Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Wildlife Forensics
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 6 x 1 Hour Lectures
Practical 5 x 4 Hour Practicals
Practical 1 x 1 Hour Practical
Workshop 10 x 1 Hour Workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Notebook-supported test task 1 (1 hour)  25%
Semester Assessment Notebook-supported test task 2 (1 hour)  25%
Semester Assessment Laboratory write-up (2000 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate competence in scientific data collection and recording.

2. Handle data in a variety of ways to critically address scientific questions.

3. Competently take notes and record data in a way that will aid subsequent study and allow development of ideas.

4. Apply the scientific method to address practical, real-world problems.

Brief description

This module aims to develop your practical skills, and confidence, in scientific data collection and analysis. You will develop these skills through practical investigation of several forensic scientific problems, and detailed analysis of your data.


Semester 1 will begin with an intensive first week of laboratory exercises during which students will keep a detailed laboratory notebook of their findings. Laboratory exercises will be drawn from areas such as forensic entomology and ecotoxicology. In the remainder of semester 1, students will undertake 10, weekly-scheduled computer room sessions during which they will learn to plot, analyse, and critically appraise data from the laboratory week with staff on-hand to help and provide formative feedback. Data collection, analysis, and notes, will be collated in a laboratory notebook that is designed both as an element of assessment, and to provide a ‘how to’ guide for later stages of study.

Semester 2 will also begin with an intensive first week of laboratory sessions during which students will extract and sequence DNA for the purposes of DNA barcoding. Material will be chosen such that students can investigate problems of wildlife crime or forensic entomology. In the remainder of semester 2, students will meet with their designated tutor bi-weekly to conduct exercises helping them to understand the forensic context and the data collection process.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Data handling is a key theme of this module.
Communication Clear written communication of scientific data, ideas, and techniques will be an element of coursework.
Improving own Learning and Performance The notebook assignment will allow opportunity for reflection, development of ideas, and technical notes that will be useful in future learning.
Information Technology Students will build competence and confidence with standard data handling and graphing tools.
Personal Development and Career planning Not assessed as part of this module, though students will gain an understanding of how scientific skills can be more widely applied to practical problems.
Problem solving Students will collect and analyse scientific data in order to address forensic scientific problems.
Research skills Students will be required to conduct literature research to understand the context of their practical work.
Subject Specific Skills Students will gain familiarity with a variety of practical laboratory techniques.
Team work Not assessed as part of this module, though students will cooperate in teams during practical tasks.


This module is at CQFW Level 4