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MSci

Forensic Science

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About this course

Entry year:
2017/18
Course code:
F41M
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
120
Department:
Applied Sciences
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Delivery:
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Sarah Bateman
Key fact:
MSci Forensic Science at UWE Bristol will give you the academic knowledge, practical experience and first-class professional skills to fast-track your future.

Page last updated 4 July 2017

Introduction

Why study MSci Forensic Science?

Forensic scientists apply scientific analysis to criminal and civil investigations, producing evidence that is 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 developing advanced problem-solving, data interpretation and communication skills. From crime scene to laboratory to courtroom, studying Forensic Science will provide you with a springboard into a range of exciting careers within the justice system and beyond.       

Why study our course?

MSci Forensic Science has been designed in conjunction with professional forensic scientists to provide a deep understanding of the way scientific disciplines are applied to the investigation of crime. Covering crime scene investigation, laboratory analysis, interpretation and evaluation, as well as the presentation of evidence, the course has a strong practical focus with excellent study facilities.  In the final year, you will study advanced topics including practical fire investigation, blood pattern analysis and wildlife forensics, alongside an extended research project.

Real-world experience

Guest lectures from inspirational professionals cover a range of specialist topics throughout the course. You will be encouraged to undertake summer internships and have the option to apply to study abroad for a year. Teaching methods will require you to adopt the roles of various forensic science professionals, including crime scene investigator, laboratory forensic scientist, reporting officer, fire investigator and blood pattern analyst.

Where it can take you

Our graduates have the knowledge and transferable skills that enable them to progress in many different careers from posts with forensic science providers and the Police Service, to positions as laboratory analysts or science teachers. The skills and confidence gained are invaluable in any profession where an analytical approach to problem-solving is required. Many students go on to further study, especially in analytical chemistry or molecular biology.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Structure

Content

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

Plus one of the following modules combinations:

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

You will be required to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of your second year in order to progress to the third year of the course. Students that do not achieve this will transfer to the third year of BSc(Hons) qualification.

Year three

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Forensic Project
  • Professional Practices in Applied Sciences*.

Plus at least one of the following module combinations:

  • Advanced Analytical Science AND Forensic Analysis and Toxicology

OR

  • Forensic Biology and Genetics AND Genomics Technologies.

Plus, you may study one from:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Forensic Psychology.

And one from:

  • Environmental Forensics
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Science Communication.

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Research in Practice
  • Advanced Crime Scene Science
  • Wildlife Forensics
  • Forensic Science and Society.

*compulsory module if you choose to undertake a placement.

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

Learning takes place through lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory work. As a Department, we have long-established links with Avon and Somerset Constabulary Scientific Investigations and a local Home Office Forensic Pathologist, meaning you will benefit from guest lectures from professionals covering a range of aspects of forensic science. A dedicated Digital Technologies Suite is used for indoor and outdoor crime scene investigations, laboratory analysis and courtroom presentation in the virtual world of Second Life.

There will be an emphasis on problem solving approaches, as this is in the nature of forensic science, together with the importance of the communication of scientific findings. The crime scene house and outdoor crime scene areas will be used and, in the Final year, you will search a scene, examine the evidence, write a report as you would for court and face questioning on this in the mock courtroom.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Assessment

Coursework is assessed in all years and there are examinations in most modules, although the assessments in year one do not contribute to the final degree mark. A variety of assessment methods are used to reflect the range of theoretical concepts, knowledge and practical skills developed during the course. The project in the final year is assessed.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Placements

We will encourage you to apply for a paid summer internship or year-long placement in a relevant workplace environment. In your second year, you will also have the chance to apply to spend 12 months abroad, studying at Virginia Commonwealth University in the USA.

Study facilities

With an emphasis on problem-solving approaches and the communication of scientific findings, Forensic Science at UWE Bristol focuses on the practical application of the subject. You will benefit from using a wide range of specialist forensic instrumentation in our cutting-edge science laboratories and conduct crime scene investigations at our specially adapted crime scene house. There is a comprehensive programme of laboratory work, lectures, tutorials and workshops and you will also be able to test your skills using Second Life virtual crime scenes, where real criminal cases are digitally recreated.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Making connections

The course establishes strong connections with other faculties - especially Law - to provide you with a rounded understanding of all areas of forensic science. You will also have the opportunity to be part of our thriving Forensic Science Student Society and experience a full calendar of events and speaker presentations from world-leading practitioners.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Graduates are employed in many different types of laboratory roles and a significant number have become science teachers. The scientific problem solving, numerical and communication skills gained in the degree enable graduates to enter many other sectors, from financial services to the legal profession. Graduates from the Forensic Science courses at UWE Bristol have found careers with some of the country's largest forensic science providers, including LGC Forensics, Orchid Cellmark and Key Forensics, as well as with the Police Service in a range of roles.

Many of our graduates continue in research leading to a PhD, and some have been inspired by their study of Law at UWE Bristol to change to a career as a barrister, following a one year Law conversion course.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Guardian - what to do with a degree in chemistry

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531

Full Time Course with Placement

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12250
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1531
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10719

Indicative Additional Costs

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

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.

Entry

Students starting this course in September 2017 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at admissions@uwe.ac.uk so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, 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.

You will be required to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of your second year in order to progress to the third year of the course. Students that do not achieve this will transfer to the third year of BSc(Hons) qualification.

UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student and do 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

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