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Forensic Investigative Studies

Seneca College Certificate


Overview

Designed specifically for front-line investigations, you'll gain forensic knowledge from recognized experts in their respective fields. Your courses will deliver specialized skills and knowledge for an exciting career in forensic and criminal investigations.

 

Career Opportunities

Enhanced career opportunities as a police officer, police investigator or other public safety professional. Forensic Science has made it possible to detect, investigate and prosecute offences in ways never previously possible. Today, investigators require advanced skill development to match the higher standards set out by the courts. Earn a certificate in Forensic Investigative Studies and set yourself apart in your field.

Entry Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma OR equivalent

Note: To be successful in this program, students should be highly literate in the English language, both written and oral, and possess good analytic skills.


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Curriculum

Required Courses

FRS500
Criminal Law for Forensic Investigators
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This course will introduce students to the Canadian Legal system, including the differences between criminal, provincial and municipal statutes as well as criminal versus civil matters. Participants will also explore the different levels of Ontario trial courts and their operation. Evidence, including forensic evidence, is subject to all the general rules of evidence and is often subject to unique rules of scrutiny. Students will examine the legal procedures governing admissibility of evidence and presentation in a legal proceeding.




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FRS501
Introduction to Forensic Science
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This course provides an overview of the biological and life sciences and their roles in civil and criminal trials. The relationship of crime scene investigators to laboratory examiners is explored and discussed. Learn how to properly approach and preserve a crime scene for the potential evidence gained from biological and chemical specimens, firearms, toolmarks, documents and other sources




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FRS503
Forensic Interviewing I
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The outcome of most investigations usually depends on the information supplied by victims, witnesses and suspects to an investigator. The amount and veracity of this information is of utmost importance. In this course you will learn methods and techniques available for interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects to obtain proper, informative and legal statements that will both aid in the investigation and be acceptable to the court.




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FRS510
Expert Witness Preparation
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Prerequisite(s):

FRS500

In this course you'll learn the usefulness as well as the limitations of forensic evidence in criminal court proceedings, focusing on the basis of its admissibility, relevance, role and importance for expert witness testimony. Students learn how to prepare themselves in and out of court for testifying as an expert witness and to understand their function in providing court evidence. Each student will participate in a particular role in developing, examining or cross-examining Crown or defense expert witnesses during the trial of an accused charged with First Degree Murder.




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Elective Courses

FRS502
Forensic Anthropology - Rural Crime Scenes
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This course demonstrates how the principles of forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology are used in the positive identification of human beings. The theories and methodologies employed in the examination of human skeletal remains can determine such identifying traits as racial affinity, sexual morphology, stature, chronological age at time of death, elapsed time since death, and socio-economic status. Such identification is explored during lectures and in hands-on application in the lab. In the field component of the course, working groups are required to process a crime scene from start to finish, including: initial scene analysis, gridding, measuring, recording, screening, excavation and recovery of the remains, concluding with a de-briefing session and presentation




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FRS504
Forensic Behavioural Science
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In this course students will learn about the nature of sexual, violent and serial crime as well as the investigative challenges associated with these types of crime. Behavioural science-based methods used by police in the pursuit of criminal offenders - such as linkage analysis, psychological profiling, and geographic profiling - are explored and assessed here.




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FRS505
Forensic Video Technologies
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This course provides students with an introduction to the evidentiary value of both analog and digital security video evidence. It explores the proliferation of video cameras in today's society and demonstrates how investigators take advantage of this powerful source of evidence. Students will discover contemporary video surveillance technologies and techniques through practical exercises and will also interpret relevant Court decisions and how they affect Forensic Video Technologies. Investigators are challenged to look for video at every crime scene, taught how to seize and manage it, and how to apply proper rules of evidence in order to protect it for court.




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FRS507
Geographic Profiling I
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In this course you'll learn the theory, methodology and mathematical concepts in support of geographic profiling. Crime-pattern theory, mental maps, crime hunting area concepts and supporting technology are essential tools for profiling.




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FRS508
Forensic DNA Evidence for Investigators
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The use of evidence has a profound impact on criminal investigations, resulting in a more reliable identification of criminals as well as the establishment of innocence of accused persons. This course provides students with knowledge about DNA legislation within the Criminal code, practical aspects of DNA science including sources of DNA, how to acquire warrants for obtaining samples and ensure their validity in court, the National DNA data bank as well as current case law and legal issues.




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FRS509
Principles & Methods in Fingerprint Identification
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This course introduces students to the history of fingerprints as it relates to individualization; friction skin development; how to obtain a proper set of known fingerprint impressions; the Henry Classification System and the Auto-Class Classification System; fingerprint individualization with emphasis on Ridgeology; palm print individualization including the use of palmar flexion creases; procedures utilized in crime scene examination and recovery of fingerprints; chemical techniques for fingerprint detection. The Identification of Criminals Act and the role of the expert witness in the Canadian court system are also covered.




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FRS512
Cybercrime
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Hacking, identity theft, espionage, online surveillance, email fraud and digital terrorism are some of the cybercrimes you will learn about in this course. Crime and acts of terrorism committed using computers, networks and the Internet require their own sophisticated and ingenious forensic investigations. Both technical and social issues related to cybercrime are covered. Current criminological theories are examined and applied to digital crimes. Technical aspects are explored, including malware and information and security protection. Learn the origins and extent of the cybercrime problem globally, as well as solutions that combat it.




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FRS513
Aircrash Recovery
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This course is designed to introduce students to the inter-agency cooperation, involvement and problems encountered by first responders to mass disaster scenes. The field component will involve various aspects of the recovery, mapping and processing of a mid-air crash scenario of two medium-size commuter jets. This component involves the pedestrian search, the identification of aircraft components, personal effects and human remains. Students will work in teams to properly identify, recover, map, photograph and process this overwhelming scene and learn to overcome the problems typically encountered. The course incorporates the perspectives of the Tri-Services: EMS, Police and Fire Services.




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FRS514
Introduction to Forensic Health Sciences
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Forensic health care and forensic nursing are cutting-edge concepts in medical care. This course provides health care professionals and others with an introduction to the forensic health sciences and how they apply to clinical practice in Canada. The Criminal Code and provincial and federal laws pertaining to the care of victims of trauma, crime and violence are central topics of discussion. Sexual assault, death investigation, child maltreatment, elder abuse, interpersonal violence and legal consulting are considered with respect to the forensic roles and responsibilities of care professionals.




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FRS515
Wounds and Blunt Force Trauma
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The term "living forensics" refers to that part of forensic science that applies to the living patient in the resolution of legal issues. In this course students learn the medical, scientific and forensic principles relevant to the forensic health care of living patients. The course will focus on assessment, documentation and evaluation of blunt and sharp injuries, gunshot wounds, thermal injuries, decubitus ulcers, homicide and suicide events and motor vehicle trauma.




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FRS516
Forensic Wound and Trauma Assessment
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Students take 4 mandatory courses and 6 electives to complete the Certificate.

Program Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Act in a manner consistent with all relevant legislation and professional, organizational and ethical standards.
  2. Accurately gather and record relevant information related to a variety of offences investigated.
  3. Analyze, synthesize and evaluate the relevance of information obtained through advanced forensic techniques.
  4. Accurately and fully apply knowledge of specialized forensic techniques to the investigation and prosecution of offences.

Graduation/Convocation

When you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a certificate, diploma, or degree, you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the graduation and alumni fee. Certificates, diplomas, and applied degrees are issued twice a year in the Fall (October) and Spring (June).

For further information including deadlines and fees, please visit the  Convocation website or contact the Convocation Office at 416-491-5050 ext. 77461.

Program Contacts

Contact us via this form or using the phone number(s) below it.





Marianne Tang
Program Assistant

416.491.5050 x22536


Dedra Profitt
Program Coordinator

416.491.5050 x22826