Syllabus for Forensic Chemistry

Kriminalteknisk kemi


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1KB155
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Chemistry A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2008-05-26
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-02-10
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 01, 2021
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 30 credits in chemistry/biochemistry.
    English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6").
  • Responsible department: Department of Chemistry - BMC
  • Other participating department(s): Faculty of Medicine

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall be able to:

  • describe the chemistry utilised in different methods used to visualise fingerprints
  • describe the chemistry used indifferent methods to identify explosives
  • account for the principles for the instrumental techniques presented during the course
  • use spectroscopic techniques to investigate for example documents, bullets, tools
  • suggest and use appropriate methods for determination of fire accelerators
  • utilise multivariate methods to distinguish chemical traces as glass fragments, and other pigments
  • evaluate results obtained with different methods with respect to selectivity and sensitivity


Methods for the analysis of samples taken at fire scenes to find the cause of the fire. Fingerprint with different techniques will be illustrated. Methods to connect bullets to manufacturer and weapons are discussed. Identification of paper with spectroscopic techniques. Analysis of pigments from documents and samples from car accidents such as flakes from paint and glass fragments where identification by means of multivariate data analysis is discussed. Identification of tools from their steel composition. Methods to distinguish different explosives are demonstrated.


The course comprises lectures, laboratory sessions, seminars and if possible a study visit. A larger literature project is also included.


Written examination at the end of the course. For approval, passed laboratory course and passed project, presented orally and with a written report, are also required. Laboratory sessions that are part of the course and projects are marked to 6 credits.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 36, 2019

  • Jackson, Andrew R. W.; Jackson, Julie M. Forensic science

    Fourth edition.: Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2017.

    Always use the latest edition

    Find in the library