Whether someone is in an investigative career, thinking about getting into some sort of investigative career, or just thinks investigations are interesting, the following courses are some great options that can be completed anywhere, anytime.
This course, offered by Columbia University, explains how investigative journalism spans globally and how you can use your investigative work to create change in the world. The course outlines specific examples of reporters acting as government and/or corporate watchdogs and how they brought social and political injustices to light. Learners explore the ways that journalists expose various kinds of corruption and make their stories heard.
Forensic Psychology is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing sectors of forensic science. This course delves into how forensic psychology can assist in gathering eyewitness testimonies in relation to investigations. Eyewitness testimony has always been a controversial topic due to unreliability of human memory in general. This course, offered by Open University, utilizes real-life videos of police investigations and allows students to try to do virtual police work and test their investigative skills.
Coventry University and City of London Police joined forces to offer Fraud Investigation: Making a Difference, which teaches learners about the common types and methods of fraud as well as the prominence of fraud in the United Kingdom. Fraudulent activities are rapidly increasing today and new methods of investigations will need to be utilized. This course will provide information on how the Fraud Investigation Model is applied to criminal investigations and it also teaches how to detect fraud, investigate it, and prevent it.
Leiden University, a very respected university in Europe for good reasons, offers the Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes course to provide learners with an overview of international courts and tribunals. While this course focuses on proceedings in The Hague, it also provides information on the types of international crime that is prominent today, how it affects us, how it can be investigated, and how it can be prevented.
Cybersecurity is more important now than ever, and there are plenty of investigative tools that can be studied in the field. A good introductory course is Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks, which is offered by IBM. This course starts with the history of cybersecurity and then dives into the various types of attacks and insight into what security challenges corporations and individuals are facing today. Learners are also provided with information on the currently available resources used to manage cybersecurity attacks and safeguard against them in the future.
Criminal justice reform has been quite a popular topic throughout the past few years. This course delves into incarceration and the police’s use of force. It will provide various viewpoints on the differing opinions on how to determine exactly who is dangerous and should be incarcerated. Learners are also given insight into how technology is advancing police surveillance technologies and what can be done to reduce police violence and poor conduct. Topics also include using an insanity defense, the death penalty, and investigations of risk.
One of the funnest yet educational investigative courses to take online is Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X. The University of Sheffield offers this course, which is based on a real-life case from 2000 when a badly decomposed body was located in an industrial complex. The course is led by the investigators who were physically present and actually investigated the death. They used forensic facial reconstruction and skull analysis to come up with a profile that would assist in determining who the deceased individual was and the circumstances regarding his or her death.
The University of Leicester offers a free Forensic Science and Criminal Justice course, which analyzes the criminal justice system as a whole and how science can assist police in solving crimes. The course begins with a brief history of forensic science and leads up to revolutionary advances used today such as DNA and biometric identification methods. It also discusses controversies that have risen from forensic techniques and analysis as well as provides an overview of what the future of forensic science may hold and how it will be integrated with the criminal justice system.
West Virginia University offers Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, which is an excellent course to take for an overview of fraud and how accounting can identify it. It explores how prevalent fraud is and how costly it is for people and businesses as well as discusses the kinds of people who commit fraud and how they do it. The course also teaches the ins and outs of money laundering and whistleblowing while touching on “big data” and forensic accounting practices.