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Principles of Investigation

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.

Why Choose National University?

We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 150,000 alumni worldwide.

Four-Week Classes

Focus on one subject at a time — one month at a time — and finish your degree faster.

100+ Degree Programs

Choose from associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, plus credentials and certificates.

On Campus or Online

Study when and where it’s convenient for you with evening, weekend, and 100% online classes.

Year-Round Enrollment

Apply or transfer any time. Classes start monthly, and applications are accepted year round.

20+ Campus Locations

Attend class onsite at one of over 20 campus locations across California or in Nevada.

Military Friendly

As a Yellow Ribbon school, we offer tuition discounts to servicemembers and dependents.

School of Professional Studies

“Our faculty members have years of experience in their fields. That practitioner insight brings their course material to life and gives students tools and expertise they can put into practice right away.”
School of Professional Studies
Micaela R.
Class of 2014