Criminalistic Methods Laboratory

A fully equipped laboratory to facilitate the analysis of evidence recovered from crime scenes.

The types of recovered evidence are many and varied. Many analysis techniques are non-destructive, and some examples are given below with each evidence type:

  • Fingerprints
    • Chemical enhancing reagents
    • Cyanoacrylate (superglue) fuming
    • Humidity treatment
    • Alternative light sources and DCS5 for visualisation of fluorescent dyed fingerprints.
  • Questioned documents
    • Electrostatic Document Analyser (ESDA) for visualisation of indented writing.
      • Video Spectral Comparators (VSC) for ink analysis and checking questionable document security features.
    • Raman spectrometer for ink comparison to check for alteration of documents.
  • Illicit substance
    • A range of presumptive testing chemical reagents.
    • Fourier Transform Infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR).
    • Raman spectrometer.
  • Glass
    • Two high power microscopes equipped with video cameras and warming stages to allow measurement of the sample refractive index.
  • Footwear
    • Casting equipment for footwear impressions.
    • Inkless visualisation system to allow comparison with the cast.
    • Electrostatic Lifting Apparatus (ESLA) for lifting dusty footwear marks from hard surfaces.
  • Tool mark impressions
    • Casting silicone for comparison to suspected tool marks.
    • Macro comparison microscope system, for the comparison of cartridge cases from firearms.
  • Hairs and fibres
    • Two high-powered comparison microscope systems for comparison of trace evidence.
    • FTIR microscope for determining the infra-red spectra of trace evidence. 


  • Thermo-Nicolet iS10 FTIR spectrometer coupled to a Centaurus microscope.
  • Renishaw inVia twin laser Raman microscope system.
  • Foster and Freeman Foram 685-2 Raman spectral comparator.
  • Foster and Freeman ESDA system.
  • Foster and Freeman VSC4+ video spectral comparator.
  • Leeds Forensic LCT comparison microscope system.
  • Nikon LV400POL microscope with camera and warming stage.
  • Mason Vactron MVC3000 superglue fuming cabinet.
  • Foster and Freeman SUPERfume portable superglue fuming equipment.
  • Pathfinder portable ESLA. × 3
  • Fluoroscope.

Video Spectral Comparator

Presumptive Testing

Comparison Microscope

Fingerprint Comparator


Photo of Criminalistic Methods Laboratory


Opening Times

Monday – Friday

9.00am – 4.30pm

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021