Methods of Natural Sciences in Forensics

Course Code: IF1

ECTS: 15

Course Status:


Number of Effective Classes (Per Week): 5

Theoretical Education:

Practical Training:

Research Study Project:




Prerequisite/s: None

Educational objective: Introducing students with basic forensic identification methods belonging to natural sciences: biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Students master the theoretical and experimental methods of measuring, data processing, computation, presentation and interpretation of results in court obtained in laboratory conditions.

Projected outcome: Students' ability to use appropriate forensic methods for identifying forensic objects themselves (persons, objects and traces), both at the crime scene itself and in the corresponding forensic laboratories (forbiology, chemistry and physics). Students are expected to reach the level of knowledge and skills in order to carry out their own procedures of identification. Understanding the necessity of both experimental and theoretical approach in the use of forensics methods.

Subject contents

Theoretical education: Definition and division of forensics as a scientific field. Division of forensics of natural sciences.Selected methods, techniques andprocedures used in forensic:
BIOLOGY: microscopy of cells and tissues, aseptic technique, cell cultures, collection of biological traces at the sitecrime events, forensic serology methods, DNA isolation, PCR, RT-PCR, fragment analysis and sequencing, statistical processing of results; review of forensic pathology, anthropology, odontology and toxicology.

CHEMISTRY: matter and states of matter; antimatter. Structure and properties of materials (elements, compounds and mixtures); aggregate states; Methods for determining immutable chemical properties of materials (density, viscosity ...). Select and application of analytical methods for the purpose of quantitative and qualitative identification of an unknown sample by naturesample: atomic spectroscopy, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, microscopy, chromatography, immunological tests. Analysis of forensic samples (drugs, inks, paints, pigments, polymers, fibers, etc.). Standard protocols.

PHYSICS: basic physical quantities: basic forces in nature; optical devices and optical elements; mechanical, electrical and thermal devices; detectors and scanners; microscopy, chromatography, spectroscopy and X-ray analysis.

MATHEMATICS: statistics and probability theory; digital forensics; mathematical risk theories.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, video clips, experimental work, demonstrations.

Assessment (Maximum Number of Points: 100)

Pre-Exam Obligations

No. of Points

Final Examination

No. of Points

Active participation in classes


Oral examination


Practical training




Mid-Term tests




Research study





1. Goodwin, W.; Linacre, A.; Hadi, S. An introduction to forensic genetics, (2nd ed.) Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2011

2. Houck, M. M.; Siegel, J. A. Fundamentals of forensic science, Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier / Academic Press, 2006

3. Bell, S. Forensic chemistry, Boston [etc.]: Pearson, 2013

4. James, S. H.; Nordby, J. J.; Starrs, J. E. (eds.). Forensic science: an introduction to scientific and investigative techniques Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2003

5. Meloan, C. E.; James, R. E.; Saferstein, R. Lab manual, Criminalistics, an introduction to forensic science, Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 1998

6. Noon, R. K. Scientific method: applications in failure investigation and forensic science, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2009

7. Adam, C. Essential mathematics and statistics for forensic science, Chichester; Hoboken: Wiley, 2010

8. Aitken, C. G. G.; Taroni, Franco T. Statistics and the evaluation of evidence for forensics scientists, Chichester, England; Hoboken, N. J.: Wiley, 2004