BSc (Hons)

Forensic Science

Forensic student dusting window
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton campus
  • Starting: September 2017
  • Course duration: Three years full-time / four years with placement

This course is ideal for those with an enquiring mind, a deep interest in science and a curiosity about how and why things happen. You will develop the ability to judge the importance of physical evidence based on incident scene observation and the results of laboratory tests.

On this course you will develop the ability to judge the importance of physical evidence based on incident scene observations and the results of laboratory analysis.

Studying Forensic Science will enable you to:

  • Understand crime scene science.
  • Use case studies to highlight the range of approaches required in forensic investigations as well as analytical instruments, microscopy and the English legal system.
  • Find out how the acquisition of crime scene evidence is studied as well as genetic identification.

Why choose this course?

  • It is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
  • You will be eligible for admission to Associate Member of the RSC (AMRSC) when you graduate.
  • 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 get free student membership to the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences as well as personal protection equipment (PPE) and lab coats.
  • You have the option to do a 12-month work placement.

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:

What our students say

"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 in 2008 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.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the ULP.

  • Year One

    • Forensic Biology and Microscopy
    • The Forensic Process
    • Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
    • Forensic Chemistry
    • Skills for Forensic Science
  • Year Two

    • Crime Scene Investigation and Image Processing
    • Biological Techniques in Forensic Science
    • Forensic Toxicology: methods and applications
    • Legal Issues in the Criminal Justice System
    • Criminalistics
    • Analytical Chemistry
  • Year Three

    Optional year-long work placements are available.

  • Final year

    • Drugs of Abuse
    • Research Project
    • Genetics for Identification
    • Advanced Crime Scene Investigation
    • Ballistics and Firearms
    • Forensic Archaeology and Palaeopathology

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

You will be assessed on a variety of components:

Coursework and Practical 62%

  • Assignments
  • Dissertation
  • Group projects
  • Case studies
  • Oral presentations
  • Laboratory assessments and reports

Written 38%

  • Exams
  • Written tests

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:

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

Excellent placement opportunities

You will have the opportunity to undertake a year's work placement in industry in the second year. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. Recent placement salaries have ranged from £10,000 to £35,000 and many students impress their placement employers so much they are offered jobs upon graduation.

Recent Forensic Science students have secured placements in companies including:

15 Forensic Science students opted to do a placement between 2011 and 2012.

Claire Dennis, BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
Placement: Interpol

"At the end of my second year of study I was lucky enough to be awarded a prestigious internship with Interpol, the world’s largest international police organisation.

"Interpol facilitates cross-border police co-operation, and supports and assists all organisations, authorities and services whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime. My placement consisted of a six month internship at the DNA and Identification Unit based in Lyon, France.

"I was really excited about my placement and the experience gained from working life and living in a foreign country."

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBB, including Biology and Chemistry OR
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM, including relevant Biology and Chemistry modules OR
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in Biology and Chemistry AND
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C.

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.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels - BBB, including Biology and Chemistry OR
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - DDM, including relevant Biology and Chemistry modules OR
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in Biology and Chemistry AND
  • GCSEs - English and Maths grade C.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

In 2017/18, the tuition fee for full-time UK home undergraduate and foundation degree students joining NTU in 2017/18 will be £9,250.

If you have a year-long placement as part of a sandwich course, or spend a year studying or working abroad, the fee for that year will be £1380.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at University. The cost of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your course will be £9,250.

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

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Science and Technology course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 8351