NNMK13003U Forensic Geobiology

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Biology


Through an intensive two-week summer school, this course will provide students with an overview of various kinds of genetic investigations for individual and species identification in a forensic context. The focus is on forensic genetics and its applications in crime cases, kinship analysis and species determination. The students will also be introduced to the interdisciplinary forensic topics of Entomology, Pathology, Genome Sequencing, Quality Assurance, Geology – Ancient DNA and Soil Analysis, Population Genetics, Human and Vertebrate Anthropology and Botany. The teaching consists of lectures followed by forensic related exercises and research related group assignments. Exercises and group assignments will be evaluated during the course.

The course starts with a brief introduction to Cell Biology, Genetics, Genetic Variation & Regulation and Molecular Biology Techniques, focusing on areas relevant to the forensic applications.

When the course is completed, students will have gained insight and skills regarding the application of the following areas in a forensic context:

  • Individual and species identification
  • STRs and SNPs
  • DNA profiling
  • Population dynamics
  • Heredity & kinship analysis
  • Physical traits
  • Probability calculations in forensic genetics
  • Human crime case investigations
  • Genetic regulation and possible applications in forensics
Learning Outcome


The student will gain knowledge about genetic investigations of individual and species identification in a forensic context.


The student can apply statistical methods used in forensic genetics and describe the methodological advances and research within the different aspects of forensic biology and geology as well as carry out a paternity case evaluation and a crime case evaluation.


After following the course the student will be able to critically assess and analyze forensic data and outline the current baseline for forensic biology and geology investigationsscientifically. The student will also be able to describe the different types of human genetic variations and what makes them useful in a forensic context

Scientific articles, handbooks, manuals and protocols will be available.

BSc degree from the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen or similar.
Knowledge within basic cell biology and genetics.
The summer school will be based on a series of lectures followed by individual and group exercises. Specialist within the specific forensic areas will come and present. Students will be presented to forensic casework examples. A substantial part of the course will be preparation of a group work presented on the last day of the course.
Literature will be provided for self-studies before course-start.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Practical exercises
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Project work
  • 30
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
The portfolio exam consists of the following two part-exams: Evaluation of 1 written report and 1 oral presentations. The evaluation is based on an overall assesment of the two sub-parts.
Exam registration requirements

80% participation and participation in all laboratory excercises.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

As ordinary exam.

The written report can be handed in again unchanged or in a revised form.

If the requirments for registration (80 % participation) is not fulfilled the student must hand in an assignment within a theme of the teachers choice.

If the requirments for registration (participation in all laboratory excercises) is not fulfilled the student must follow the course again next year.



Criteria for exam assesment

See "Learning Outcome".