Introduction to Forensic Science

Introduction to Forensic Science is an online course offered by Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. The course is intended for individuals who have an interest in forensic science but have yet to receive any formal training or education in the field. There is no fee to enroll in the course; however, students requiring a Verified Certificate of Completion will be assessed a small fee.

Presented through a series of videos, Introduction to Forensic Science is taught entirely in English. Greek subtitles are featured in the videos. In addition to the videos, students will be given a number of readings to complete during each unit of the 8-week-long course. To be successful in the class, students will need to spend about 4 to 5 hours per week completing the readings and watching the videos. Graded assignments and case studies are given at the end of some units. Those who receive passing grades on all assignments will pass the course.

Through Introduction to Forensic Science, students will learn what is truly involved in forensic science. The course seeks to present a realistic view of the field, which is often glamorized and dramatized on television shows. The course is divided into eight units: Information/Introduction, Chemical Analysis in Forensic Science; Time of Death and Blood; DNA in Forensics; Fingerprinting, Polymers, Fibres and Firearms; Narcotics; Toxicology and Case Studies. At the conclusion of the course, students will be in a good position to continue on with more advanced classes related to forensic science.

Take a scenic trip behind the scenes of a forensic scientist as you uncover and explore the scientific principles and techniques behind the work of a forensic scientist. The course, developed by Nanyang Technological University, uses case studies from Singapore and other parts of the world, to help students dive deeper into the world of forensics and what it pertains.

The course outline strives to answer frequently asked questions, such as:

  • How did forensics come about?
  • What is the role of police officers in forensics?
  • Can these methods also be used in non-criminal areas?
  • What is blood and how can traces of it be found and used as evidence?
  • How powerful is DNA?
  • What happens – biologically and chemically – if someone is poisoned?
  • How you determine how long a body has been dead?
  • Can you use a piece of fluff or a single hair to convict someone?

This 8 week course will be given in English, with the option of Greek subtitles. Course schedules are flexible and students are given 180 days of full course access and certificate eligibility, upon payment. Students are required to pass all graded assignments in order to successfully complete the course. You will not be penalised for missing deadlines, as long as you earn your certificate within the 180 days. Each course features pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects. You are also able to connect with thousands of other learners with whom you may discuss course material and debate ideas. This course is taught by Roderick Bates, Associate Professor in the Division of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Introduction to Psychology

Introduction to Psychology is an online course offered by the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. The class provides a broad introduction to the social science of psychology and provides an overview into the human mind and human behavior. An introductory course, the class is open to everyone regardless of educational background and work experience.

The coursework for Introduction to Psychology is presented through videos with all instruction in English. Supplemental readings are assigned to broaden students’ knowledge and reinforce the concepts shared in the videos. To watch the entire series of videos, students will need to invest roughly 18.5 hours of study time. The class is broken into the following modules: Welcome and Orientation to the Course; History & the Scientific Method; The Matter of the Mind; Sensation, Perception, Attention and Awareness; Learning; Memory; The Social Mind; Mental Illness; and Videos by Request. It is recommended that students complete one unit per week.

After completing the first nine modules of Introduction to Psychology, students will be given a comprehensive final exam that draws from all of the modules. The exam is intended to assess how well students have retained and mastered the course material. In addition to the exam, students will be given a peer assessment assignment and will be required to write a paper that links the topics covered by the class to world events. Those who pass the exam and the two culminating assignments will successfully pass the course. A Certificate of Completion is available for a small fee.

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation is an online course offered by The Open University of FutureLearn. The class can be beneficial for anyone who has an interest in psychology or criminal investigation or who is already employed in one of these fields. As an introductory course, the class has no educational prerequisites or work experience requirements.

Taught through a series of videos and supplemental readings, Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation lasts for 8 weeks. Students will need to invest roughly 3 hours of study time per week to be successful in the class. There is no fee to register for the course and receive access to the materials for up to 10 weeks. For a $79 fee, students receive lifetime access to the course, extra tests to assess learning and a verified Certificate of Achievement upon passing the class.

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation covers the basics of interviewing and investigating witnesses. By the end of the course, students will understand the psychology behind eyewitness testimony and the mistakes that the human brain can make due to the limitations of cognition. The class also explores how these limitations can lead to miscarriages of justice, such as innocent people being found guilty of crimes. Students will learn how eyewitness testimony contributes to criminal investigation. In addition, the class helps students develop the skills required to investigate crimes and to properly evaluate eyewitness testimonies. Witness memory, inattentional blindness, facial recognition and visual identification are among the topics covered during the 8-week class.

The Open University offers students with an eye for detail and a passion for psychology and criminal forensics the opportunity to discover how psychology can help to obtain evidence from eyewitnesses during police investigations. This critical component of criminal investigations relies heavily on careful witness questioning, eyewitness testimony, as well as the cognitive skills of police officers on duty.

The course uses videos of real witnesses as an aide to help students understand the psychology of eye witness evidence. It covers topics such as:

  • Eyewitness Testimony
  • Witness Memory
  • Interviewing Witnesses
  • Facial Recognition
  • Visual Identification and Inattentional Blindess
  • Observation of Criminal Incidents.

The course duration is for 8 weeks and students are expected to dedicate 3 hours of their time per week. At the end of the course, you should be able to investigate the psychology of eyewitness testimony and be able to understand it. You will develop your own investigative skill, which you are then able to grow and strengthen as you delve deeper into the field. You will be able to explore human cognition which helps one to discover errors that the human brain makes. The course will also enable you to discuss and unpack the various elements of criminal investigation and will help you to explore and consider the relationship between miscarriages of justice and limitations of the human brain.

The course instructors are Graham Pike, a psychologist and Professor of Forensic Cognition at the OU, and Zoe Walkington, a psychologist and senior lecturer in the school of Psychology at the Open University.

Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science

Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification is an online course offered by the University of Dundee in Australia. The course is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about forensic science and how scientists work to identify bodies and uncover cause of death. An introductory class, the course has no educational or work experience prerequisites. Because the course deals with a case study, some content may be distressing to some individuals, particularly young students.

Lasting for 6 weeks, Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification is taught entirely online through a series of videos. Students should expect to spend roughly 4 hours per week on the course material. The course is offered free of charge, but a fee is required to receive a certificate of completion at the end.

At the start of Identifying the Dead: Forensic Science and Human Identification, students are presented with a scenario where unidentified human remains have been discovered. Each week, a new aspect of the case is explored and students will learn about human identification, forensic anthropology and archaeology, craniofacial identification and anatomical science. Students will continue to acquire data in the same way that forensic examiners do.

During the final week of the course, students will have a chance to explain the cause of the trauma, identify the victim using biological testing and create a facial reconstruction just like a real forensic scientist. Students will receive a murder mystery penned by best-selling crime novelist Val McDermid at the end of the class.

Learn how to examine human remains and determine the victim’s identity in this free online course, compiled by the University of Dundee. The class is set on a fictional scenario based on a story written by Val McDermid, an international best-selling crime novelist.

The 6 week programme requires 4 hours of dedication per week. It offers students a journey through the world of forensic anthropology, and gives them the tools needed to thoroughly examine human remains. The fictional scenario will have you documenting and attempting to explain evidence of trauma found on the remains; identifying the victim through biological profiling and undertaking facial reconstruction week-by-week as the case will unfold.

Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Human identification
  • Forensic anthropology and archaeology
  • Craniofacial identification
  • The study of the human body

Taught by experts from the University of Dundees award winning Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, this course offers students hands on learning opportunities that will have them evaluating case information and using it to piece together clues to the victim’s identity.

The identity is revealed at the end of the final week. Students are encouraged to continue on the fictional journey with the character by purchasing an ebook copy of the specially written murder mystery. By the end of this course, students are able to explore principles of human identification as well as location, excavation and the examination of a clandestine burial. They are also able to apply knowledge to trauma analysis of a recovered body, and will be able to contribute to the biological identification of a body.

Forensic Science

The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, offers students an opportunity to explore the foundations of forensic science. This includes unravelling concepts of crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case.

This 6 week course requires students to log in for atleast 3 hours per week. It addresses the four main types of evidence namely, drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence. These will be discussed in depth, through a fictional case-based scenario: A murder set on the shores of Loch Lomond. The case will unfold each week, tackling different types of evidence at play, as well as the forensic science approaches that may be used. The identity of the murderer is revealed in the final week.

The course tackles topics such as:

  • Exploring the methods underpinning forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case
  • Examining the four major evidence types: drugs of abuse, DNA, firearms and impression evidence
  • Learning how the initial crime scene is processed
  • Reviewing various types of evidence, including drugs of abuse, fingerprints, DNA, footwear marks and firearms
  • Formulating (and defending) opinions on the case, based on your evaluation of the evidence

The course will help you to understand and describe fundamental principles needed in situations where forensic science is involved. It will help you to summarise the basic principles of crime scene investigation. It will also explain the theory of fingerprints, blood pattern analysis, DNA footwear and tool mark impression evidence, and drugs of abuse in the context of Forensic Science.

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination

Discover the world of fraud, cyber-crime and money laundering through this in depth course created by West Virginia University. This 5 week programme will help you to understand what fraud is, how it is committed and how to catch criminals in the act.

Students are expected to dedicate 3 to 5 hours per week to the class, and all graded assignments must be passed in order to complete it. The weekly outlines are titled:

  • The accidental fraudster

This tackles the basic elements of fraud and how even the most well-intentioned people find themselves in the middle of committing the criminal act of fraud

  • The predator fraudster

This class deals with protecting your organisation against fraud. It also gives students the tools to detect and prevent predator fraudsters

  • Big data, Benford’s Law and financial analytics

Students are taught how to do data analysis, Benford analysis and other inquiry’s that help to identify fraudulent activities

  • Cyber-crime and money laundering: Contemporary tools and techniques

This class serves as an introduction to money laundering and teaches about the various stages of laundering and the basic techniques used

  • Whistleblowing

The importance of “whistleblowing” and the difficulty and challenges a whistleblower will go through

The course work will be presented via video by qualified experts in the field. Dr Richard Riley is a Distinguished Professor of Public Accounting. Dr Richard Dull is an Associate Professor and also specialised in Accounting. John Gill is the Vice President of Education at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

The University of Leicester has compiled an exciting course on forensic sciences and how the police can use the art of forensics in criminal investigations. With major advances in technology and the scientific contributions to law relating to9 forensics, the criminal justice system has largely been affected and improved. New processes and developments make it easier for law officials to obtain detailed information when investigating a crime scene. It also helps them to get more accurate results that help with both identifying criminals and exonerating those that are innocent.

The practice of forensic science is a controversial one since there has been scepticism about the reliability of some of the forensic science practices and its interpretation in the courtroom.  This course deals with these implications and gives the student a broader understanding of how forensic science can be used in the courtroom as well as a look at the future of forensic science. It also offers students a better understanding of the historical context of forensic science and other controversies surrounding things like biometric databases and the portrayal of forensic science in popular media (The CSI effect).

This free, 6 week course requires atleast 2 hours of screen time per week. Interested students must have an awareness of science and how it assists police investigations. The class is taught by Dr John Bond and Dr Lisa Smith. Both teachers are Senior Lecturers at the University of Leicester. They have an extensive research background and both boast years of experience in Forensic Science and Criminology. Certificates are available upon completion.

Forensic Facial Reconstruction – Finding Mr X

In this course, The University of Sheffield teaches students the various forensic techniques of facial reconstruction. Based on a fictional setting, this 2 week course encourages students to solve the mystery of a badly decomposed body found in a bag, on an industrial estate in the north of Sheffield.

Students are pressed to uncover details about the person, why and how they died and all the events surrounding the death. By applying forensic science techniques used to identify the body and understand the circumstances surrounding the death, students learn from experts and help to determine the identity of Mr X. The topics covered are:

  • An introduction to Forensic Anatomy
  • Analyses of a skull to determine sex and ethnicity
  • Circumstances under which facial reconstruction is necessary
  • Key muscle groups of the face and the order in which they are applied to a skull in a facial reconstruction
  • How facial reconstruction methods relates to the broader field of forensic work

Students will be given the tools needed to summarise the context and applications of facial reconstruction and identify basic information about a body based on the skeleton and skull. Students will also be able to describe and accurately identify the key muscle groups of the face, at the end of this course.

The course will be taught by Katherine Linehan, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield and Lead Academic in Human Anatomy at the university’s Department of Biomedical Science. The University of Sheffield is well known for its teaching and research excellence and is one of the world’s top 100 universities.

Investigation of Water Related Deaths and Forensic Evidence

Students preparing to become a Forensic Professional can learn more about water related deaths and how to relate forensic evidence to it, through an online course on Udemy.

Interested students must have a keen interest in crime scene investigation and a basic knowledge and general interest of the importance of forensic evidence.

Students will gain the following upon completion of the course:

  • They will be able to add the training hours to their resume
  • They will gain knowledge on the various types of drowning
  • They will be able to identify the various biological changes that affect a victim’s body in the event of a water related death
  • They will understand the challenges and process related to water forensics
  • They will become familiar with common terminology that is related to water related deaths
  • They will also become acquainted with the investigative techniques and how to apply them
  • They will be able to identify pathological findings that is associated to water deaths
  • They will also gain experience needed for entry level forensic positions

The lectures will include expert testimony from a professional who has experience working in water related deaths. It will also give students access to downloadable material. The resource titled A Guide for Manner of Death Classification is a 30 page guide that will offer insight on how drowning deaths are classified.

The course features over 10 supplemental pieces of material and 28 lectures. Please note: some of the imagery used may be graphic and/or disturbing. By registering for this course you acknowledge and accept the above notice.

Terri Armenta Forensic Training Unlimited: 10 Ways to Get the Forensic Job You Want

Udemy offers insight that will help you stand out from other forensic job candidates. Learn how to get the forensic job you want and how to get the upper hand when applying to forensic jobs, by partaking in one of the 4 courses offered. Tackle topics such as Resume, Job Marketing and how to navigate and thrive on LinkedIn. The courses on offer (more than 20) deal with Forensic Science, Death Investigations and Crime Scene Investigations. Students who enrol will enjoy the benefits of:

  • A Certificate of Completion which serves as a way to prove your knowledge in the field and will set you apart from other candidates
  • Expert tips from professionals who have worked in the field
  • Career worksheets that work as guidance, helping you create your own forensic career pathway.
  • Implementable strategy that will direct you when it comes to setting up that resume and submitting it to the right agency.

The 39 lectures contain information relating to topics such as:

  • Forensic Career vs Forensic Job
  • The world of Forensic Science
  • Forensic career paths: Different career disciplines and CSI duties
  • Backup Plan
  • Volunteer: Getting experience in different situations and settings
  • Your resume: Summarizing your experience and expertise
  • Professional forensic organizations

The course is taught by Udemy Instructor and University Professor, Terri Armenta of Forensic Training Unlimited. Terry is also a Forensic Career Coach. She has been teaching for more than 15 years and has extensive knowledge and experience in the Forensic Science, Criminal Investigations and Criminal Justice arena’s