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GAP3049 - Geoforensics

Module Content

The module covers the application of geoscience to criminal investigations. The range of geoscience disciplines will range from the macro- to the micro and will all centre on physical geography.

Learning Outcomes

Application of new and routine geoscience techniques to aspects of geography that the students will not have encountered before. They will thus gain an understanding of the importance of precise field recording and multi-disciplinary approaches to problem-solving. Upon completion of the module, the successful student will be able to: understand the range of geoscience techniques applied to criminal, humanitarian and environmental legal investigations; argue for the appropriate use of techniques in different (macro to micro, environment-specific) investigations; stand by their decisions and results in a legal framework: to have notes examined, their observations questioned and their arguments countered; provide evidence of the historical and scientific background to their arguments; present their Geoforensic skills in both a technical, detailed manner and transpose this to an easy to understand synopsis, such as presented to a jury.


Dr. Alastair Ruffell (convenor)

(T: taught; P: practiced; A: assessed)

Subject specific skills

T, P, A landscape interpretation; T remote sensing; T geophysics; T, P, A best practice in note-taking and recording.

Key skills

P, A generating arguments based on hard data, presented in support of succinct arguments; P, A. questioning assumptions.

Employability skills

P. debating (including legal issues); T, P, A. precise recording for auditing, assessing, stock-taking; T, P, A landscape interpretation for planning.



Supplementary notes

It will be assumed that students taking this module are familiar with and understand the material addressed in GAP1007 and either GGY2031 or GAP2030. Students who have not taken these modules are advised to undertake the necessary additional preparation prior to taking this module.


 Exam (180 minutes)
 Class Test