Mr Neil Coupar


School School of Applied Sciences

Department Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8058



Neil joined Abertay University as a lecturer in September 2016. His involvement with the forensic science course started back in 2002 with its inception. He ran external training courses and guest lectured to students on scenes of crime examination and firearm examination. Neil spent twenty-seven years with the Police Service (Tayside Police/Police Scotland/Metropolitan Police. Neil retired as a Scene of Crime (SOCO) team leader and was the last serving Police Officer in Scotland still specialising in forensic examination

Understandably, he has a wealth of experience and expertise, including Post Bomb Scene Manager, Crime Scene Manager, CBRN( Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear) Manager/Examiner, Forensic Firearm & Toolmark Examiner, and a member of the UK, Disaster Victim Identification Cadre.

During his career, was seconded to the Metropolitan Police, Anti -Terrorist Branch (S013), now known as SO15 Counter Terrorism Command.

Neil has extensive practical knowledge and experience of crime scene examinations across the UK including; murder, sexual offences, fatal transportation, and industrial accidents, fires, explosions and counter-terrorism roles, Official Secrets Act prohibits countless others' identification. He has given evidence as an expert witness in the highest courts on numerous occasions.

Several of the high profile cases he worked on are; 9/11 & 7/7 investigations, and the Litvinenko (polonium poisoning). Neil’s last case before joining the staff at Abertay University was the biggest to date drug seizure in the UK or European Waters, involving £500,000,000 of cocaine.

What Neil brings to students attending Abertay University is a vast portfolio of crime scene investigations, experiences, and criminal court appearances over decades which are real and not scenarios in a textbook.

He brings the human side to forensics.



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I am module leader for FOR 312 Scene Examination and Management

I also teach:

FOR 103 Introduction to Forensic Science, Practice and Techniques

FOR 205 Forensic Human Identification

FOR 309 Forensic Material Investigation

FOR 402 Substances of Abuse

FOR 410 Project Research Methods

FOR 411 Honours Project

ELE 020 Forensic Investigation

LSC 302 Court Procedures


Neil has a research background in firearms, sexual offence detection, disaster victim identification and wildlife crime.

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More Information


I am the liaison between the Bonnetmaker Craft of Dundee who generously sponsors cash prizes annually, awarded to Forensic & Biomedical Science Students.

I am extremely grateful for the practical support in the form of examination kit received regularly from the Scottish Police Authority, Dundee.


Education / Qualifications

Neil is a graduate of Durham University and the University of Dundee. 

I was invited in November 2019 to present a Keynote Lecture, to the Scottish Student Forensic Research Symposium, University of Dundee.

Knowledge Exchange

Professional Information


I am very fortunate that I can call upon and interact with various outside agencies.  These include the Army Bomb Squad, Univesity of Dundee (CAHID) Mortuary, Forfar Small Bore Rifle Club, Uniformed Police, Detectives, and Forensic Scientists from commercial and legal backgrounds. Many attend as guest lecturers and further enhance the students learning experience.

He retains a professional relationship with all departments within the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and is extremely grateful for their support.

In March 2017, the Evening Telegraph carried a week-long feature on his work experiences.

Neil is privileged to have been invited into people's lives often when they are at their darkest.



I am involved in many outreach activities with school-age children and local communities.

July 2021 Engineering Development Trust (EDT) Silver Programme

November 2019: Keynote Speaker, Scottish Student Forensic Research Symposium, University of Dundee.

April 2019: Dundee Science Festival

May 2019: Carnoustie Probus Club.

February 2019: Blairgowrie Trefoil Guides

November 2018: Careers Fair, CAHID, University of Dundee

University of Cincinnati 2018, 2019

Abertay University, Open and Applicant Days

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Christopher Watkins

Dr Christopher Watkins

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Head of Division

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Dr Julie Gawrylowicz

Dr Julie Gawrylowicz

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Lecturer

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