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Tag Archives: course-ITFS

Introduction to Forensic Science Certificate

A few months ago I took a Forensic Science course for the sake of research. As you may remember, and I was a bit disappointed that I could not get any kind of certification from it. However, as I took another course from the same platform, I saw that statements of participation had been made available, so I decided to buy myself one, even if at first I had decided not to. And here it is:


It is not the most impressive thing, let’s all keep in mind that the course was a MOOC from FutureLearn, an online platform that cannot guarantee you’re you. So nothing really… proving of any knowledge. I did the course because it played in Scotland close to where Victim #14 happens, so I thought it would be cool to have some background on the actual forensics that would take place in Scotland. The course was not bad – and hey, free + the 27 pounds this cost, so quite cool.


Introduction to Forensic Science MOOC

strathclyde_shieldAfter the Historical Fiction MOOC, I snooped around for some other courses, and stumbled into FutureLearn, who offered an Introduction to Forensic Science , from the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow.

I was quite thrilled to find this as you might remember Victim #14 happens in Glasgow, and has a police plot. I thought that it would be interesting to have an insider on how Forensic Science works in the UK.

The course ran over six weeks, covering:

  • Principles and practice of Crime Scene Investigation
  • Fingerprints
  • Blood Pattern Analysis and DNA
  • Footwear and toolmark impression evidence
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Forensic Science as the “Silent Witness”

The MOOC covered some theory along with a “case study” to illustrate the lessons, where a culprit needed to be identified. It had videos and discussions, and some fun activities to do.

The course is not bad in itself, and I can deal with the Scottish accent pretty well. However, by the fourth week I decided that reading the video transcripts was much more productive than listening to the videos, except in the case study where the images were better to play along.

Procedure-wise it was interesting, as it covers a few aspect that investigation in the UK differs from what we’re used to see in US series and films, and I want to adapt a few things in Victim #14. Science-wise was not too bad, either.

All in all it was a good entertaining for six weeks, a couple of hours a week. The course promised an on-screen participation statement which you can see to the right (click for bigger) and which was rather disappointing. It cannot be used to prove anything, as it has no name on it anywhere. When you print it, it looks even worse, as those are just formatted letters. It does not bother me that much as I am doing it for fun but… really? That is ugly. And useless. And just tries to force into buying a printed certificate…

And don’t be impressed by those 100%s, the tests were easy and could be taken with the notes anyway.