This degree is focused on introducing you to a wide range of scientific disciplines that are involved in the detection of criminal activity. You will gain an understanding and knowledge of key concepts, professional skills and forensic sciences. Due to recent advances in forensic science, particularly in the area of DNA analysis, the investigating powers of practising forensic scientists has greatly increased, making this a field of increasing important when solving crimes.
|It covers a wide range of disciplines, most of which are based on chemistry and biology. The programme gives a balanced and intellectually challenging study of a full range of forensic applications, including crime scene investigation techniques, advanced microbiological and chemical analysis and specialist areas such as forensic anthropology and forensic entomology. |
The degree’s aim is to produce high calibre, versatile graduates who are able to analyse forensic evidence competently, and who can interpret and present evidence through both oral and written testimony in a court of law.
It is suitable for anyone wishing to pursue a career in forensic science or a related subject. A degree in this subject is particularly suited to careers in forensic science, scientific journalism, the pharmaceutical industry, environmental monitoring, laboratory-based employment and accident investigation. Possible future employers can be the emergency services, forensic science providers, government agencies, medical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, consultancies, local authorities and contract laboratories.
Forensic science degree course overview
Students will be exposed to cutting edge technology and methodology that is at the forefront of forensic science research and development. They will be given a thorough grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of forensic science, and learn skills which will give them the ability to carry out professional investigations and research.
Many courses give students the option to study a wide range of specialisms including DNA analysis, toxicology, bone and skeletal analysis. Indeed the subject as a whole can be studied alongside other disciplines such as criminology, computing or psychology.
You will be taught under the guidance of teaching staff who are, in many cases, professional forensic practitioners themselves. On the practical side you will gain invaluable lab and fieldwork experience, including mock crime scenes and disasters, utilising our field station and streetwise facilities.
The assessment methods can be examinations, written assignments, laboratory reports, presentations or a combination of these.
Upon graduation you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, the role of a forensic scientists within the system, and the application of science to law and its enforcement.
Typical course modules and areas of study on a forensic science degree
- Introductory Chemistry
- Quantitative Methods in Science
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Introductory Biology
- Applied Forensic Analysis
- Forensic Toxicology
- Forensic Biology
- Fire & Explosion Investigation
- Analytical Techniques
- Anatomy, Physiology and Post-mortem Processes
- Drugs and Toxicology
- Separation science
- DNA profiling
- Population genetics
- Law for forensic science
- Marks and traces
- Research methods
- Incident investigation
- Biological evidence
- Case assessment and interpretation
- Body Fluid Analysis
- Forensic Analysis of Drugs and Poisons
- Anatomy and Physiology for Forensic Science
- Advanced Fire and Explosive Investigation
Students will learn about
- Crime scene science
- Molecular biology
- Forensic archaeology
- Genocide investigation
- Trace evidence analysis
- Court procedures
- Time management
- Fibre analysis
- Chemical analysis
- Human Psychology
- Laboratory techniques
Students will learn how to
- Examine crime scenes.
- Assist law enforcement agencies to detect criminal activity.
- Present scientific evidence in a court of law.
- Carry out full-scale simulated crime scene investigations.
- Investigate and analyse evidence.
- Assess the credibility of your investigations.
- Test and analyse tissue samples and substances of blood, bodily fluids, bones and plant and animal remains.
- Use scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Use mathematics to solve problems.
- Examine and compare materials such as fibres, paints, cosmetics, oils, plastics, glass, metals, soils and gunshot residues.
- Present oral testimony in court.
- Perform complex examination and analyses of evidence, including body fluids and body fluid stains, hair and any other items needing DNA or related analyses.
- Provide objective expert advice on related issues.
Forensic science personal statement
Below is a forensic science personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.
Forensic science personal statement example
"I consider myself to be an honest, motivated, and responsible person who is able to keep information private. In any work I do I am thorough, methodical, accurate and careful, with an eye for detail. I feel I am a mentally stable individual who can handle pressure, unpleasant crime scenes and the stress of giving evidence in courtrooms.
I have always liked science, problem solving and a bit of intrigue, and think that a career in forensic science would be a good way of combining all of the these subjects. At school I enjoyed reading crime novels or watching popular detective series on TV, although I realise that they are exaggerated, I found that they always got me involved in the plot and eager to learn who did what to whom, and why.
Another reason that I want to study this subject is that it’s graduates are highly employable individuals, who possess the knowledge and skills required for both subject-related employment, and also non subject-related employment in a wider range of other careers.
I am a mentally strong person with a calm personality, who is willing and able to work whenever and wherever crime occurs, indoors or outdoors, and who can cope with extreme cases like dead bodies and other messy situations.
I am already aware of the major aspects of the subject, its terminology and the principle techniques of forensic investigation as well as their application to different evidence types. I can quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns, and also identify and detect patterns. As an excellent observer I can come to conclusions quickly after undertaking creative, rigorous and relevant research using appropriate methodologies. I always pay close attention to detail, have excellent powers of observation and concentration, both of which help me considerably when figuring out problems mentally.
As this course requires students to work with a wide assortment of people, in situations that are often stressful, it is crucial that they have exceptional "people" skills. I have these and am also a good speaker and proficient writer.
At college I took a BTEC in Science, which included me to a lot of material related to the forensic side of things. The course was superb and the lecturers were brilliant, they made each lesson interesting and supported me all the way through it. Due to my time at college I now posses considerable knowledge of the main theoretical and practical skills of a forensic scientist, and I feel my time at college has fully prepared me for a degree course at university.
During the summer vacation I worked as a junior laboratory assistant with a pharmaceutical company. I provided administrative and technical support for work in scientific research, and worked in a modern well equipped department carrying out a wide range of tasks which required good hand to eye coordination, attention to detail and manual dexterity. This valuable work experience has given me the ability to examine material evidence from a biological point of view, and to be able to present evidence and findings clearly to colleagues and superiors.
Right now my ambition is to join a degree course that fulfils the growing demand for expertise in investigatory, enforcement and monitoring work.
I chose to apply to your university because of your reputation as leaders in teaching science and laboratory based skills in a vocational setting. I am impressed by your fully equipped analytical science laboratories, experienced and enthusiastic teaching team, and extensive learning support facilities, which all provide for a stimulating and enjoyable study environment. I strongly feel that my reliability, communication skills, responsibility and friendly nature are all valuable assets that I would bring to your course. In closing I hope you will look favourably on my application and I look forward to hearing from you."
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Forensic Science Personal Statement
My interest in forensic science, both as a degree subject and as a career, developed, like most people’s I imagine, out of my enjoyment of crime fiction, both in novels and films. Puzzles have always interested me and finding ways to solve mysteries gives me great satisfaction. When I began to conduct real life scientific experiments and analyses it soon became clear that the reality of the forensic scientist’s job is quite unlike the fictional version, but still full of interest and intellectual variety. I have something of an aptitude for science and my thinking works in a rational and scientific manner, and I am attracted by the biological aspects of forensic science – analysing blood patterns and interpreting DNA – and by the chemistry of the subject, such things as drug analysis and examining paint, glass and fibre fragments. I am fully aware that much of the scientific work can be routine and yet new developments in the science have produced dramatic results and solved criminal mysteries sometimes years after the event. Forensic evidence is becoming increasingly important in criminal investigation as the range of its techniques and discoveries widens, and the career prospects are excellent. I am also aware that forensic science involves far more than lab work, that attending and investigating crime scenes can be harrowing and that one also needs to be carefully trained in courtroom presentation if one is to be a reliable source of evidence in sometimes very difficult cases. But to be involved in dramatic and momentous events would be immensely fulfilling, offering the prospect of making a contribution to the process of justice through unearthing the evidence which can prove a case, often when all other material is lacking.
My experience of work and other activities have given me a good sense of the demands of the real world and demonstrated, I believe, the personal qualities which can make me a successful undergraduate and employee. I was a member of a World Challenge team on an expedition to Morocco, which involved raising £1500 in six months and called for much logistical planning in the actual event. I was sometimes called on to help other team members if they were ill or struggling with fatigue and it was excellent training in teamwork. This also demonstrated my organisational abilities and management of time and money as well as my drive and determination. I am a Scout Sixer, in charge of a group of six, organising trips and activities and tending to others’ problems. I have good leadership skills and handle people efficiently and considerately. I have worked in a shop, dealing with the day-to-day running of the business, attending to customers’ needs and handling money, which has been a good introduction to the world of work and its demands – punctuality, reliability and honesty.
I am keen to keep abreast of developments in my subject and follow relevant stories in the media. I also recently read Jay Siegel’s Forensic Science: A Beginner’s Guide, which was rigorous and demanding but very readable and gave me a good idea of the complexity of the discipline. My ambition after graduation is to take on a general post in forensic science and later, perhaps after completing a Master’s, to specialise in a particular area of the science., though at this stage I find all aspects full of interest – the science, the investigation, the anthropology and much else.
I am the first member of my family to apply to university. I have good IT skills and experience of managing projects and my analytical skills are strong, as are my abilities in clear presentation and communication. I work well in a team but have the confidence in my own judgement to be equally happy working on my own. I always strive for quality in everything that I do and have a logical and thorough approach to problems. My commitment to my subject is total and I believe that I have the qualities to become a very successful undergraduate.
We hope this sample Forensic Science personal statement proves helpful in writing your own statement.