Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Department of Genetics and Bioengineering

Code Name Level Year Semester
GBE 304 Forensic Genetics Undergraduate 3 Spring
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
Compulsory 5 2 + 2 121 English

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Damir Marjanović Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

Forensic genetics is the application of science to law and it encompasses various scientific disciplines. This course will introduce various methodologies and applications used in forensic context, as well as the workflow characteristic for forensic investigations. Real forensic cases are used to introduce technique and theory, to demonstrate how case solving requires an interdisciplinary team approach, and to allow students to practice their analytical and logical reasoning skills. Laboratory course is offered concurrently with lectures and is introducing practical research in forensics (such as sample collection, presumptive evidence testing, and DNA analysis and individualization), as well as statistical calculations necessary for presenting evidence in the court.

The cognitive, affective and behavioral objectives of this course are following:
• Introduction to various disciplines and methodologies in forensic genetics.
• Teaching the roles of numerous scientific disciplines in crime investigations.
• Explaining the importance of analytical tools in forensic investigation.
• Explaining the importance of crime scene processing.
• Introduction to forensic anthropology and odontology.
• Describing how gender, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosomal DNA analyses are performed.

  1. Presentation of syllabus and course
  2. Introduction to forensic genetics: Basic principles and historical development, branches of forensic genetics
  3. Basic genetic, medical, and biochemical principles of forensic DNA testing
  4. Evaluation of biological traces suitable for DNA analysis: Classification, collection, packaging, labeling, and preservation
  5. Presumptive and confirmatory testing
  6. Application of molecular-genetic techniques in forensics (DNA extraction, amplification, qualitative and quantitative characterization)
  7. Basic parameters and standards of a successful forensic genetics lab
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Lineage markers
  10. DNA identification of mass disaster victims
  11. Application of statistical, population, and medical studies in forensic genetics
  12. Disputed paternity and maternity testing
  13. Ethical, legal and, social aspects of DNA testing; Creation of national databases
  14. Application of DNA analysis results in legal and crime investigations; DNA testing legislation
  15. Preparation for final exam

  1. Beginning of classes
  2. Types of evidence (DNA and non-DNA), fingerprint analysis
  3. Evidence collection, labeling, and packaging

  1. Crime scene (sample collection)
  2. Presumptive and confirmatory tests
  3. Kastle-Meyer test and starch-iodine radial diffusion test
  4. DNA analysis: DNA isolation (Qiagen)
  5. Midterm exam
  6. DNA analysis: DNA quantification by spectrophotometry
  7. DNA analysis: RFLP, VNTR, individualization
  8. RFLP result interpretation
  9. Paternity testing, paternity index or combined paternity index, probability of paternity, Random Man Not Excluded
  10. STR profiles
  11. Preparation for practical exam
  12. Practical exam from lab course

  • Interactive Lectures
  • Practical Sessions
  • Excersises
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Assignments
  • Case Studies
Description (%)
Method Quantity Percentage (%)
Midterm Exam(s)120
Lab/Practical Exam(s)120
Final Exam140
Total: 100
Learning outcomes
  • Apply all sorts of forensic and genetic analysis methods in processing human, animal and plant biological trace samples
  • Operate forensic samples for forensic analysis
  • Assess the importance of forensic genetics in legal medicine and juridical procedures
  • Conduct DNA isolation
  • Categorize various sequencing methods
  • Explain STR profiling and the use of CODIS
  • Employ forensic statistics
  • Houck, M.M. & Siegel, J. A. (2010). Fundamentals of Forensic Science, 2nd ed. Waltham, MA, USA: Academic Press

ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)14228
Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week)14228
Midterm Examination (1 week)122
Final Examination(1 week)122
Preparation for Midterm Examination11414
Preparation for Final Examination11515
Assignment / Homework/ Project11616
Seminar / Presentation11616
Total Workload: 121
ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 5