BSc (Hons) Forensic Science (Including Foundation Year)

The Foundation course in Forensic Science is for students who don’t meet the entry for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree. You’ll start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your scientific skills and knowledge. 

Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, this Forensic Science course has a strong focus on employability and you’ll study the entire process from crime scene to court.

Following successful completion of a common first year curriculum, students choose to follow either an Analytical or a Biology Forensic Science pathway depending upon their personal preference during the second and subsequent third year.

You will be trained in standard practices and techniques used in crime scene investigation, as well as laboratory analysis of evidence and its interpretation. You’ll study specialist branches of forensic science, including criminalistics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, fire investigation and toxicology.

Our Forensic Science course has a very strong scientific base, which means you’ll be employable in a number of scientific sectors. 

 

UCAS Code Study Mode
2019
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
0U4C Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
2020
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
0U4C Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A

The forensic science degree covers a wide range of sciences, from criminalistics to chemistry and biology. You will develop the concepts of crime scene investigation protocol and 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.

Following successful completion of a common first year curriculum, students choose to follow either an Analytical or a Biology Forensic Science pathway depending upon their personal preference during the second and subsequent third year.

The second year of your forensic science will enhance your practical skills and theoretical knowledge through forensic evidence and crime scene examination. You will develop your skills in applying chemistry techniques and your understanding of either analytical chemistry or biological science within forensic investigation depending upon the pathway chosen.

In the third year you will study advanced modules, critically analysing forensic case studies as well as developing advanced skills in either the analytical chemistry or biological science depending upon the pathway chosen as well as taking the Research, Employability and Professional Skills module.

Foundation Year: Forensic Science Degree

  • Foundation Chemistry
  • Physical Science
  • Foundation Biology
  • Introduction to Forensic Investigation and Criminal Justice
  • Scientific Data Literacy
  • Key Skills in Professional Development


Year One: Forensic Science Degree

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Criminalistics
  • Introduction to Forensic Biology
  • Fundamental Concepts for the Forensic Sciences
  • Chemical Concepts for the Forensic Sciences
  • Key Skills for Forensic Practice

Year Two: Forensic Science Degree

Analytical Pathway

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

Biology Pathway

  • Forensic Evidence
  • Volume Crime Scene Examination
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology and an Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Forensic Analysis of Human Remains
  • Medical Microbiology

Year Three: Forensic Science Degree

Analytical Pathway

  • Fire and Explosion Investigation
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • Human Molecular Genetics and Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Forensic Microscopy and X-ray Analysis
  • Toxicology
  • Research, Employability and Professional Skills

Biology Pathway

  • Applications of Forensic Biology
  • Human Variation and Forensic Anthropology
  • Human Molecular Genetics and Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Forensic Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis
  • Toxicology
  • Research, Employability and Professional Skills

 This downloadable guide allows you to compare modules across all Forensic courses.

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

Accreditations

The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science course is accredited by The Forensic Science Society in three component standard areas - Crime Scene Investigation; Laboratory Analysis and Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence.

Placements

To increase your employability, you may be eligible to spend a year working in industry mid-way through the course, which is an excellent way to expand your range of skills.

Facilities

Our excellent facilities include a multi-room Crime Scene Training Facility, dedicated instrument laboratories and a DNA analysis suite. This gives you experience in crime scene examination and chain of custody processes, as well as potential issues at crime scenes.

The Forensic Science programme focuses on practical investigative skills in the forensic laboratory. You’ll benefit from industry- standard instruments, providing you with skills in a wide range of evidence examination techniques.

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

EE to include a relevant Science subject but excluding General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

N/A

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points from Higher Levels to include Science or Maths.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C/Grade 4 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.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2019 - July 2020 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 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 one 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. 

Admissions statement

Throughout the Forensic Science degree, you 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 Forensic Science 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.