Forensic Science (with placement year)
Duration: 4 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: BSc (Hons)
Placement: Placement year available
Suitable for international students
Faculty of Life Sciences
This Forensic Science degree focuses on the processing and analysis of physical evidence from crime scenes, and includes a placement sandwich year in industry.
The course emphasises the application of science - in particular analytical chemistry - and stresses the importance of quality assurance procedures in a forensic setting.
A characteristic of the University of Bradford's approach is the integration of practical skills training within a good theoretical framework – whether in terms of crime scene investigation, the collection, examination and interpretation of physical evidence, laboratory processing and analysis.
The course provides you with a sound knowledge of how scientific techniques can be used within forensic investigations, and allows you to explore a challenging area of applied science. You will develop into a professional with the scientific skills to work within areas such as crime scene investigation, forensic science and related laboratory areas.
Throughout your degree, you will acquire skills that will be useful in whatever profession they choose to follow. These include project and time management, critical review and analytical thinking, presentational skills, computer and other applied IT skills and the management of data. These will be taught, practised and assessed.
The University of Bradford is ranked 4th in the UK for Forensic Science in the Complete University Guide 2017.
Students can apply for student membership with the Forensic Science Society (which received Royal Charter status in 2014).
Bradford was the first university in the UK to offer a forensics science degree, and we continue to develop the programme to ensure that it is up-to-date with the requirements of the forensics sector.
As such, we have refocused the forensics degree to offer a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry in stages 2 and 3, with a focused final year dedicated to the application of forensic science.
Crime scene techniques are taught in our dedicated crime scene facility, with analysis of evidence supported by a forensics laboratory and the University’s Centre for Chemical and Structural Analysis.
The interdisciplinary nature of our research at Bradford means we can call upon expertise from our colleagues in archaeology who use forensics science techniques to study human remains, such as the Llullaillaco Maiden, discovered in 1999.
- Top Five: Ranked 4th in the country for Forensic Science in the Complete University Guide 2017
- Top 20: Chemistry at the University of Bradford is ranked 18th in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2017
- Top 20: Forensic Science and Archaeology at the University of Bradford is ranked 15th in the UK in the Guardian University League Tables 2017
Typical offer: BBC / 112 UCAS points
New UCAS tariff
We use the UCAS tariff system to help us compare different qualifications. For courses starting from September 2017 onwards, the way points are calculated is changing.
The number of points you get for each qualification and grade will be lower, for example, an A* grade at A level will be worth 56 points from 2017 onwards, instead of 140 in 2016. Despite the lower points, you will still need to achieve the same grades. The only exception to this is that AS Levels will now be worth 40% of an A Level, instead of 50%.
All qualifications that are currently on the UCAS Tariff will continue to attract points under the new system. More qualifications are also being brought into the UCAS tariff system for the first time, including Access to Higher Education courses.
Work out your UCAS tariff points using the UCAS Tariff Calculator (link opens in a new tab).
To include A-level Chemistry minimum grade B.
BTEC Extended Diploma:
DMM. Science subject required - must include at least three Chemistry-related units.
Applicants on Access Programmes:
112 UCAS tariff points from an Access to Higher Education Diploma - Science subject required. Must include a minimum of 12 credits of Chemistry at minimum Distinction.
Plus minimum of:
GCSE English, Mathematics and a Science at grade C or 4 (equivalents accepted).
English language requirements:
Minimum IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.
If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.
|Inorganic Chemistry 1||core|
|Organic Chemistry 1||core|
|Physical Chemistry 1||core|
|Practical Chemistry 1||core|
|Principles of Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation||core|
|Forensic Examination and Analysis of Physical Evidence||core|
|Inorganic Chemistry 2||core|
|Organic Chemistry 2||core|
|Physical Chemistry 2||core|
|Practical Chemistry 2||core|
|Analysis of Controlled Substances||core|
|Analytical Short Courses A||core|
|Interpretation and Presentation of Forensic Evidence for Forensic Science||core|
|Professional Development: Forensic Enquiry and Critical Case Study||core|
|Stage 3 Research Project||core|
|Forensic Anthropology and Taphonomy for Forensic Scientists||option|
|Forensic Archaeology and Taphonomy for Forensic Scientists||option|
Learning activities and assessment
You will learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, workshops, case studies and directed study. Directed study will include directed reading of selected textbooks, specified source literature and open learning materials, directed web-based materials, report writing and other assignments. There will also be an individual project/dissertation.
You will be assessed by written closed-book examinations using constructed (essays, short answers) and selected response (MCQ) questions and a variety of coursework assignments, including laboratory reports, oral presentations and dissertations.
There will also be involvement in laboratory, small-group workshops, case-based work and projects (individual and small group). You will be assessed by critical appraisal, case analysis and critique, case presentations, laboratory reports and dissertations.
At Stage 3, essays, the journal critique and essay-based examinations provide a format to critically evaluate the key themes of the degree. Practical portfolios and worksheets allow you to demonstrate your understanding of forensic laboratory techniques.
The research dissertation develops your ability to undertake independent research and plan this research effectively. Presentations, the witness statement and the mock court exercise will develop your professional oral and written presentation skills.
You can spend a year in a laboratory environment as a paid employee of an approved organisation.
This experience allows you to apply theoretical knowledge to practical problems, learn about work practices, and improve your career prospects.
Career support and prospects
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
85% of our 2015 graduates in Chemistry and Forensic Sciences found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.
There are wide-ranging career opportunities, including the health service, the forensic science or police scientific support laboratories, the Health and Safety Executive, and the public analysts’ laboratories, as well as opportunities in the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, drink and electronics industries.
The scientific skills, knowledge and methods you will acquire during the course can also be a useful basis for a career in teaching, technical and scientific writing, or other information services.
The average starting salary for our 2015 Chemistry and Forensic Science graduates was £21,419.
Crime scene investigation and processing is taught through a series of simulated exercises based in our specially appointed Crime Scene Facility.
Forensic Laboratory science is taught from our specialist Forensic Examination Suite and the analytical facilities in the Centre for Chemical and Structural Analysis (including ESEM, FT-Raman, GC-MS).
Teaching on Forensic Taphonomy is based around lectures and practical classes in our specialist Forensic Taphonomy Laboratory (including autopsy tables, fume extraction and insect colony) and the Oxenhope Taphonomy Field Station.
Archaeological excavation skills are taught during fieldwork over the summer between years 2 and 3.
Explore the Faculty of Life Sciences' facilities using this interactive 360° tour:
Fees, Finance and Scholarships
- Home/EU: £9,250*
- Home/EU, sandwich placement year fee: 10% of the applicable full-time fee
- International: £16,970
- International, sandwich placement year fee: £1,700
* Home/EU fees will be subject to an annual increase, set in line with government policy. A percentage of any additional higher fee income will be used to support student opportunity through increased expenditure on access, student success and progression activities.
See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.
See our Fees and Financial Support website.
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Download the programme specification for Forensic Science (with placement year)
This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.