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Introduction to Forensic Science

Nanyang Technological University via Coursera

students interested
  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Science
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4-5 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 8 weeks long

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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.

Taught by

Roderick Bates

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Reviews for Coursera's Introduction to Forensic Science
4.3 Based on 15 reviews

  • 5 stars 60%
  • 4 stars 20%
  • 3 stars 13%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 7%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Anonymous
1.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
There are 2 main problems with that course

1. The information is unreliable!

examples:

a. The source that he gives for the Gareth Williams case said exactly the opposite of what he said.

b. He completely misrepresented the George Metesky case.

c. He also gave partial information about blood testing at the scene of a crime - talking only about old methods.

d. In a fictional example that he gives, he tells us that,

the killer threw a bloody weapon that was never found OUT the window (apparently there is no…
2 people found
this review helpful
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Adelyne C
3.0 4 years ago
by Adelyne completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is a great foundation for anyone interested to learn the basics of forensic science, and the assignments are both challenging and interesting. The assignments take a bit of time to think through and work on. I would say the only real downside of this course was the nature of the peer-reviewed assignments, as we were not really given clear instructions e.g. on the structure and how much detail is required, and as a result many people who could have done much better were not happy with the results of their peer assessments.

I also loved the way in which the last week of lectures was not assessed, but the instructor instead went through a range of case-studies CSI style which was a very interesting way to finish off a course on forensic science! Some of the more technical lectures tend to get a little draggy, though the material is presented in a manner that is extremely easy to understand.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Chloe C
5.0 4 years ago
Chloe completed this course.
I have completed this course. This is the first MOOC class I have took. But from what I heard from my peers, they said that this is the best course that they have taken. I agree with them. Prof Bates explain things clearly and simplify some subject that may be difficult for those who don't have more in depth background in chemistry.

No pre-requisites is required, except knowledge of high school science. Prof Bates's occasional humor really helps liven up the dull, and sometimes dry material. So for anyone interested in forensic science, CSI fans? Wants to know more about forensics works? It is highly recommended.

4 people found
this review helpful
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Kristina B
5.0 4 years ago
Kristina is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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. Lectures are clear and notes are presented on screen for easy following. Lots of case studies and additional reading for understanding lectures and connecting them with real life forensics. Looking forward to finishing the course!
3 people found
this review helpful
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Mahnoor K
5.0 4 years ago
Mahnoor is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
this course is extremely interesting and very well presented. prof roderick bates speaks and explains eloquently, you understand everything. the slides are attractive and simple.

do join! have fun!
3 people found
this review helpful
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Michael A
5.0 4 years ago
Michael completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This is the best MOOC class that I have taken. The instructor is incredible. He explains everything and uses videos top show what he is talking about. I recommend this course to anyone interested in forensic science.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Remy C
4.0 6 months ago
by Remy completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I thoroughly enjoyed this MOOC. If you have any interest in forensic science, I can't think of a better place to start than here. There is a lot of fascinating information that's broken down into manageable sections. It can get very technical at some points, but not so much that a beginner couldn't understand.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
James M
3.0 3 years ago
by James is taking this course right now.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Aana A
5.0 3 years ago
Aana completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
0 person found
this review helpful
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Charlie S
4.0 3 years ago
by Charlie completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anastasia B
5.0 3 years ago
by Anastasia completed this course.
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Dawn S
4.0 3 years ago
by Dawn partially completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Francisco J
5.0 2 years ago
Francisco completed this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Magdalena
5.0 3 years ago
Magdalena completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Monica K
5.0 2 years ago
by Monica completed this course.
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  • 1

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