NATS 7001 Advanced Criminalistics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 301151

Coordinator Mark Williams Opens in new window

Description This subject is designed to provide an in-depth knowledge of the following eight evidence categories: glass, textile fibres, paint, fire debris, explosives, firearm discharge residues, illicit drugs, and hair. Each stand-alone module introduces the evidence type and its forensic significance, details the relevant distinguishing and discriminating characteristics for the trace material in question, presents the analytical techniques commonly applied in the criminalistics laboratory, and discusses data interpretation and evidential value. The subject is unique in terms of its coverage of these trace evidence categories from an operational forensic science perspective.

School Science

Discipline Forensic Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) None


Students must be enrolled in 3741 Master of Forensic Science, 3742 Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science or 3743 Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Describe each evidence category in terms of general characteristics and how the material may be encountered in a criminal investigation
  2. Appreciate the variations in physical and chemical properties that can be used to characterize samples from each evidence category
  3. Recognize the importance of transfer and persistence phenomena for each trace evidence type
  4. Understand the range of analytical techniques that can be applied within the criminalistics laboratory and the information generated by each technique
  5. Describe recommended evidence collection methods and analytical sequences appropriate for each evidence category
  6. Understand the difficulties associated with the interpretation of analytical results for each evidence type and recognize the factors that can impact on relative evidential value

Subject Content

Module 1 Glass
Module 2 Textile Fibers
Module 3 Paint
Module 4 Fire Debris Analysis
Module 5 Explosives
Module 6 Firearm Discharge Residues
Module 7 Illicit Drugs
Module 8 Paper, Inks and Toners


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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Final Exam Essay 1400 words 100 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Florida Term 3 (2023)



Subject Contact Mark Williams Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Uni of Florida - Term 3 (2024)



Subject Contact Mark Williams Opens in new window

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