Student in forensic suit holding a fingerprint brush and torch.

BSc(Hons)

Forensic Science

Specialist routes available in Biology and Chemistry

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
F410
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
120
Department:
Applied Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Three years
Delivery:
Full-time
Programme leader:
Helen Green (Acting)
Key fact:
Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, this course gives you a compelling mix of academic knowledge, practical experience and advanced skills to fast-track your career.

Page last updated 5 October 2017

Introduction

Why study forensic science?

Forensic scientists apply scientific analysis to criminal and civil investigations, producing evidence that's admissible in a court of law.

It's a fascinating and rigorous scientific discipline that will build your knowledge of biology and chemistry, as well as your advanced problem-solving, data interpretation and communication skills.

Covering crime scenes, laboratory and courtroom work, forensic science offers a springboard into rewarding careers in the justice system and beyond.    

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Forensic Science is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. It was designed with input from professional forensic scientists to give you a deep understanding of the way science is used to investigate crime.

With a strong emphasis on problem-solving and communicating scientific findings, you'll study everything from crime scene investigation and laboratory analysis, to interpreting, evaluating and presenting evidence.

Learn to use forensic instruments in our industry-standard laboratories.

Apply your scientific knowledge at simulated crime scenes in our specially-adapted Crime Scene House. Present evidence and respond to questions in our mock courtroom.

Guest lectures from inspirational professionals will give you insights into specialist topics and you can tailor the degree to suit your specific interests.

You'll be encouraged to do summer internships and placements, and you can apply to spend a year studying abroad.

Where can it take me?

The knowledge and skills you'll gain will open up lots of career paths.

You could work with forensic science providers or the Police, or as a laboratory analyst. Many students do postgraduate study, particularly in toxicology, forensic anthropology, osteology and archaeology.

Your analytical approach to problem-solving will be just as valued in other sectors, like teaching or the legal profession. 

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

Year one

You will study:

  • Chemistry in Context
  • Human Biological Systems
  • Scientific Investigation of Crime
  • Scientific Skills.

Year two

You will study:

  • Forensic Analysis
  • Law and Expert Evidence
  • Drugs and Toxicology.

Plus one combination of modules from:

  • Forensic Biology and Instrumental Analytical Science
  • Molecular Genetics and Medicinal Chemistry.

Final year

You will study:

  • Forensic Project
  • Professional Practices in Applied Science*.

Plus one combination of modules from:

  • Advanced Analytical Science and Forensic Analysis and Toxicology
  • Forensic Biology and Genetics and Genomics Technologies.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Forensic Psychology.

And one from:

  • Neuropharmacology
  • Science Communication
  • Environmental Forensics.

*Compulsory if you do a placement.

You can get a balanced forensic science degree by studying one biology and one chemistry option in year two, and then choosing the options that appeal to you in year three.

Alternatively, you can choose a specialist route in years two and three, which means you'll have Forensic Science or Forensic Science in your degree title.

We can advise you on which modules to choose and the implications for your career and your membership of the professional bodies.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Through a balanced mix of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory work, you'll learn about the practical application of forensic science, and develop strong problem-solving and communication skills.

Learn about three main areas: biological sciences, especially DNA analysis and the action of drugs on the body; chemical analysis and techniques for examining inanimate objects; and forensic science topics, such as fingerprinting, document examination and crime scene procedures.

You'll also learn about legal aspects of forensic evidence and carry out an independent research project.

Test your skills using Second Life virtual crime scenes where real criminal cases are digitally recreated.

Search a crime scene at the Crime Scene House, examine the evidence, write a report for court and face questioning in our mock courtroom.

Attend guest lectures with professionals from forensic science, through our links with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary Scientific Investigations and a local Home Office forensic pathologist.

Learn about the problem solving approaches which sit at the heart of forensic science, and learn how to communicate scientific findings.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Making connections

Drawing on our strong connections with other faculties especially law you'll get a rounded understanding of all areas of forensic science.

Join our thriving Forensic Science Society, to tap into interesting events and presentations from world-leading practitioners.

Assessment

We'll assess your coursework in all three years and you'll have examinations in all modules, although the assessments in year one won't contribute to your final degree mark. Your final year project is also assessed.

We use different types of assessment to reflect the range of theoretical concepts, knowledge and practical skills we cover on the course.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciencesin all the relevant component standards: crime scene investigation, laboratory analysis and interpretation, evaluation and presentation of evidence. We were one of the first universities to be accredited when the scheme began in 2006.

We encourage you to become an affiliate (student) member of the Society during your studies, as well as of other relevant professional bodies, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology.

Placements

Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

We'll encourage you to apply for paid summer internships and placements in a relevant workplace.

In year two, you can apply to spend 12 months abroad, studying at Virginia Commonwealth University in the USA.

You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Study facilities

Benefit from specialist forensic instrumentation in our advanced science laboratories.

Conduct crime scene investigations at our specially-adapted Crime Scene House and outdoor crime scene area. You'll search a scene, examine the evidence, write a report for court and face questioning on it in our mock courtroom.

Develop your ICT skills, and use electronic learning resources, in our faculty computer rooms.

Conduct indoor and outdoor crime scene investigations, laboratory analysis and courtroom presentations through Second Life simulations in our dedicated Digital Technologies Suite.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Forensic science graduates go into varied types of laboratory work, and a significant number become science teachers.

The scientific problem solving, numerical and communication skills you'll gain will also put you in a strong position for working in other sectors, from financial services to law. 

Graduates have gone onto work with some of the country's largest forensic science providers, including LGC Forensics, Orchid Cellmark and Key Forensics, as well as in a range of roles with the Police.

Some graduates take their study of law further and complete a one-year law conversion course to become a barrister.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

See also:

The Guardian - what to do with a degree in chemistry

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450

Supplementary fee information

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

See our funding pages for more information.

 

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Double Science, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Grade B or above in Biology or Chemistry. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Specific subjects: Biology, Chemistry
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in Biology or Chemistry.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at distinction in Biology or Chemistry, and an additional 15 credits at merit in another subject.
  • Baccalaureate IB: A minimum grade of 6 in higher level Biology or Chemistry.

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international students who does not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

You might also like

Back to top