Statistics and the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence – CAS
Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)
March 2016 to October 2017
The course is open to practitioners from any forensic discipline – e.g. reporting officers, chief scientists, lawyers – with a University degree (at least BSc) or an equivalent degree of a higher education programme.
This online Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) is designed to train practitioners in the most up to date approaches to the evaluation and interpretation of scientific evidence. It addresses practical issues of interpretation that
forensic scientists encounter in their daily activities : interpretation of raw data, sampling issues, communication of findings in both written and oral statements.
The course will
provide sound theoretical and practical background in probabilistic and statistical reasoning. A probabilistic framework will be established and its use will be illustrated by an extensive set of realistic case studies. The training lasts 18 months with a workload per week of 4 hours on the online platform and 3 to 4 hours of personal work (in total around 470 hours training). Given online, it allows the latest knowledge and expertise to be brought directly to your workplace without consideration of distances, travel expenses or time schedules.
For those wanting a first approach, we also offer three online short courses (around 150 hours training each): Essentials of DNA interpretation, Essentials of forensic interpretation.and Essentials of Bayesian networks in forensic science.
The cursus of the Certificate of Advanced Studies implies:
Participants will take all core modules and choose one of the two specialised modules. Core modules cover interdisciplinary
interpretation issues that cross forensic disciplines. Specific evidential topics such as DNA, micro-traces, marks and
impressions or handwriting will be covered in specialised modules.
Core Module 1: Uncertainty in forensic science
Core Module 2: Assessing evidence given source level propositions
Core Module 3: Assessing evidence given activity level propositions (Core module)
Core Module 4: Assessing evidence given offence level propositions (Core module)
Core Module 5: Pre-assessment and management of cases (Core module)
Specialised Module 6a: DNA evidence
Specialised Module 6b: From glass to fingerprints
Core Module 7: Evidential matters
They will develop and tutor the online course.
Professor Colin Aitken (University of Edinburgh, Scotland) and Dr Ian Evett (United Kingdom) will act as consultants and take an active part in the course.
Romain Voisard (University of Lausanne) acts as pedagogical advisor.
All of them have extensive theoretical and practical experience with evaluation and interpretation from laboratory to courtroom. They have published over the years numerous scholarly papers and textbooks on the subjects of evaluation and statistics in forensic science.
Certificate of Advanced Studies, 20 ECTS credits
Send your complete curriculum vitae, plus the application form duly completed and signed, to Formation Continue UNIL-EPFL.
Subscriptions for a course will be restricted to a maximum of thirty participants. Preference will be given to forensic scientists with casework and reporting experience.
Course fee: 12,000 Swiss francs
Registration deadline: February 15th, 2016
« Thank you very much for your coaching during this 18 month course. It has been a pleasure to work with you during this time. The course is of an outstanding quality and I learned a lot! » Kris De Wael, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology, Belgium
« The clarity of the course material, the learning from the exercises and the feedback are excellent. It is stimulating, varied and enjoyable. » Louise McKenna, Forensic Science Laboratory, Ireland
« Many thanks to the whole SEFE team for supporting and guiding me through the course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a great deal. » Gareth Philips, Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, UK
« I think you really do a great job in building up this course. I am impressed with how many different kinds of teaching material (powerpoint presentations, videos, exercises, literature, etc.) you used to give us a better understanding of statistics. » Andrea Wächter, Landeskriminalamt, Germany
« It is not easy to develop or present a course like this and you all did a fantastic job with a difficult and challenging topic. I really enjoyed the course and unquestionably learned a great deal. I believe there is still a lot of work to be done in this area but I expect what I’ve learned so far will influence our section’s approach to evidence evaluation and reporting. I personally have no doubt that, in time, all forensic laboratories will be doing the same type of thing. » Brent Ostrum, Canada Border Services Agency, Canada
For academic questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
For administrative questions:
Ms. Mary-Claire André Mollet