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BSc (Hons)

Forensic Science

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Year Of Entry

2021
  • UCAS code(s): F410 / 350H
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: 3 / 4 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information


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This course offers the perfect combination of theory and practice. Whether that’s getting hands-on in our crime scene house and specialist forensics labs, taking part in real-life crime scenarios or taking a placement, we’ll help you develop the confidence and skills employers want to see.

As well as the support you’ll get from our experienced teaching staff, practitioners and technicians, you’ll also learn in small lab groups to develop and refine your technical skills.

Your studies will be set against a backdrop of the English legal system, putting your learning into context. You’ll start by learning about forensic processes and developing your chemistry and biological science skills, applying them to complex investigations to get an insight into professional crime scene investigations and forensic science.

Why choose this course?

  • It is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
  • Studying Forensic Science will give you key practical skills. You will take part in crime scene investigation workshops and learn how to process crime scene evidence in the laboratory.
  • Your study will follow a crime-scene-to-court approach to forensic analysis.
  • You'll have the option to do a 12-month work placement.
  • You can gain an international perspective on forensics by taking an exchange with our partner University in Canada.

International Exchange

Fancy getting a different perspective on forensics? We have a partner university in Canada where our students can spend a year experiencing a different culture and alternative aspects of forensic science and law. Going on an exchange can broaden your career horizons, and enhance your employability both in the UK and internationally.

What you'll study

Who will teach me?

The Forensics team is comprised of academic and support staff that are subject experts in forensic science, legal issues and crime scene investigation. Many of our staff have had relevant industrial and other external forensics experience and training.

Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.

Industry links

Our Forensics team work with a wide range of organisations including:

  • East Midlands Special Operations Unit  - Forensic Services (EMSOU - FS)
  • The Home Office
  • HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)
  • Dutch Police and Fire Service
  • Forensic Focus
  • Foster and Freeman
  • Nottinghamshire Police

NTU was my first choice because the course covers a wide range of topics, runs guest lectures / talks and has an emphasis on practical experience. This included the use of the crime scene house and the opportunity to include a placement year. I was lucky enough to be the first person to go to the Forensic Institute in Krakow, Poland for my placement.

Upon graduating with a first in Forensic Science, I was immediately employed by Scottish Police Services Authority's (SPSA) Forensic Services in Edinburgh as a forensic technician. Two years later I became a forensic examiner (drugs) and then for the last year and a half I've been in my current role.

Joni Walker, BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
Now working as a Forensic / Reporting Scientist (toxicology)

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

  • Year One

    Introduction to Forensic Biology

    Gain an introduction to the key areas that underpin the complex biological aspects of forensic science. You’ll write scientific reports and carry out oral presentations, both of which are important skills required of a forensic scientist.


    Technical Skills for Forensic Science

    This module will develop your understanding of professional standards in forensic science, with particular emphasis on the development of your technical and digital skills, including use of an e-portfolio to demonstrate your competency in these areas.


    The Forensic Process

    Develop your professional awareness of forensic science and the English legal system. Examine the role of the forensic scientist and law enforcement agencies, and even experience live trials.


    Introduction to Forensic Analysis

    Learn basic chemical principles including chromatography, applied spectroscopy, statistical tests, electroanalytical techniques, and appropriate specialist methods.


    Forensic Chemistry

    Study theoretical and practical chemistry in relation to forensic science, including concepts of periodicity, bonding and structure, functional group chemistry, thermodynamics, and kinetics.


    Professional Skills for Forensic Science

    Develop your skills in mathematical sciences. This module will help to train you, as a forensic scientist, in the essential calculated and logical thought processes needed to solve problems.

  • Year Two

    Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Photography

    Learn about crime scene investigation and its role within the forensic process, leading onto forensic image processing and the procedures and legislation attached to these areas.


    Biological Techniques in Forensic Science

    This module will form a platform of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills in the application of bioscience techniques and their relevance to forensic science.

    Ethics and Law for Forensic Science

    Gain a professional awareness of the law governing police powers, the substantive criminal law and the law of evidence, including an analysis of law and the European Convention on Human Rights.


    Forensic Casework Examination

    Develop an awareness of the application of laboratory examination methods in forensic science, enabling practical application of relevant techniques to casework problems.


    Forensic Analysis

    Building on Year One, you will focus on interfering sample matrices, quantitative and qualitative identification of multicomponent samples, and measurements under non-ideal conditions.


    Choose one optional module from:


    Introduction to Suspicious Death Investigation

    Microbial Structure, Identification and Distribution

    Explore the function of important subcellular structures of micro-organisms, as well as the taxonomy and identification of the main groups of bacteria, fungi and viruses relating to forensic investigations.


    Forensic Image processing

  • Optional placement year

    Optional year-long work placement. If you are not taking a placement you will progress directly to your final year in year three.

  • Final year

    Drugs of Abuse

    This module focuses on drugs of abuse and illustrates the forensic applications of a range of analytical techniques. Learn about
    the legislation covering substances and their classifications.

    Research Project

    You will develop research skills required for independent final year study: formulating a research question, conducting a literature
    review and making a critical appraisal of published research work.

    Molecular Techniques for Identification

    You will develop an understanding of the role of DNA-based analysis, looking at the various techniques and issues relating to the successful recovery and analysis of DNA samples.

    Choose one from the following optional modules:

    Advanced Crime Scene Investigation


    Forensic Microbiology


    Environmental Forensic Assessment

    Choose one from the following optional modules:

    Communicating Science and Technology


    Ballistics and Firearms


    Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

NTU is ranked 8th in Forensic Science subjects (Complete University Guide 2022)

How you’re taught

You will be assessed on a variety of components, including:

coursework and practical

  • assignments
  • dissertation
  • group projects
  • case studies
  • oral presentations
  • laboratory assessments
  • reports

written

  • exams
  • written tests

Assessment methods

Year 1 - coursework (56%), written (37%), and practical (7%)

Year 2 - coursework (67%) and written (33%)

Year 3 - coursework (58%), written (40%), and practical (2%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (28%) and independent study (72%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (31%) and independent study (69%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (33%) and independent study (67%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Careers and employability

Your career development

Employers in the fields of chemistry, biology and physics as well as forensic science highly value graduates with a strong background in:

  • scientific investigation
  • the reconstruction of events
  • the presentation of findings.

These skills are invaluable for careers in:

  • forensic science
  • law enforcement (for example, the police, Customs and Excise, immigration and fraud investigation)
  • academic research.

Our recent graduates have achieved the following careers:

  • Derbyshire Constabulary – forensic services assistant
  • De Montfort University – microbiology lab technician
  • Reckett Benckiser – analytical assistant
  • Nottinghamshire Police – police constable
  • Harlan Sera Limited – laboratory technician
  • Boots – pharmacy development analyst
  • Premier Analytical Services – microscopist
  • Surrey Police – intelligence processing assistant
  • Nanosight – particle physicist.

Many graduates also choose to undertake further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Excellent placement opportunities


Placements

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your second year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent Chemistry students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including Nottinghamshire and Cumbria Police Forces, Anthony Nolan Trust and the NHS. They secured varied roles such as technicians in pathology and chemistry labs, Collision Investigation Support Volunteer, Digital Forensics Intern and Student Cyber Security Analyst.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB, including chemistry and another science or numerate subject*; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM, including relevant chemistry and another science or numerate modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in chemistry and another science or numerate subject; and
  • GCSEs – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

* we will accept biology / human biology, physics, maths / further maths, core maths, use of maths, environmental science, physical education and sport science.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB, including chemistry and another science or numerate subject*; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM, including relevant chemistry and another science or numerate modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in chemistry and another science or numerate subject; and
  • GCSEs – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

* we will accept biology / human biology, physics, maths / further maths, core maths, use of maths, environmental science, physical education and sport science.

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What do the course fees cover?

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £30.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

What do the course fees cover?

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £30.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418