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Kingston students present findings on ‘murders’ in Crown Court as part of degree

By River Reporter Feb 9, 2012

By Lina Sennevall

Kingston’s forensic science students are having to examine blood, saliva and semen, then present their findings at Kingston Crown Court, as part of their degree.

The assessment allows students to take part in a unique university experience, but as the day in court accounts for 25 per cent of the overall mark for the module, there is a lot riding on their findings.

“They have to assess six mock cases, including stabbings, rapes and murders,” said senior lecturer Dr Sarah Gardner. “Five students work on each case, examining key items in a laboratory for hair, fibres, glass, blood, semen and saliva and blood pattern analysis, which they write up into a witness statement and then have to defend in court.”

Because of the university’s good relationship and close proximity to the Crown Court, Kingston students get the opportunity to be assessed for the advanced forensic laboratory techniques module in an authentic legal environment.

Kingston Crown Court has a history of hosting high-profile cases and is an imposing space for the students to make their debut. Students from Kingston University’s Law School also play a role, as they act as the barristers in the courtroom and cross-examine the forensic students.

Dr Gardner is a former forensic scientist, with eight years of experience in the field. She has taught on Kingston’s forensic science and investigative analysis and forensic biology degrees for the last four years.

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