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Forensic biology

In the Specialisation Forensic Biology, we focus on a broad range of analyses and methods which are used in the field of forensic genetics which can be of aid in the criminal justice system. In your project you dive into a specific topic and work on the laboratory and work on your own research questions.

Through courses and trainings you broaden your knowledge and skills. We are taking a closer look at biological sample collection methods, presumptive testing, sequencing and generation of DNA profiles and other relevant DNA techniques, quantitative PCR, forensic entomology, tissue typing, working with RNA, statistical issues and ethics. The minor program includes the courses SNP Detection, Ethics and DNA, DNA sequencing, The  training sessions include quantitative DNA and RNA analysis, Forensic DNA statistics and Dating of injury. You fill in 2 EC with electives.  


After completion of this minor, you will have further developed your skills in forensic DNA science, and are capable of performing work in a forensic DNA laboratory environment which can be in forensic case work, or as a member of a research group focusing on DNA topics.

Aanvullende informatie

This courses and trainings in this specialisation will be given in English. Project meetings will also be in English although it may occur that with a full Dutch speaking group the Dutch language will be spoken.


The minor is developed for students in the major Forensic Laboratory Investigation but is also admissible for foreign students and students from other applied science universities. These students need permission from their own exam committee in order to join the program. Requirements: students must be permissible to the 3rd year of the major Forensic Laboratory Investigation. A high standard of practical laboratory skills and basic knowledge of genetics and DNA profiling are highly recommended.


The total minor program is worth 30 ECTS credits, indicating an effort of 30 times 28 clock hours of labour, or 20 calendar weeks. The minor is part of the study programs “Biomedical Research” and "Chemistry" at the Avans School of Life Sciences and Environmental Technology in Breda, the Netherlands.



For your literature study, you will need the database offered by Xplora, including the publisher databases from Science Direct and Wiley Interscience. It is also possible to search PubMed after logging into Xplora.



The books of Butler “Advanced topics in forensic DNA typing: methodology” and “Advanced topics in forensic DNA typing: interpretation” are obligatory for this specialisation. Students interested in forensic pathology are recommended to order the book “Forensic Histopathology” from Dettmeyer, but this book is not mandatory. Students interested in more in-depth information about molecular biology could use “Molecular Biology of the Cell” by Alberts, but this is also not obliged.


Other study books used during your education such as “Biology”, “Essential Forensic Biology”, and “iGenetics” are very useful during this minor. We recommend to use your study books as much as possible.