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Criminology and Forensics

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These free resources are organised into categories aligned to the College of Policing Curriculum and in agreement with police experts. You can study them at any time and anywhere.

Select the duration of study below and you will be taken to resources that match that duration

An hour or less of study 1-7 Hours of study More than 7 hours of study


An hour or less of study

Doing prison: Experiences of women in the UK prison system

Ethnographic research is concerned with the lived experiences of participants’ in different social groups or settings, and has been central to sociological understandings of imprisonment since the 1940s. Over eight months in 2007-8, Abigail Rowe conducted an ethnographic study in two UK women’s prisons, spending time exploring the experiences of female prisoners. This article shares some of her findings.
Type of activity: Learning resource

Finding the Truth

Have you watched enough CSI to know what constitutes as good forensic evidence? Are you a believer of 'don't do the crime if you can't do the time'? How much do you know about workplace accidents? Or perhaps you have other beliefs about the criminal justice system and want to find out more? Step into three very different and immersive stories to find out what you really know about crime.
Type of activity: Learning resource

The science behind forensics

The impression often given from TV detective programmes like Silent Witness, or Waking the Dead, that forensic science can unlock the story behind every crime. In this article Allan Jamieson, Director of the Forensic Institute, Glasgow, says “Forensic science is just recent archaeology”, and explains how the same science can solve recent crimes and shed light on the past.
Activity type: Learning resource

What is forensic science?

We've all seen CSI, but what exactly is forensic science? Forensic science, or forensics, is the application of science to establish how historical events occurred and thereby provide impartial evidence that can be used in a court of law. In this article, Dr Martin Bootman, Reader in Life Science Research at The Open University, provides and explanation an overview of forensic science.
Activity type: Learning resource

Why people buy counterfeit brands

A key to combating counterfeit brands may lie in understanding why people buy them. There is a considerable amount of research into why people buy counterfeit brands and the types of people who may be more willing to buy them. Dr. Haider Ali from Department of Strategy and Marketing at The Open University, provides a brief overview into why consumers willing purchase counterfeit products
Type of activity: Learning resource

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1-7 hours of study

Crimes of the powerful

This course examines the complexities of, and barriers to, setting new criminological research agendas by considering the difficulties associated with conducting research on crimes of the powerful.
Type of activity: Course

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More than 7 hours of study

Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation

Explore how your own mind works, and discover how the limitations of the human brain can lead to major miscarriages of justice. Using videos of real witnesses and from cameras that go behind the scenes of police investigations, this course explores the psychology of eyewitness testimony. You are expected to spend around 3 hours of your time a week, over this 8 week course.
Type of activity: Course

Forensic science and fingerprints

Fingerprints are unique and easily left on a variety of surfaces making them an invaluable aid to solving crimes. This course covers 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).
Type of activity: Course

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