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Forensic Biology

100% employability

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2018

Industry recognised

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology

Excellent facilities

Including £30m Science Centre, Nature reserve & Crime Scene House

UCAS code:
F411
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Mode of study:
Full-time
Duration:
3 Years
Academic year:
17 September 2018 - 21 June 2019
09 September 2019 - 19 June 2020
Book onto an Open Day Enquire about this course Apply now

This course covers modern developments involving the application of biosciences in relation to the field of forensic science.

It's ideal if you're interested in the practical application of science, providing exciting opportunities for hands-on scientific training. Topics such as DNA profiling, poison analysis, toxicology, drug identification, blood pattern analysis and the identification of human remains are covered.

The main activities in this course utilise specialist labs in our multi-million-pound Science Centre and our purpose-built crime scene house, which are designed to simulate a real-world approach to the topics being studied.

If you want to study for an advanced qualification, we offer an integrated Masters MSci course in Forensic Biology. This will give you advanced knowledge, skills and research experience, enabling you to move directly into research and related careers in forensic, crime and life sciences.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSci Forensic Biology

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology

Work placements

If you choose to complete a work placement between the second and final years of the course, our placement staff will work with you to identify a suitable location for your work placement. Please also note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your work placement, and for any accommodation costs.

Course content

In Year 1, you’ll develop a strong understanding of biological principles supporting your degree, together with the underpinning scientific approach to evidence collection and working in a crime scene.

In your 2nd year, you’ll develop your understanding of the key biological areas used in criminal investigations, including DNA profiling and the evidential use and analysis of biological fluids and tissue material. You’ll also develop key skills such as scientific questioning, scientific and forensic reporting and project planning.

If you are following the BSc (Hons) route, you can opt for the sandwich version of this course where the placement opportunity, with a relevant graduate organisation, lasts a whole year.

In your final year, you’ll complete an experimental project focused on your interests in forensic biology. You’ll also study subjects such as toxicology, techniques in identification of human remains and advanced DNA profiling. Your expanding biological knowledge will be developed within the context of current legal processes and will go hand in hand with the development of expert witness skills in our mock courtrooms.

In Year 1, you’ll develop a strong understanding of biological principles supporting your degree, together with the underpinning scientific approach to evidence collection and working in a crime scene.

In your 2nd year, you’ll develop your understanding of the key biological areas used in criminal investigations, including DNA profiling and the evidential use and analysis of biological fluids and tissue material. You’ll also develop key skills such as scientific questioning, scientific and forensic reporting and project planning.

If you are following the BSc (Hons) route, you can opt for the sandwich version of this course where the placement opportunity, with a relevant graduate organisation, lasts a whole year.

In your final year, you’ll complete an experimental project focused on your interests in forensic biology. You’ll also study subjects such as toxicology, techniques in identification of human remains and advanced DNA profiling. Your expanding biological knowledge will be developed within the context of current legal processes and will go hand in hand with the development of expert witness skills in our mock courtrooms.

In Year 1, you’ll develop a strong understanding of biological principles supporting your degree, together with the underpinning scientific approach to evidence collection and working in a crime scene.

In your 2nd year, you’ll develop your understanding of the key biological areas used in criminal investigations, including DNA profiling and the evidential use and analysis of biological fluids and tissue material. You’ll also develop key skills such as scientific questioning, scientific and forensic reporting and project planning.

If you are following the BSc (Hons) route, you can opt for the sandwich version of this course where the placement opportunity, with a relevant graduate organisation, lasts a whole year.

In your final year, you’ll complete an experimental project focused on your interests in forensic biology. You’ll also study subjects such as toxicology, techniques in identification of human remains and advanced DNA profiling. Your expanding biological knowledge will be developed within the context of current legal processes and will go hand in hand with the development of expert witness skills in our mock courtrooms.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting, in part, the academic and experience requirement of membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).

Royal Society of Biology logo

Modules

This map is an indicative list of compulsory modules for 2018/2019 full-time undergraduate courses only. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module are subject to change in future years, and according to the mode of study, entry date, award type. In the event of any full-time 2018-2019 compulsory modules changing, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Biosciences Concepts and Practice
Introduction to Forensic Science
Biological Principles for Forensic Sciences
Show optional modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Professional Practice and Placement
Methods of Crime Detection
DNA Profiling and Forensic Biology
Show optional modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Research Project
Advanced DNA Profiling
Current Advances in Biosciences
Toxicology
Expert Witness & the Legal System
Show optional modules
Year 4 compulsory modules
Advanced Research Methods
Life Sciences Placement or Biological Research Assistantship
Advanced Biological Techniques
Specialist Topics in the Biosciences

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points 
  • A levels: BBC, including Biology at Grade C or above
  • BTEC: DMM Applied Science 

All applicants need GCSE minimum grade C Mathematics and English Language, or recognised equivalent.

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 128 points
  • A levels: ABB, to include Biology at Grade C or above
  • BTEC: DDM Applied Science 

All applicants need GCSE minimum grade C Mathematics and English Language, or recognised equivalent.

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points 
  • A levels: BBC, including Biology at Grade C or above
  • BTEC: DMM Applied Science 

All applicants need GCSE minimum grade C Mathematics and English Language, or recognised equivalent.

Facilities

Careers

On graduation your skillset is primarily that of a forensic biologist but will also provide a suitable basis for a wide range of scientific areas, including the broader field of forensics, research laboratories, any industries utilising bio-analytical techniques, for example, toxicological, environmental analysis laboratories, and technical sales. 

Graduates from our Forensic Biology degree have followed a variety of career pathways including teaching, archaeological research and laboratory management.

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, small group and practical sessions. Small group sessions enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, small group and practical sessions. Small group sessions enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, small group and practical sessions. Small group sessions enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

Assessment

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Enabling Centre supports students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Feedback

You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 80% of our full-time staff in Life Sciences and Education are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Kevin Reiling
Kevin Reiling Course Leader

Kevin’s research explores the environmental impacts of aerial pollutants and toxic metals. He is also interested in the public understanding of science.

Read full profile

For the academic year 2018/19 the tuition fees for this course are:

Mode of study
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£11,100 per year of study

For the academic year 2019/20 the tuition fees for this course are:

Mode of study
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£12,500 per year of study

For the academic year 2019/20 the tuition fees for this course are:

Mode of study
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£12,500 per year of study

For the academic year 2019/20 the tuition fees for this course are:

Mode of study
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£12,500 per year of study

UK, EU and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International (Non-EU) students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Our students

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Stoke-on-Trent campus
BSc (Hons)
Full-time
17 September 2018
Stoke-on-Trent campus
BSc (Hons)
Full-time
09 September 2019

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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