NATS 7014 Fingerprint Detection and Identification

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 301132

Coordinator Christopher Lennard Opens in new window

Description This unit aims to provide the student with a detailed understanding of the scientific methodologies applied to the detection, enhancement and identification of fingerprint evidence in a forensic context. The detection methods presented cover all of the current optical, physical and chemical techniques, as well as an insight into new approaches that are likely to have an impact over the next decade. The generally-accepted ACE-V methodology for fingerprint identification is discussed, together with the application of Bayesian statistics that has gained momentum as a preferred assessment method for this form of forensic evidence.

School Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in the Master of Forensic Science, the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science, or the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of general science as obtained via an undergraduate science degree (with completion of chemistry and biology subjects highly recommended).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Synthesise and evaluate information related to the origin and formation of friction ridge skin and the processes that lead to the deposition of fingermarks as potential forensic evidence.
  2. Have an advanced appreciation of the range of fingermark detection and enhancement methods that can be applied to the recovery of fingermark evidence from a range of different surfaces.
  3. Demonstrate expert judgement when formulating a fingermark detection sequence for application on a particular substrate.
  4. Apply fingerprint identification methodologies related to ACE-V and understand the role that Bayesian statistics can play as an interpretation and reporting tool.
  5. Critically assess the contemporary issues related to the operational exploitation of fingerprint evidence.
  6. Describe the origin and formation of friction ridge skin and the process that leads to the deposition of fingermarks as potential forensic evidence.
  7. Appreciate the range of fingermark detection and enhancement methods that can be applied to the recovery of fingermark evidence from a range of different surfaces.
  8. Articulate the recommended fingermark detection sequences depending on the substrate type.
  9. Acknowledge the contemporary issues related to the operational exploitation of fingerprint evidence.

Subject Content

1. Friction Ridge Skin and Fingermark Evidence
2. Light Theory and Optical Detection Methods
3. Fingermark Detection on Non-Porous Surfaces
4. Fingermark Detection on Porous Surfaces
5. Fingermark Detection on Miscellaneous Substrates
6. Novel Approaches to Fingermark Detection
7. Fingerprint Identification Process
8. Issues Related to the Exploitation of Fingerprints and Fingermarks

Teaching Periods

2022 Trimester 2

Online

Online

Subject Contact Christopher Lennard Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window