BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

Would you like to perform a crucial role in the investigation of crime and legal scenarios? Our Forensic Science degree is highly practical, scientifically challenging and accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. We were one of the first universities to offer undergraduate Forensic Science degrees, and graduates of our accredited forensic science course have gone on to have excellent careers in the sector.

You’ll acquire a full understanding of the crime scene to court process, and the forensic and analytical procedures used to collect, examine and interpret evidence. This Forensic Science course will also give you an excellent grounding in analytical science and an impressive set of practical skills. You’ll have the opportunity to experience the state-of-the-art instruments used widely within the industry. You’ll be investigating simulated crime scenes, which include burglary, assault, homicide and fatal fires, in our Crime Scene House and forensic science laboratories.

Study Mode 2017 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Pontypridd
Study Mode 2018 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Pontypridd

The Forensic Science degree covers a wide range of sciences, from criminalistics to organic chemistry.

The Forensic Science degree will develop the concepts of crime scene investigation protocol. You will also gain scientific knowledge of the chemical and biological analytical techniques used to assist investigations.

The first year of your Forensic Science degree introduces you to the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in biological, analytical chemistry and crime scene investigation employed within forensic investigation.

The second year of your Forensic Science degree will enhance your practical skills and theoretical knowledge through forensic evidence and forensic imaging. You will develop your skills in applying analytical chemistry techniques and your understanding of biological science within forensic investigation.

In the third year, you will study advanced modules and critically analyse forensic case studies, as well as forensic microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. You will study toxicology, advanced analytical chemistry and fire and explosion investigation.

Year 1

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Criminalistics
  • Introduction to Forensic Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Mathematics Workshop
  • Key Skills for Chemical and Forensic Scientists

Year 2

  • Forensic Evidence
  • Volume Crime Scene Examination
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology and an Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Digital Forensics and Security

Year 3

  • Fire and Explosion Investigation
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • Human Molecular Genetics and Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Forensic Microscopy and X-ray Analysis
  • Toxicology
  • Research, professional practice and employability in the forensic sciences

Teaching

This forensic science degree will involve about ten hours in lectures and small group tutorials, and up to ten hours of practical work each week.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice and year of study.
In addition to lectures from the staff at The University of South Wales, guest lectures are delivered by external specialist experts in their field as part of the module delivery and additionally through presentations organised by the University Forensic Science Society and Chemistry Society.

In addition many events are held during the year such as Career Fairs and Career conferences where students will have an opportunity to find out more about prospective careers and meet prospective employers.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a combination of different approaches including end of year examinations, in-term tests, practical and laboratory skills assessments, written essay-style coursework, online short answer assessments, laboratory reports, simulated case work files, preparation of witness statements, data analysis exercises, mock court sessions and oral presentations.

Many of the tasks and assessments you will complete have transferable and employability skills deeply embedded within them including independent learning, working as part of a team, numeracy, planning, organisation and communication skills, as well as allowing you to develop professional skills for practice in forensic science.

UCAS Code
F125
Institution Code
W01

Accreditations

The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science course is accredited by The Forensic Science Society in three component standard areas:

  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence

Placements

There is no formal work placement associated with this course, but we encourage all of our students to obtain some form of relevant work experience through the GradEdge scheme.

Facilities

You will train in our Forensic Science facilities where you will learn key skills in our purpose-built laboratories and in our scenes of crime house.

Lecturers

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC to include Chemistry and Biology but excluding General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BC at A Level to include Chemistry and Biology but to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject to include Chemistry and Biology modules

Typical IB Offer

29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include grade 5 in Biology and Chemistry

Typical Access to HE Offer

Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions from Chemistry and Biology units, 18 Merits and 15 Passes

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: £9000
  • Full-time International: £11900

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Students on our forensic science degree will gain an excellent portfolio of practical skills that are in demand by employers, plus you will be trained using the same instruments and techniques as practising forensic scientists, which will give you an advantage when applying for graduate positions.

The skills and knowledge of our forensic science graduates are highly desirable and can be used in other scientific areas such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, or in postgraduate study such as Masters, Doctorate and fast-track medicine. Career opportunities for our graduates have been very good, gaining posts all over the world in forensic laboratories, crime scene investigation teams, toxicology, biomedical and environmental laboratories, police forces, fingerprint bureaus, insurance investigation, and health and safety.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.