Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Forensic Geobiology

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsibles
  • Anders Johannes Hansen (8-464f4d6673786a734578737233707a336970)
  • Maria Asplund (9-6773677976727b746a4679747334717b346a71)
  • The Natural History Museum of Denmark
Course number: NNMK13003U

Course content

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

Recommended prerequisites

BSc degree from the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen or similar.
Knowledge within basic cell biology and genetics.


Literature will be provided for self-studies before course-start.

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MSc Programme in Biology


Study Board of Biology and Animal Science

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Maria Asplund, Peter Johansen, Anders Johannes Hansen



Week 34-35, 2 weeks, 5 days a week, 9am-5pm.
---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

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.






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


Category Hours
Preparation 100
Lectures 50
Practical exercises 26
Project work 30
English 206


Type of assessment

The portfolio exam consists of the following two part-exams:
Evaluation of written reports.
Oral presentations.
The evaluation is based on an overall assesment of the two sub-parts.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

passed/not passed

Criteria for exam assessment

In accordance with the learning outcomes.

Censorship form

No external censorship
Several internal examiners.


The written sub-parts of the ordinary exam 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.



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