Forensic Science - BSc (Hons) (2022)

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Are you fascinated by the science behind crime scene incident investigation, evidence recovery and analysis? Keen to develop your investigative and laboratory skills and be trained in the delivery of expert witness testimony? This fascinating and challenging course teaches you skills that are attractive to employers in all fields, giving you the best possible start towards your future career.

Overview

We create simulated crime scenes and conduct major incident exercises where you react in real time to an unfolding event. You can even prepare a case for court and present it at a simulated trial in a realistic court environment. You’ll see how forensic skills can also be applied within archaeology and in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

This course is fully accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Reasons to study Forensic Science at Kent

  • Forensic Science at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2023.
  • Apply your knowledge and practical skills in our fantastic forensic investigation facilities, which includea crime scene house and vehiclesalong with industry standardlaboratories.
  • Spend a year on professional placement gaining valuable experience before you graduate. It’s also possible to spend a year studying abroad.
  • Our unique courses teach you the science behind crime scenes, as well as criminal law and specialist modules such as ballistics, DNA analysis and digital forensics.
  • Our Forensic Science degree is accredited by The Chartered Societyof Forensic Sciences.
  • We support you in all areas of your student life with excellent in-house student support to assist with pastoral issues; careers experts with specialist knowledge to help prepare you for a great future; and Academic Advisors and Peer Mentors to help with your studies.
  • Flexible Foundation Year options available.

What you'll learn

You start by getting to grips with the broad base of knowledge on which forensic science is built, including core chemistry, biochemistry, drug chemistry, and ballistics. You also develop solid investigative and laboratory skills.

Next you build on this knowledge to cover analytical chemistry, forensic archaeology, digital forensics, fires and explosions, and firearms. You also are trained in forensic expert witness skills.

Our crime scene house helps you to develop your approaches to evidence recording and preservation, and to appreciate the importance of persistence. Extensive use of these practical sessions helps to prepare you for the diverse nature of crime scenes you may encounter in your future career and to develop many transferable skills for the future.

If you do not have the grades or previous science qualifications for direct entry to the Forensic Science BSc, you can take Forensic Science with a Foundation Year. It is also possible to take a four-year programme, with a year abroad, with a professional placement or an MSci.

See the modules you'll study

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Watch to find out why you should study at Kent.

Forensic Science - BSc (Hons) (1)

Forensic Science - BSc (Hons) (2)

Kent is really well recognised as a place to take this degree, so it just seemed like the best fit for me.

Faith Taylor - Forensic Science BSc

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(Video) BSc Hons Forensic Science

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see ourgeneral entry requirements.

Please contact the School for more information at study-forensics@kent.ac.uk

Typical entry requirements for 2022 entry remain published on the UCAS course search website. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing applicants.

During Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades. Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

The University welcomes applications from international students. Ourinternational recruitment teamcan guide you on entry requirements. See ourInternational Studentwebsite for further information about entry requirements for your country.

If you need to increase your level of scienceready for undergraduate study, we offer aFoundation Year programme which can help boost your previous scientific experience.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you canmeet our staffat a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see ourEnglish language entry requirementsweb page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses inEnglish for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modulesand provides details of the content of this programme.This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

At all stages in this programme, themodules listed are compulsory.

  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

This module presents a unified understanding of the structure of matter, linking physical properties to bonding and energy, and providing the tools necessary to begin to describe and analyse chemical problems. Key concepts such as mass balance and bonding (ionic, covalent, metallic, and intermolecular) are linked to analytical methods to show how these fundamental ideas can be measured and used.

Find out more about CHEM3600

Organic chemistry underpins not only much of the chemistry of living things but also modern materials, dyes, medicines, and more. This module discusses the structure of organic molecules in detail, showing the shape of molecules dictates their properties, and how Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR) can exploit this to determine the structures and thus properties of unknown molecules. Fundamental modes of reactivity of organic molecules are discussed, showing how simple mechanisms can be used to build complex and useful compounds.

(Video) BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation

Find out more about CHEM3610

An introduction to the core Mathematical skills required within the Chemical and Forensic Sciences. These core skills will be complemented with a variety of problem-solving applications in Chemistry and Forensic Science.

Find out more about CHEM3640

Chemistry, as one of the physical sciences, is rooted in careful observation of the natural world and experimentation. This module teaches the key skills required to work in a chemical laboratory, analysing unknown systems and synthesising new ones, and learning how to apply the theories and ideas from lecture modules to socially and industrially relevant problems.

Find out more about CHEM3900

Find out more about CHEM4001

In this module students will experience a broad overview of evidence categories and crime types commonly encountered within the criminal justice system. Students will also be taken through a range of techniques associated with the delivery of forensic science to support this system.

Find out more about FSCI3010

This module introduces a range of forensically-relevant practical techniques from the initial processing of incident or crime scenes through to carrying out relevant laboratory analyses of evidence collected.

Find out more about FSCI3020

This module will provide forensic science students with some of the core understanding in inorganic and physical chemistry. These aspects will underpin students' understanding of Analytical Techniques and the Chemistry related to various forensic processes, leading to an enhanced understanding of Forensic Chemistry.

Find out more about FSCI3030

This module introduces students to the mathematical, physical, social and legal concepts that underpin academic study in the field of forensic ballistics.

Find out more about FSCI3080

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

Analytical chemistry underpins all other aspects of the discipline, and covers not only how to find out what a thing is but how to design experiments and confirm results to quantify just how confident you can be that your answer is useful. This module takes a pragmatic, applications driven approach to sample preparation, analysis, and data validation.

(Video) Intro to BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

This course will introduce students to the key ideas and fundamental molecular components of biochemistry. The course will cover simple biomolecules and non-covalent interactions, building up to biological oligomers. This will lead to introductory pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, illustrated with medicinal chemistry case studies.

This module will develop the students’ appreciation of a range of physical techniques applied, to the collection of bulk and trace evidence materials in forensic science.Students will look more deeply into aspects of physical evidence and will deal with the practical issues of item examination, legal process and general procedure associated with the collection and submission of a range of forensically-relevant materials.

This module introduces students to a range of scene investigation and evidence processing techniques through a combination of laboratory-based training exercises and simulated scene investigation scenarios.

This module offers students experience in a wide range of important forensic investigative and analytical skills relating to other taught and practical modules in the forensic programme. Students will also have the opportunity to build computational skills through the use facial composite software.

This module covers a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.

This module covers a broad range of established and emerging, computer based, forensic methods. It is organised into three units: Facial Identification Techniques, focusing on facial composite construction; Image Processing, Photo Forensics and Digital Forensics.

This module will give students a background in forensic ballistics, including the investigation of shooting scenes, firearms law and wound ballistics.

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

Analytical chemistry underpins all other aspects of the discipline. This module discusses modern methods in data analysis and processing, Cheminformatics and “Big Data”, and describes advanced analytical methods used for analysing complex systems.

This module covers a range of core chemical science that relates to fire and explosive events. The applied investigation of such events is also discussed to give students a wider appreciation of previous case studies and the complexities of post-fire and post-blast investigations.

This module discusses the legal processes associated with the submission of evidence in the courts of law alongside providing training in the delivery of expert witness testimony. Students will undergo a mock courtroom exercise in which they will deliver expert testimony in a courtroom environment.

(Video) Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

This module intends to illustrate the contemporary topics, underpinning professional practice those students wishing to enter the forensic science profession. The indicative content draws upon much of the guidance, published by the Forensic Science Regulator, UKAS, ENFSI, CSOFS as well as academic and professional commentary. The module covers several broad topics – namely, evaluative reporting, Case Assessment and Interpretation (CAI), quality standards, ethics in forensic science and bias.

This module will provide Forensic Scientists with an understanding of the chemistry behind the analysis of trace evidence. Students will be introduced to how complex instrumentation is used in these analyses and provide the background concepts needed to understand and interpret data.

This module comprises a range of contemporary topics covering methods of analysis and the interpretational issues associated with forensic DNA profiling. The materials take students through the evolution of forensic DNA; RFLP, Quad and the progression of DNA multiplexes to the present day and the practical issues of sample collection, processing and storage, DNA theory and practical DNA processing. Students will appreciate the difficulties associated with mixed samples and the statistical interpretation associated with both single source and mixture interpretation. The module draws upon the latest materials published by the Forensic Science Regulator and the latest quality and legal standards associated with DNA profiling. The module is contextualised throughout using a range of contemporary case studies.

This module will provide students with the skills necessary to propose, develop, perform and report on a project. The emphasis of this module will focus on not only academic research projects but also on future employability skills related to working in industry.

Teaching and assessment

There are approximately eight one-hour lectures each week, as well aslaboratory classes, project work and problem-solving seminars.

Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment and other assignments. You must pass the Stage 1 examinations in order to go on to Stage 2. Coursework assessments include incident analysis, evidence preservation, presentation skills and expert witness testimony.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • Instil enthusiasm for forensic science, an appreciation of its application in different contexts.
  • Provide a broad and balanced foundation of the science and law that underpins forensic practice and methodology in a modern society.
  • Develop the ability to apply knowledge and skills to the solution of forensic problems.
  • Teach you the use and understanding of a variety of scientific and quantitative techniques applied to forensic science problems.
  • Provide a knowledge and skills base from which you can proceed to further studies in the forensic and scientific area or in aspects of chemistry, physics or bioscience that are relevant to forensic and related practices.
  • Provide a stimulating, research-active environment for teaching and learning.
  • Provide an understanding of scientific methodology and the ability to undertake and report on an experimental investigation.
  • Generate an appreciation of the importance of forensic science and its practice in a judicial, industrial, economic, environmental and social context, and of the importance of chemistry in an industrial, economic, forensic, and social context.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units, conventions, and laboratory methods in relation to forensic science.
  • Areas of chemistry as applied to forensic analysis, and areas of bioscience, including cells, biochemistry, human DNA.
  • Numeracy, forensic investigation and interpretation and apply them to forensic examination and analysis.
  • Incident investigation, evidence recovery, preservation, and presentation as an expert witness within the judicial environment.

Intellectual skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject to find the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
  • Recognise and analyse novel problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data by a variety of computational methods.
  • Recognise and implement good measurement science and practice and commonly used forensic laboratory techniques.
  • Write essays and present scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences including legal contexts.
  • Communicate complex scientific argument to a lay audience.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use and to risk assess such hazards.
  • Conduct of standard laboratory procedures involved in analytical work and in the operation of standard forensic instrumentation.
  • Competence in the planning, design and execution of investigations, from the problem-recognition stage through to the evaluation and appraisal of results and findings.
  • Safe handling of firearms, ammunition, and propellants; analysis of forensic evidence related to firearms, firearm discharge, and ballistic theory; collision analysis: mathematical interpretation, field application and reconstruction.
  • Ability to interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements, and to present such data to an examining body in the role of expert witness.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Communication skills covering both written and oral communication.
  • Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support lifelong learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources.
  • IT skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Time-management and organisational skills.
  • Study skills needed for continuing professional development and preparation for employment as a practising forensic scientist.
  • Ability to plan and implement independent projects at degree level.

Careers

Your future

You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:

  • excellent communication skills
  • work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to solve problems and think analytically
  • time management.

This means that our graduates are well equipped for careers across a range of fields and have gone on to work for companies such as Cellmark,GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and theForensic Explosives Laboratorywhich is part of the Ministry of Defence and provides scientific support to the Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

You can read their stories, andfind out about the range of support and extra opportunities available to further your career potential.

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUniis designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replacesUnistatsfrom September 2019.

(Video) BSc (Hons) Forensic Science at the University of West London

DiscoverUniis jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about theUnistatsdataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.

FAQs

What is the difference between BSc forensic science and BSc Hons forensic science? ›

They're almost the same. Both courses require same time ie 3 years for the course to get completed. A BSC HONS degree candidate will have to appear for a dissertation for the completion of a Bsc (Hons) degree. On the contrary, this is not compulsory for a Bsc degree.

What is the salary of BSc forensic science in India? ›

After completing a qualification in forensic science, the starting salary is between Rs. 3 Lac to Rs. 4 Lac per annum. With experience, professionals can earn Rs 6 Lac to Rs 8 Lacs per year.

What degree is best for forensic science? ›

For prospective forensic scientists, however, it may be advisable to complete a bachelor's degree program in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, forensics, or a related field.

Which country is best for BSc forensic science? ›

Best Forensic Science universities and graduate schools
  • George Washington University, in the US.
  • University of Dundee, in the UK.
  • University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.
  • Uppsala University, in Sweden.
  • The Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, in Germany.
Jan 17, 2022

Videos

1. Forensic Science BSc (Hons) | De Montfort University
(De Montfort University)
2. Forensic Science - BSc (Hons) - University of Kent
(University of Kent)
3. BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences
(abertayTV)
4. BSc (Hons) in Forensic Sciences and Criminal Investigation
(European Forensic Institute)
5. BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
(University of Bedfordshire)
6. Susan: Forensic Science and Investigative Analysis BSc (Hons) graduate
(Kingston University)

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