JST488 Specialist Fire Investigation (16)


This subject addresses specialised areas of investigation, in particular explosives and explosions, motor vehicle fires, fires involving electrical equipment and fires involving ships/boats and the marine environment. Building on the theories studied during the Graduate Certificate, this subject aims to further develop the specialist knowledge required to professionally investigate fires in different environments and involving external factors and problematic situations. It also brings together the knowledge gained in previous fire investigation subjects and allows the student to demonstrate their mastery of investigative processes.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
DistanceManly Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST488
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLAustralian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Enrolment restrictions

Limited to Fire Investigation students, and to those students who can demonstrate a connection with fire services (necessary for the completion of assessment tasks).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate mastery in the skills of establishing and following fire scene examination and investigative procedures for complex fires, in particular those involving explosives and explosions, motor vehicle fires, fires involving electrical equipment and fires involving ships/boats and the marine environment.
  • be able to demonstrate the mastery of skills utilised in the recognition of various phases involved in explosions and the intricacies and diverse nature of fires involving electrical components.
  • be able to think critically about the challenges facing fire investigators when dealing with complex and novel fires, how these effect the investigative process, and how fire investigators can better address these in determining cause, origin an explanation of fire spread.
  • be able to think critically about the information drawn from a range of stakeholders and the implications of this on the investigative process.
  • be able to demonstrate the ability to transfer knowledge and complex technical information to a range of academic, professional and legal audiences.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- explosives and explosions, explosion investigation and explosive types
- ships/boats and fires in the marine environment
- impact of firefighting on investigation
- motor vehicle fires and examination of vehicle
- fires involving electricity and electrical appliances
- fire scene investigation/assessment
- occupational health and safety for fire investigators
- importance and relevance of the evidence gathering process
- ethical considerations/issues
- brief preparation


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.