Crime Scene Investigation
PHA 6935 Crime Scene Investigation


This is a 3-credit course.


A substantial amount of forensic evidence used in the prosecution of criminal cases is initially established at the crime scene. Recognising, detecting, recovering, preserving and recording this evidence forms a critical function within forensic science and criminal investigation. This course explores the main aspects of crime scene investigation, including: crime scene processes, recognition of evidence, documentation of crime scenes, evidence detection and enhancement, maintaining evidence integrity, and bloodstain pattern analysis. It also covers professional practices associated with evidence handling and case file management.

This course is taught by Western Sydney University as part of a collaborative venture between the University of Florida and Western Sydney University, Australia.


Please review our recommended course order.


module topic
Module 1 Crime Scene Principles
Module 2 Role of the Crime Scene Examiner
Module 3 Crime Scene Photography
Module 4 Fingerprints and DNA Evidence
Module 5 General Physical Evidence
Module 6 Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Module 7 Specialized Scene Examinations
Module 8 Case File Management and Report Writing

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the general approach to crime scene examination.
  • Appreciate the range of evidence types that may be present at a crime scene and describe appropriate search, recovery and preservation methods for each evidence type.
  • Articulate the requirements of good crime scene photography and case file management practices.
  • Understand the importance of professional practices associated with maintaining evidence integrity and continuity.
  • Report evidence and conclusions from crime scene investigations accurately and in an appropriate format.

Required Materials

There is no single recommended text for this course. Helpful textbooks include:

  • Fisher BAJ & Fisher DR, Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation, Eighth Edition, 2012, CRC Press, ISBN 9781439810057.
  • Sutton R, Trueman K & Moran C (Editors), Crime Scene Management: Scene Specific Methods, Second Edition, 2016, Wiley, ISBN 9781119180906.

Library Access

Distance Education and UF Online Students enjoy the same library privileges as on-campus students.
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