Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer

Forensic Science - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Skilled forensic scientists are able to form an unbiased, technical understanding of any crime scene and defend their findings in court. On this fascinating degree course, you'll develop your analytical skills through problem solving exercises and hands-on lab work. You'll examine applications of bio-analysis in the modern world, such as poison and drug analysis, fingerprints and DNA profiling.

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

Open all

This degree will prepare you to meet the growing demand for analytical expertise as you learn to tackle the problems encountered in forensic science. You’ll gain a solid foundation in general subjects that underpin forensic science including chemistry, molecular and cell biology, and genetics.

You'll carry out a range of biological, chemical and criminalistic procedures in a safe, competent and reliable way, and get the chance to put your skills to the test with hands-on laboratory sessions taught in our £30 million Science Centre. You’ll find yourself interpreting blood patterns, processing crime scenes, identifying firearms and tracing evidence.

Your normal lectures will be supported by guest lectures led by specialist practitioners from a variety of forensic science disciplines. Not only will you gain valuable insight into today’s industry, you’ll also have the opportunity to network with potential employers, colleagues and mentors.

Assessment

Your practical skills will be assessed through coursework assignments, including your final project, and your data handling skills will be assessed through practical reports, problem-solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations.

Professional accreditation

After graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades CCD in three A levels, including biology and chemistry (or a minimum of 88 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with MMM)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

Entry from appropriate foundation/access courses will also be considered.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Forensic Science Extended Degree BSc (Hons).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module introduces students to the theoretical and practical aspects of human anatomy and physiology in health and disease. It is designed for life-science students with an interest in human biology, but particularly for those wishing to pursue advanced studies in forensic science, biomedical science, nutrition, dietetics, and other health related sciences.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This is a module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole. An overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information will be provided and the principles of Mendelian inheritance will be investigated. The consequences of mutation on gene expression are examined together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of chemical formulae, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated. Fundementals of organic chemistry are expounded, with emphasis on bonding, molecular structure, and simple reaction mechanisms. The second half of the module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. Professional issues, study skills and data analysis will be integrated in the module.In the final 10 weeks the three variants diverge and techniques are related more specifically to the degree area the student is studying.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will survey the fundamentals of analysis of simple molecules in biological and other relevant systems. Modern instrumental methods will be reviewed and practical experience given.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module provides an introduction to the broad range of forensic science disciplines and an overview of the main practical techniques found within criminalistics, including but not limited to Crime Scene Processing, Forensic Chemistry and Biology, Human Identification, Impression Evidence, and Inter- alia DNA analysis.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    AS5005 Molecules of Heredity and Defence runs throughout the year and starts with the underlying principles of molecular biology in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, with emphasis on understanding mechanisms of gene expression, genome structure, variation and replication, and genetic inheritance and genetic causes of disease. The latter half is an introduction to immunology with an emphasis on molecular aspects, especially linked to immune system genes, genetic variation and immune defence.
    Required prior learning: to successfully complete this module, students are expected to have adequate knowledge of AS4003 Cell and Molecular Biology or its equivalent. The module is assessed by a combination of practical report, in-class quizzes, an in-class test, a written report and an exam. Successful completion of the module requires attendance of practical classes.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    This module will review advanced bioanalytical techniques, including hybrid techniques, used in the analysis, detection and quantification of molecules in biological and other relevant systems.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of disease and toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous and foreign compound metabolism on pathology. Students will learn how these pathological processes can be modulated in the treatment of disease and poisonings.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines the role played by the various branches within the field of forensic science and the potential inferences that can be found from biological remains. Amongst other concepts and techniques in forensic investigation taphonomy, palynology, archaeology and entomology will be explored.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature or field work, or meta-analysis of databases. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon
    • spring semester - Thursday morning
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    Why do some companies succeed while others fail? Are some business ideas fundamentally better than others? How can you tell which ideas are worth investing time and money in and which are not? How can you find an idea to pursue that matches your skills, network and passion?

    This module is a key introduction to identifying, critically assessing and developing new business opportunities. The approaches and processes covered can be applied equally to new commercial ideas, social enterprises or new ventures within an existing business.

    The foundation of the module is a live project where you will develop your own startup idea leading to a live pitch and designing a business model. At each stage you will learn the concepts covered in the module by applying them to your own idea. You will have the opportunity to come up with new ideas on the module and do not need to have a business idea before you begin.

    The module is relevant for anyone considering starting their own business, working for a SME or taking on an entrepreneurial role within a large organisation.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon

    This module will look at advanced analytical methodology for detecting chemical substances in evidence taken from crime scenes and from ante or post mortem samples taken from human bodies. The module will also look at the chemical processes occurring explosive processes.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module builds on the knowledge and understanding developed at level 4, through the module Cell and Molecular Biology. It will also be underpinned by topics covered in the corequisite module entitled “Molecules of Heredity and Defence”. In this module specific diseases will be used to illustrate genotype/phenotype relationships. The module will address the application of current knowledge to clinical practice in the NHS and will examine how a family with affected offspring, would be counselled.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 modules include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology (for Applied Biology)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (for Applied Biology)
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry (for Applied Biology)
  • Laboratory Science (for Applied Biology)

 

Year 2 modules include:

  • Bioanalytical Science
    Criminalistics
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism and Microbiology
  • Molecules of Heredity and Defence

Year 3 modules include:

  • Advanced Bioanalytical Science
  • Biochemical Pathology
  • Evidence and Inference
  • Research Project (for Applied Biology)
  • Forensic Chemistry (optional)
  • Medical Genetics (optional)

"I felt the course in general was very informative and very detailed. The lecturers were able to answer questions and relate to their work experience on the field. The library facilities along with the late opening hours were excellent. I also found that the online access to journals and library catalogues was very helpful."
National Student Survey (NSS) 2016

After the course you'll be equipped to pursue a career in forensic science and closely related work in pharmaceutical analysis, consumer product analysis or hospital laboratories. You'll also develop analytical, numerical and communication skills, which are in demand in other careers such as accountancy, journalism, marketing and teaching.


This course is also an excellent preparation for further research or study, with previous students having gone on to work in academia.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

Undergraduate
Please select your entry point to display the fee
F410

News and success stories

Meet the team


Visit us