one of the crime scenes conducted during the practicals. Ca. 300 words, written during a 3-hour practical 20 N Both (Individual & Group)
Quiz 30 questions, 2 minutes per question (1 hour in total) 30 N Individual
Simulated crime scene 4 hours 50 Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Sutton, R & Trueman, K (eds) 2009, Crime scene management: scene specific methods, John Wiley, Chichester, West Sussex. (Available as an e-book)

Teaching Periods




Subject Contact Val Spikmans Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window