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Introduction to Forensic Science

We have all seen forensic scientists in TV shows, but how do they really work? What is the science behind their work? The course aims to explain the scientific principles and techniques behind the work of forensic scientists and will be illustrated with numerous case studies from Singapore and around the world. Some questions which we will attempt to address include: How did forensics come about? What is the role of forensics in police work? Can these methods be used in non-criminal areas? Blood. What is it? How can traces of blood be found and used in evidence? Is DNA chemistry really so powerful? What happens (biologically and chemically) if someone tries to poison me? What happens if I try to poison myself? How can we tell how long someone has been dead? What if they have been dead for a really long time? Can a little piece of a carpet fluff, or a single hair, convict someone? Was Emperor Napoleon murdered by the perfidious British, or killed by his wallpaper? *For Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students, please be noted that this course will no longer be eligible for credit transfer.

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Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Rating 4.7 based on 116 ratings
Length 9 weeks
Starts Jun 24 (in 5 weeks)
Cost $49
From Nanyang Technological University, Singapore via Coursera
Instructor Roderick Bates
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Science
Tags Life Sciences Biology Basic Science

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What people are saying

We analyzed reviews for this course to surface learners' thoughts about it

forensic science in 19 reviews

There are 2 main problems with that course This course is a great foundation for anyone interested to learn the basics of forensic science, and the assignments are both challenging and interesting.

Professor Bates takes extra time to explain material regarding forensic science, making it simplifed for beginners but also introducing us to more complex fields of work.

If you have any interest in forensic science, I can't think of a better place to start than here.

A very well taught course that explains complex, but at the same time very interesting topics in forensic science.

Special thanks to our professor who's been super good in explaining each and every aspect of this course relating forensic science techniques.

:) Fantastic introduction to the area of Forensic Science!

Good introduction for Forensic Science novices.

I have taken a lot of MOOCs relating to forensic science, but this one was the most in depth.

case studies in 9 reviews

Lots of case studies and additional reading for understanding lectures and connecting them with real life forensics.

great course work.great case studies that make you think.very good course design.i hope there is an intermediate or an advanced course in future relating to field of forensics,Thanking the entire team of University.

The case studies included in the material were very interesting.

I felt the case studies could have been better prepared and more direction given in how to grade the submissions.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, no need to have too much scientific knowledge, just basics, everything is explained incredibly well and the lessons are engaging - especially the case studies.

I've taken many, many Coursera courses and this is one of the best if not the best.Video presentations are given in a straight forward manner with real world case studies that demonstrate application of topic material.

I loved plethora of examples and case studies.

The 2 case studies engaged the students in problem solving and reinforced what they learnt throughout the course.

so much in 6 reviews

It can get very technical at some points, but not so much that a beginner couldn't understand.

Thank you so much Nanyang Tech for proving this opportunity!

very useful and interesting course I have enjoyed this course so much!

I learned a lot, and I understand so much more about how different forensic sciences work.

Wonderfull, I loved so much The course was brilliant I just wish we had been given more mentor, lecturer input and when do we get to know the right answers.

But it is a major challenge - you need to cover so much ground that it's hard to keep focused, to design lectures with acceptable depth of contents without making it run for months.

I will say that the quizzes were challenging to me, but all the answers are in the videos and it tells you by the quiz which sets of videos will be included (under the Weekly Assignments page, anyway) So, in summary the course is great some of the peers not so much, but that's what happens in courses.

roderick bates in 5 reviews

prof roderick bates speaks and explains eloquently, you understand everything.

Lots of effort went into this course by Dr Roderick Bates.

Mr Roderick Bates explains everything very clearly implementing new ideas gradually.

Particularly enjoyed Professor Roderick Bates' informal style and witty comments during the video classes.

Great Course to get some insite on what to expect in U Professor Roderick Bates is a fantastic lecturer.

case study in 5 reviews

I am fascinated by case study involving brain storming.

Many case study examples to illustrate forensic techniques, interesting and inspiring!

Would be better is have more case study shared, but its good enough now.

The material is good, but the format of the case study submission has allowed numerous cases of cheating and plagiarism.

It's human nature - this sort of assignment brings out people's wildest, craziest conspiracy theories, and you cannot show them they're wrong because they'll see evidence for their paranoia everywhere - in their heads of course the professor is an idiot and the case study is wrong and the "official" solution makes no sense.

peer review in 5 reviews

a little better quality control and there needs to be a recourse process for when peer reviewers do not read the rubric correctly and as a result, marks students incorrectly (I never received a reply or help :( ...), hence i had to rate the course 4/5 (fix these and this course is easily a 5!

a really interesting and informing course Excellent course except for the peer review.

Has a few quizzes on materials and a couple of fun peer reviewed assignments where you interpret a crime scene.

good class, watched all the lectures, just won't do peer review.

This course was actually fairly fun and interesting (though I did have some personal problems watching some of the lectures due to my own tolerance, but that's okay; I actually noticed I'm not as affected if I only listen, and it's the audio that's usually important) One major problem with it, though (and I noticed another reviewer on here mentioned this) was with, of course, the peer reviewers.

For the two peer review assignments the "rubric" is just a set of guidelines (and this is stated clearly in BOTH pinned threads on peer reviewing; it's actually the first thing stated in both) so all the complainers do have some reason to flood the discussion forums after seeing how some people grade.


An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

Environmental Scientists $54k

Forensic Liaison $56k

Clinical Lab Scientists $62k

Forensic Scientist 3 4 $66k

Outbreak Response Scientists $72k

Forensic Scientist 2 3 $75k

Forensic Accounting $88k

scientists $88k

Forensic Accountant 4 $93k

Atmospheric Scientists/Physical Oceanographer $103k

Computer Scientists $105k

Senior Research Scientists $164k

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Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Rating 4.7 based on 116 ratings
Length 9 weeks
Starts Jun 24 (in 5 weeks)
Cost $49
From Nanyang Technological University, Singapore via Coursera
Instructor Roderick Bates
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Science
Tags Life Sciences Biology Basic Science

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