Key facts

Location:

Stoke-on-Trent campus

Mode of attendance: Full-time
Duration: 3 years, 4 years (with a placement year), 4 years (MSci) full-time
UCAS code: F410, F416 (with a placement year), F413 (with a foundation year), 2R14 (MSci)
Academic year: 17 September 2018 – 7 June 2019

Introduction

If you want to develop scientific expertise and advanced problem solving, applying it to very practical demands, our Forensic Science degree may be for you.

Our BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree has been designed to develop scientific expertise, advanced analytical problem solving and transferable skills. The course is ideal for those who are interested in the application of science within the criminal justice system.

The MSci course combines Bachelors-level and Masters-level study in one integrated programme. Whichever degree you choose to complete, you will benefit from our highly practical approach to learning. You will gain hands-on experience using a range of instruments and techniques used in forensic science, such as Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), DNA profiling, blood splatter analysis, drug profiling and scanning electron microscopy. Our industry standard facilities include a crime scene house and specialist laboratories.

On successful completion of study, we will issue one of the following awards dependent on your chosen pathway: BSc (Hons) Forensic Science, MSci Forensic Science

Professional body accreditation

Accreditation:

  • The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences - BSc (Hons) and MSci
  • Royal Society of Chemistry – Graduates are eligible for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC)

Work placements

If you choose to complete one of our sandwich courses with 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 learn about crime scene investigation and the importance of preserving evidence. You’ll cover relevant biological and chemical principles, as well as photography and other crime scene documenting techniques. In Year 2, you’ll focus on analysis and measurement. You’ll expand on the principles of criminalistic methods, forensic chemistry, forensic biology and DNA profiling.

For our BSc (Hons) students, there is an opportunity to undertake a 12-month placement. You may choose to work with Staffordshire Police Forensic Department or with other forensic providers and laboratory based employers.

In Year 3, our BSc (Hons) students put forensic knowledge into practice by working on simulated crime scenes. You’ll also complete an independent research project in a current forensic field.

In your fourth year as an MSci student, you will have the opportunity to work more independently through either a professional placement or a research assistantship. By this stage, you’ll have the laboratory skills needed to function autonomously to demonstrate a wide variety of skills expected at Masters-level study.

Modules

This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course. 

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Before you can register on some optional modules, you may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules. Some module combinations may not be allowed.

Year 1

Semester 1
Module title
Introduction to Forensic Science Compulsory
Chemical Principles for Forensic Science Compulsory
Biological Principles for Forensic Science Compulsory
Crime Scene Documentation Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Introduction to Forensic Science Compulsory
Chemical Principles for Forensic Science Compulsory
Biological Principles for Forensic Science Compulsory
Facial Recognition: Scientific and Investigative Tools Optional
Periodicity Optional

Year 2

Semester 1
Module title
Methods of Crime Detection Compulsory
DNA-profiling and Forensic Biology Compulsory
Methods of Chemical Analysis Compulsory
Research and Professional Skills Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Methods of Crime Detection Compulsory
DNA-profiling and Forensic Biology Compulsory
Methods of Chemical Analysis Compulsory
Periodicity Optional
Drugs of Abuse Optional
Vehicle Collision Investigation Optional
Forensic Archaeology Optional
Experimental Chemistry Optional

Year 3

Semester 1
Module title
Independent Project Compulsory
Investigating and Reporting Crime Scenes Compulsory
Expert Witness and Legal System Compulsory
Advanced DNA Profiling Optional
Toxicology Optional
Techniques in Identification of Human Remains Optional
Analysis and Investigation of TEREFF Incidents Optional
Field School in Forensic Archaeology Optional
Forensic Multimedia Optional
Experimental Chemistry Optional
Semester 2
Module title
Independent Project Compulsory
Investigating and Reporting Crime Scenes Compulsory
Advanced DNA Profiling Optional
Toxicology Optional
Techniques in Identification of Human Remains Optional
Analysis and Investigation of TEREFF Incidents Optional
Field School in Forensic Archaeology Optional
Forensic Multimedia Optional
Experimental Chemistry Optional

Year 4

Semester 1
Module title
Independent Research Project Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Independent Research Project Compulsory

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an expert 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 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Your tutors are experienced practitioners who will bring real-life experiences to your learning using the most up-to-date skills and technologies.