National University




Request Information

(800) 628-8648 Get Started

Campus Finder

Areas of Study

CJA460 Principles of Investigation

Lead Faculty: Dr. James E. Guffey Ph.D

Course Description

An introduction to the practices and procedures involved in conducting civil and criminal investigations. Topics include learning about crimes and their elements, modus operandi, major goals of investigations, primary functions and responsibilities of investigating officers/agents and the investigator's relationship with other individuals and agencies involved in an investigation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the various theories, techniques, and practices that apply to most criminal investigations.
  • Describe and analyze the fundamental principles of investigations including, but not limited to: obtaining, developing, and substantiating information; processing crime scenes; conducting interviews and interrogations; developing informants; developing sources of information; and conducting surveillance and undercover operations.
  • Describe and analyze the characteristics of specific criminal offense investigations including, but not limited to: arson, narcotics and dangerous drugs violations, sex offenses, larceny, burglary, robbery, forgery, and homicide.
  • Describe, analyze, and evaluate the investigator's role in court including, but not limited to: courtroom testimony, rules of evidence, use of identification and reproduction modus operandi, physical evidence, witness identification, fingerprints, casting, and impressions.
  • Describe and analyze the use of scientific methods in investigations including, but not limited to: chemical analyses, firearms, tracing fabric, materials and dyes, hair and fibers, invisible radiation, and ultraviolet and infrared radiation
  • Describe, analyze, and evaluate recent investigative technologies.
  • Describe the roles played by various agencies involved in investigations.