Forensic Sciences

What is Forensic Medical Science?

Forensic ScienceForensic science can be defined as the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answering questions of interest to a legal system.  Forensic medical science encompasses a number of disciplines including forensic toxicology, histology, microbiology, mortuary technical science, forensic imaging, and the application of molecular biology, anthropology, forensic odontology and entomology to human identification.

The field is focused on the recognition, identification, and evaluation of physical evidence.  It has become an essential part of the judicial system, as it utilizes a broad spectrum of sciences to discover and analyse information relevant to criminal and legal evidence.

Forensic science may prove the existence of a crime, the perpetrator of a crime, or a connection to a crime through the:

  • Examination of physical evidence
  • Administration of tests
  • Interpretation of data
  • Clear and concise reporting
  • Truthful testimony of a forensic scientist

Forensic science has become an integral part of many criminal cases and convictions, with objective facts through scientific knowledge serving both defense and prosecution arguments.  The testimony of forensic scientists has become a trusted component of many civil and criminal cases, as these professionals are concerned not with the outcome of the case; only with their objective testimony based purely on scientific facts.

Study Forensic Medical Science

The Monash University Master of Forensic Medicine program is designed for doctors, dentists and medical scientists who are working in the field of forensic medicine and/or science, or who seek to enter this field.  Forensic medicine and science are disciplines which are studied and practiced at a postgraduate level.  Forensic medical practice includes the examination of and reporting on victims and perpetrators of interpersonal violence (including sexual violence), assessment of fitness for interview by police, age estimation, traffic and custodial medicine.

See the Master of Forensic Medicine course overview

The program offers generic core units and an increasing number of elective discipline-specific units, preparing practitioners for the full range of forensic medical, dental and scientific practice, teaching, and research activities.

Course units are offered via a mixed teaching mode; primarily distance learning with students attending for a short period of contact teaching and assessment near the end of each semester.

The guiding philosophy of this course is to establish robust academic standards in the practice of clinical forensic medicine, forensic odontology, and forensic medical science.  We aim to produce graduates with a sound knowledge of medico-legal principles and to develop practitioners’ skills in providing forensic medical, dental and scientific services to the community.

Specialist Hair Drug Testing

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Our rapid service, capacity and experience makes VIFM the best choice for specialist hair drug testing.

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Toxicology

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Toxicology is the analysis of drugs and poisons in biological tissues. Forensic toxicology applies the science of the detection of drugs and poisons in biological systems for medico-legal purposes. VIFM provides a range of toxicology analysis and hair testing services.

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Molecular Biology

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VIFM’s Molecular Biology laboratory provides DNA typing services for the identification of human remains, cases requiring determination of kinship and other matters that require DNA analysis.

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Histology

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Histology is the study of the structure and function of human tissues. In the forensic setting, it forms an integral part of the autopsy and is a process of discovery.

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Microbiology

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Microbiology is a branch of biology that studies organisms that are usually too small to be seen with the naked eye. At VIFM, microbiology is one of the methods used to detect disease in human tissue on a cellular level. Clinical specimens taken at autopsy, including samples from lung tissue, blood, urine, the bowel or […]

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Entomology

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Entomology is the analysis of insect life which can help to establish the time of death of an individual. This can be important in cases involving murder, suicide, accident, or suspected neglect of persons in care.

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Paternity Testing

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Effective from the 1st of December 2012 the VIFM will no longer provide a DNA Paternity testing to the public.

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