University of Otago, New Zealand


Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

CHEM306 - Forensic Chemistry


This course focuses on the application of modern analytical techniques used to support the legal system in providing forensic evidence.  It also provides a sound analytical training and is recommended to all experimental chemists.

Drawing strongly on examples from case studies, the course provides the theoretical and practical framework for applying spectroscopic techniques for identification, quantification and fingerprinting various materials such as drugs, accelerants, environmental contaminants, materials and physical evidence.   

The emphasis of this course is on the practical skills gained in the laboratory.  The laboratory course is constructed to provide training in basic analytical chemistry before advancing to more sophisticated analytical techniques.


18 200-level CHEM points or FORS 201


CHEM 337 

Lectures (30 in total): 

The lecture course is to support the laboratory course and will be a mixture of formal lectures providing theory, case studies and worked tutorial sessions. 

Forensic Context

Multivariate Statistics
Separation Techniques

Identification and Characterisation


Laboratory Course (11 days scheduled)

Basic Skills

Advanced Skills


Laboratory course                   40%
Written Assignment                 10%
Final 2 hour Examination         50%

Expectations at the end of the course

Graduate Attributes

Interdisciplinary perspective, self-motivation, lifelong learning, communication


Forensic Chemistry, Suzanne Bell, Pearson, Prentice Hall.  ISBN 0-13-147835-4

Highly Recommended: Miller, James and Miller, Jane, Statistics and Chemometrics for Analytical Chemistry 6E, Prentice Hall

Teaching Staff

Prof Russell Frew, Dr Kimberly Hageman, Prof Keith Gordon, Dr Alan Hayman, Dr John Watson

Course Coordinator

Professor Russell D. Frew
Professor Russell D. Frew
Tel: +64  3  479 7913
Location: Science II, 3n12