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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course, Understanding Forensic science, and fingerprints cover how science can make fingerprints easier to study, how they are used in court and some of the questions about the extent to which fingerprint identification is sound and scientific. Students will learn the principles used in classifying and matching fingerprints (often called marks).

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some of the basic facts, language, concepts, and principles relating to the principles and significance of fingerprint matching
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some of the links between forensic science and the legal system
  • Draw together information from different sources and make logical deductions as a result
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how forensic scientists operate and use scientific evidence in a legal context.

Course Curriculum

    • Fingerprints 00:15:00
    • Introduction to fingerprints 00:30:00
    • Fingerprints in identification 00:10:00
    • The use of fingerprints in identification and the classification of fingerprints 00:15:00
    • Certainty and uncertainty in identifications by fingerprint matching 01:30:00
    • Context and potential error in fingerprint analysis 01:00:00
    • The use of new technologies in fingerprint matching 00:40:00
    • The development of latent fingerprints 00:20:00
    • The electromagnetic spectrum 00:30:00
    • Interactions of light and matter 02:00:00
    • Chemical tests 02:40:00
    • Conclusion 00:10:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK