If you want to develop your knowledge of Criminalistics so that you can embark on a rewarding career or you are already working in a related field and want to improve your career prospects, then the Distance Learning Criminalistics Diploma course is for you.
Criminalistics is the forensic science of analysing and interpreting evidence using natural sciences. Forensic science pertains to all sciences applied to legal problems and Criminalists use the science of criminalistics to help solve crimes. They examine and identify any physical evidence to reconstruct a crime scene and physical evidence they gather, may be anything: evidence so small that a microscope is needed to see it, or as large as a truck. It may be as subtle as a whiff of a flammable gas at an arson scene or as obvious as a pool of blood found at a murder scene. The enormous range of material challenges the ingenuity of the criminalist who examines and identifies hair, fibres, blood, seminal and body fluid stains, alcohol, drugs, paint, glass, botanicals, soil, flammables, and safe insulating material; restores smeared or smudged markings; and identifies firearms and compares bullets. Criminalists use this physical evidence to enable them to provide a link between a suspect and the victim. The transfer of clothing fibres or hair fibres between a suspect and the victim can provide an invaluable link. Fingerprints, bullets, and shoe impressions are other important links that can be found.
It is not possible for a single person to become proficient in the examination and analysis of all types of physical evidence and increasingly, criminalists and other workers in forensic science laboratories are specialising in the examination of one or a few types of physical evidence rather than all of them. As an example, forensic biologists analyse the biological or genetic properties of evidence, trace evidence analysts identify material that is transferred between two objects and determine its origin, and firearms and tool mark experts examine firearms, ammunition components, and tools and marks left by them.
Although not strictly speaking, a component of criminalistics, a module on psychological evidence has been included in this course. This is because the input for the discipline of forensic psychology is heavily dependent on the output of criminalistics.
At the beginning of each module is detailed guidance of the evidence against which the students’ work will be assessed. It is essential that the students make constant reference to this guidance as they progress through each module to ensure you have a thorough understanding.
The final module is a reference and data file. It is possible for the student to obtain a bare pass in the course using only the course material and the material contained in the reference and data file. This file also points the student to further reading and websites which will assist in further research and allow the student to evidence independent enquiry and creative thinking, thereby securing a more creditable pass.