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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC2126: Forensic Science, Conflict and Justice

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Module Aims

In a world where expertise is constantly contested and science and technology are presented as the silver-bullet solution to current problems, the aim of the module is to inspire a genuine engagement with innovation and forensics. We hope to achieve this by engaging with cutting edge theoretical innovations in science & technology studies, grounded in over a decade of research with victims and perpetrators of violence and the scientist trying to bring order and evidence to complex contexts in which mass violence, genocide and systematic abuses of human rights have made the pursuit of justice a matter of activism, science and wider social and political innovation. At the end of the course the student will have a very good understanding of the social dynamics of forensic humanitarianism and innovations, ideas, and practices to deal with mass atrocities, political repression, and violence. In sum, the students of this course will have the tools to critically engage with forensic science and its development in diverse political contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate and in-depth understanding of the epistemological and ontological underpinnings of forensic science.
2. Exhibit awareness of the socio-political & historical origins of conflicts and the pursuit of justice in the modern world across the north/south divide and the social theory that explains the role of modern science in such contexts.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Explain and illustrate different modes of sociological, political and philosophical theoretical / conceptual frameworks that help us understand the role of forensic science in the modern world.
4. Think critically about social, psychological and personal issues and develop your social imagination.
Personal and Key Skills5. Critical and analytical skills that can easily be transferred to research positions in International NGOS and think tanks working in broad fields such as forensic humanitarianism, conflict and
6. Demonstrate written analytical skills by producing and essay on a deadline that could help you select and analyse relevant data to make decisions in policy making roles, government or as part of civil society organisations.