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BSc (Hons) - Forensic Science

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and closely aligned to professional standards, the degree is ideal for those who want to study a blend of science, law and investigation. It is unique in its coverage of the criminal and commercial applications of forensic science, opening up a wider range of employment opportunities.

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Accredited by:

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Forensic Science cover image

Course Overview

You will study a unique approach to Forensic Science, encompassing not only the criminal aspects of the profession, but also the wider remit of science and justice in both the public and private sectors.

Designed by industry professionals, you will develop the skills and knowledge highly valued amongst employers, including the ability to confidently investigate crimes, conduct independent laboratory analysis, process and analyse evidence and prepare statements for court proceedings. You won't just learn the theory, you'll be doing it in hands-on sessions, including investigating complex crime scenes at our mock crime flat, through working alongside serving professionals at our award-winning major incident event and applying practical laboratory skills to solving both criminal and commercial investigations in our state-of-the-art laboratories.

On this course you will...

  • Study on a forensic science degree ranked in the top 10 nationally for student satisfaction (Complete University Guide 2021).
  • Be supported to engage in real-world research and may end up presenting at national conferences.
  • Benefit from our approach to inter-professional and problem-based learning which is recognised for teaching excellence (Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence 2017 Finalist).
  • Discover how we take an interest in everyone as an individual and students consistently tell us how much they appreciate their individual time with dedicated tutors.
  • Study a blend of science, law and investigation, which is unique in its coverage of the criminal and commercial applications of forensic science.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

On this course designed by industry professionals, you will develop the skills and knowledge highly valued amongst employers, including the ability to confidently investigate crimes, conduct independent laboratory analysis, process and analyse evidence and prepare statements for court proceedings. You won’t just learn the theory, you’ll be doing it in hands-on sessions – including investigating complex crime scenes at our mock crime flat, through working alongside serving professionals at our award-winning major incident exercise and applying practical laboratory skills to solving both criminal and commercial investigations in our state-of--art laboratories.

Year one

From this year, you will be able to demonstrate that you have the ability:

To apply a systematic approach to the acquisition of knowledge, underpinning concepts and principles and deploy a range of subject-specific, cognitive and transferable skills. Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving well-defined problems and communicate outcomes in a structured and clear manner. Identify and discuss the relationship between personal and workplace experience and findings from books and journals and other data drawn from the field of study.

  • Crime Scene Investigation
    To equip you with an ability to perform techniques involved in crime scene investigation and recovery of evidence as practised by UK forensic agencies.
  • Chemistry for Forensic Scientists
    To develop knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of physical, organic and analytical chemistry, essential to further study in forensic science.
  • Biology For Forensic Scientists
    To develop your knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of biology, essential to further study in forensic science.
  • Forensic Evidence
    This module will introduce you to the fundamental principles of Forensic Science, including different categories of evidence and their analysis.
  • Anatomy and Physiology
    This module will provide students with an understanding and appreciation of basic human anatomy and physiology with particular focus on the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.
  • Laboratory Skills for Forensic Scientists
    To develop and demonstrate competency in fundamental laboratory skills for forensic scientists.
Year two

From this year, you will be able to demonstrate that you have the ability:

To apply and evaluate key concepts and theories within and outside the context in which they were first studied. Select appropriately from and deploy a range of subject-specific, cognitive and transferable skills and problem-solving strategies to problems in the field of study and in the generation of ideas effectively communicate information and arguments in a variety of forms. Accept responsibility for determining and achieving personal outcomes. Reflect on personal and workplace experience in the light of recent scholarship and current statutory regulations.

  • Forensic Chemistry
    To develop a thorough understanding of the principles and applications of chemistry to forensic science.
  • Forensic Genetics
    To develop knowledge and understanding of the role of Genetics and DNA technology in forensic investigations.
  • Science and Justice
    To develop your understanding of the investigation process and the management of forensic evidence, with particular reference to the role of an expert witness presenting evidence in court.
  • Forensic Taphonomy
    To gain an understanding of the fundamentals of biological process of decomposition and related disciplines and how they relate to forensic investigations.
  • Commercial Applications of Forensic Science
    Demonstrate the application of forensic techniques to commercial sectors in order to combat consumer and business detriment or investigate when detriment occurs.
  • Exploring Research
    This module will help to provide you with the skills required to conceive, design, conduct and interpret scientific research. You will be guided in developing your ability to evaluate a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and when it is appropriate to use them.
Year three

From this year, you will be able to demonstrate that you have the ability:

To critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge.
Critically evaluate concepts and evidence from a range of resources. Transfer and apply subject-specific, cognitive and transferable skills and problem-solving strategies to a range of situations and to solve complex problems. Communicate solutions, arguments and ideas clearly and in a variety of forms. Exercise considerable judgement in a range of situations. Accept accountability for determining and achieving personal and group outcomes. Reflect critically and analytically on personal and workplace experience in the light of recent scholarship and current statutory regulations.

  • Dissertation
    To enable you to undertake an independent piece of in depth research into a topic of your choice. This module provides you with an opportunity to develop your research skills and gain valuable experience in project management.
  • Miscarriages of Justice
    To ensure you have sufficient skills and knowledge to record, manage and interpret evidence coherently in the written and spoken word as required in a court of law.
  • Death Investigation
    To investigate the ways in which medical science and principal evidence types can assist in the resolution of legal issues in the criminal and civil courts pertaining to death.
  • Criminal and Commercial Investigation
    To be able to apply your knowledge and understanding to a variety of scenarios, as well as enhance your problem solving and ability to research and design experiments.
  • Toxicology
    To develop your knowledge of the principles of toxicology and enable you to gain an in-depth understanding of the effects of toxic chemicals on the body and the environment.
  • Advanced Genetics
    This module will discuss the application of molecular genetics to clinical diagnostics, microbial biotechnology, forensic science and disease treatment as well as providing an overview of current biotechnological advances.

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An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

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