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About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Applied Sciences
- Four years full-time; five years sandwich
- Full-time; sandwich
- Programme leader:
- Dr Maziar Ashrafian Bonab
- Key fact:
- Get the academic knowledge, practical experience and first-class professional skills that will fast-track your future.
Page last updated 17 July 2019
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?
MSci Forensic Science 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 and apply your scientific knowledge at simulated crime scenes in our specially-adapted Crime Scene House.
Present evidence and respond to questions in a mock courtroom. Practise being in different forensic science roles, including crime scene investigator, laboratory forensic scientist, reporting officer, fire investigator and blood pattern analyst.
Study advanced topics in your final year, such as practical fire investigation, blood pattern analysis and wildlife forensics, alongside an extended research project.
Guest lectures from inspirational professionals will give you insights into specialist topics and you can tailor the degree to suit your specific interests.
We encourage you to do summer internships, and you can apply to study abroad for a year.
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 or science teacher. Many students do further study or research, particularly in analytical chemistry or molecular biology.
Your analytical approach to problem-solving will be just as valued in other sectors, like financial services or law.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Chemistry in Context
- Human Biological Systems
- Scientific Investigation of Crime
- Scientific Skills.
You will study:
- Law and Expert Evidence
- Forensic Analysis
- Drugs and Toxicology.
Plus, one of these pairs of modules:
- Instrumental Analytical Science and Molecular Genetics
- Instrumental Analytical Science and Medicinal Chemistry
- Molecular genetics and Forensic Biology.
You'll need to achieve an average grade of 2:1 or above by the end of Year two to complete Year three. Students that don't achieve this will transfer to the third year of our BSc(Hons) qualification.
Placement year (if applicable)
If you study on the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.
You'll complete a placement learning module.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Forensic Project.
Plus, one optional module set from:
- Advanced Analytical Science and Forensic Analysis and Toxicology
- Forensic Biology and Genetics and Genomics Technologies.
Plus, one optional module from:
- Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Forensic Psychology
- Professional Practices in Applied Sciences*.
And one optional from:
- Environmental Forensics
- Science Communication.
You will study:
- Research in Practice
- Advanced Crime Scene Science
- Wildlife Forensics
- Forensic Science and Society.
*Compulsory if you do 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
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.
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.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
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.
We'll assess your coursework 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.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
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 a paid summer internship or year-long placement in a relevant workplace.
If you choose the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.
You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
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 / 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.
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.
Full Time Course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13000|
|International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1625|
Full Time Course with Placement
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||8094|
|International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13000|
|International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||13000|
|International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1625|
|International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1625|
|International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||11375|
Indicative Additional Costs
|Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year||473|
Supplementary fee information
Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.
You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the five year course and then transfer to the four year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.
Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.
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.
- 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.
We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.
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.
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.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.
If you have not received your exam results, your offer from us will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.
If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that we will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.
To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies here, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A-levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.
If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333