BMS304 Fundamentals of DNA Fingerprinting (8)

This subject gives an overview of the cellular, biochemical, genetic and molecular foundations of human diversity. The underlying principles behind the detection and analysis of phenotypic and genotypic variations will be examined.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS304. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Assumed Knowledge


Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the concept of DNA fingerprinting and DNA typing
  • be able to define principles behind DNA fingerprinting methodologies currently in use (STR,VNTR,SNPs , PCR and RFLP, Y-chromosome (Y-STR) and mitochondrial analysis
  • be able to describe and extract data from DNA databases
  • be able to describe the analytical methods behind a number of common genetic tests currently used for forensic human identification purposes
  • be able to demonstrate ability to calculate likelihood ratios from typing profiles and understand the influence of population frequencies and other aspects of population genetics on the validity and discriminatory ability of DNA typing methods


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Identification of biological fluids
  • The determination of species origin of biological materials
  • The differentiation of biological samples of human origin
  • Fundamentals of DNA fingerprinting Technology
  • The technologies and methodologies behind the detection and analysis of hypervariable sequences; STR, VNTR, PCR, RFLP and SNPs
  • Common PCR-based genetic tests used in forensic practice
  • Mitochondrial DNA sequencing identification through maternal lineage
  • Y-chromosome STRs - identification through paternal lineage
  • Phylogenetic profiling and its application to non-human identification
  • Population genetics and statistical considerations
  • DNA Technology in its application to medical diagnostics and medical research
  • Applying DNA technologies to medicine
  • Ethical dilemmas

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BMS304 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Mid-session exam
Case study assignment
End of the session exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

Residential school will include the following :

-Students will be divided in groups and each group will be allocated a forensic scenario to solve. Students will use the following laboratory techniques  to solve their case: 

-Physical examination of evidence and selection of evidence suitable for further analysis. 

-Presumptive screening for Blood
-DNA extraction and purification.
-Gel electrophoresis of extracted DNA
-DNA profiling PCR's (Short Tandem Repeats, STRs)
-Analysis of DNA profiling results

-Laboratory Report - At the  end of the residential  school each student is required to submit a report outlining their group's strategies and experimental results/discussion and a conclusion.


The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.