Forensic Science Disciplines

Forensic science is a catch-all for many distinct disciplines that may be used to help in the determination of a court case. Lists of ‘forensic disciplines’ are usually a mixture of scientific fields, tasks, occupations and services such as anthropology, ballistics, biology/DNA, chemical criminalistics, clandestine laboratories, crime scene examination, document examination, fingerprints, illicit drug analysis, computer forensics, digital imaging, audio video analysis, entomology, mortuary services, odontology and toxicology.

These disciplines can be arbitrarily divided into four broad groups.

Field Sciences

These include crime scene investigation which incorporates the investigation of crimes against the person and property, fingerprint and firearm examination.

Forensic Medicine

These include pathology, psychiatry, psychology, forensic medicine, mortuary services, odontology, anthropology and entomology.


Laboratory Services

These include chemistry, biology, toxicology, illicit drug, document, marks, impressions analysis and computer crime.


Digital Evidence

These include computer forensics, audio video analysis, speaker and face comparison.



The National Forensic Science Technology Centre (USA) A Simplified Guide to Forensic Science provides an excellent overview of many of the topics associated with forensic science.

Rate this page

  • Rate as Helpful100.00% Helpful votes
  • Rate as Not helpful0% Not helpful votes