Skip to main content

Courses

Forensic Sciences

Next start date: September 

Degree type: BSc (Hons)
UCAS Code: F410 BSc/FoS
Duration: 4 years (full-time)

How to Apply


 

Intro


Why choose this course?

  • Experience-led and problem-solving approach to learning with focus on contemporary forensic practice including placements and 'crime scenes'
  • Taught by forensic science practitioners who have come directly from industry and have links with a number of forensic science providers within the UK, Europe and the rest of the world
  • Professionally accredited and commended by the Forensic Science Society.  Graduates are eligible to apply for Associate Members of the Forensic Science Society (AFSSoc) upon graduation

Forensic Science is the application of scientific knowledge and techniques in support of the legal process. This exciting course includes the following three main study areas: forensic science, chemistry and biology with the addition of supporting topics such as law and statistics.  The Forensic Sciences degree covers a full range of topics including; crime scene investigation, body fluid analysis, DNA profiling, trace evidence analysis (including fibres, glass and paint), fingerprinting and substances of abuse to name but a few.

What you study

What you study
In year 1 the basics of forensics and the science behind it (biology & chemistry) are studied, alongside laboratory techniques and skills. Year 2 builds upon the basics of the science behind forensics alongside crime scene work with the addition of law and statistics relevant to forensic science. During year 3 you are introduced to the specialties of forensic science case work and research e.g. trace evidence and body fluid analysis. The Honours year (year 4) covers detailed forensic science specialties (DNA and substances of abuse) alongside a case exercise and forensic science project.

“Whilst working in Tayside I was able to apply the knowledge I had gained from my studies to many different types of crime scenes. I attended many house break-ins and vandalism scenes. At these I was able to utilise fingerprinting techniques and gain more experience using the appropriate camera equipment.”  Rebecca, Dundee

“A forensic level of recording is implemented into many current laboratories to ensure good lab practice so that an experiment I perform can be carried out using the exact same validated method 2, 5, 10 years down the line.  I feel that my experience at Abertay has been extremely valuable in the transition from university to the scientific field.” Douglas, Selkirk

How you learn
A varied lecture programme is supported by tutorials, case studies/exercises and seminars, the use of practical laboratory exercises and our special scenes of crime facility. The scene of crime area includes an office/bank complex, a house, photographic studio and a special glass area where break-ins can be simulated. External input from legal and forensic practitioners is an important part of the course, as is the opportunity to visit fire scenes, and the chance to see explosive devices detonated. After the third year there are opportunities to work on placement in a number of scientific laboratories.  There have also been vacation placements that have become available in the scenes of crime sections of local police forces.

How you are assessed
Assessment on this course is carried out via a combination of coursework assignments, class tests, practical tests, presentations and closed-book examinations.  A range of methods is used including short-answer tests, problem solving exercises, formal reports (oral, written or posters), and laboratory assignments.  In the later years of the course formal examinations are a feature of most modules along with a group case exercise which involves the major forensic investigation of a crime, where you will hone your team-building and interpersonal skills.

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

Higher
BBBB; A Level CCC; ILC (H) B2B2B2B2; BTEC Extended Diploma MMM; International Baccalaureate 28
Essential subjects: Chemistry.  Biology preferred as additional science. 

English and Maths: All applicants must have passes in English and Maths in any of the following: SQA Standard Grade 1-2, National 5 grade A-B, Intermediate 2 grade A-B, GCSE grade A-C.

Please note that the A Level (AS/A2) award in Applied Science is not considered a suitable science subject for entry to this course.

Hepatitis B
Although you will not be in contact with potential sources of Hepatitis in your studies, the forensic agencies that the programme liaises with during your course and future employers are likely to require inoculation against Hepatitis.  Students are therefore expected to have been vaccinated before starting the course.

Advanced entry (year 2)
Advanced Higher/A Level: BBB (chemistry and biology).

Advanced entry (year 3)
HND in a relevant subject (15 SCQF credits: level 8, graded unit: B).

Overseas/EU
All applicants are required to provide certified proof of competence in English Language and the University's minimum requirements are listed here

Alternative Qualifications
Applications are generally assessed on the basis of standard school leaving qualifications such as SQA Highers or GCE A Levels. For those with alternative qualifications, consideration is given to professional qualifications or other forms of formal academic learning as well as experience gained that could provide evidence of ability to benefit from a particular course.

The successful completion of approved access courses such as the University's AHEAD programme, or those offered by further education colleges (such as those offered by Dundee College in association with the universities of Abertay, Dundee and St Andrews) provides significant evidence of ability to benefit from study at Abertay.

For further advice please use our Ask a Question section.

Course content

Year 1
Module Code
Module Title
Core/Option
Semester
Credits
 
BI0707A
Biology 1a: Biology Principles and Practice
Core
Semester 1
30
BI0702A
Biology 1b: Principles of Biology 2
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0704A
Chemobiology
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0705A
Forensic Techniques and Skills
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0703A
Foundations of Chemistry
Core
Semester 1
15
FS0701A
Scientific Detectives 1
Core
Semester 1
15
FS0702A
Scientific Detectives 2
Core
Semester 2
15
 


Year 2
Module Code
Module Title
Core/Option
Semester
Credits
 
FS0870A
Applied Statistics
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0801A
Crime Scene Investigation
Core
Semester 1 through 2
30
FS0802A
Forensic Chemical Analysis
Core
Semester 1
15
FS0804A
Fundamentals of Combustible Materials
Core
Semester 2
15
HS0801A
Human Physiology 2
Core
Semester 1
15
LA0750A
Law
Core
Semester 2
15
BI0803A
Molecular & Cell Biology 2a Introduction to Genetics
Core
Semester 1
15
 


Year 3
Module Code
Module Title
Core/Option
Semester
Credits
 
BI0911A
Applied Molecular and Cell Biology
Core
Semester 1
15
LA0853A
Criminal Law and Evidence
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0902A
Fires, Explosions, Dusts and Debris
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0904A
Forensic Chromatography and Spectroscopy
Core
Semester 1
15
FS0906A
Forensic Material Investigation
Core
Semester 1
15
HS0907A
Forensic Toxicology
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0907A
Forensic Trace Evidence
Core
Semester 2
15
FS0903A
Special Topics in Forensic Science
Core
Semester 1
15
 


Year 4
Module Code
Module Title
Core/Option
Semester
Credits
 
FS1001A
Contemporary Forensic Practice & Techniques
Core
Semester 1 through 2
30
FS1004A
Forensic Applications of DNA
Core
Semester 1
15
FS1007A
Forensic Science Honours Project
Core
Semester 1 through 2
45
FS1003A
Forensic Science Review
Core
Semester 2
15
FS1002A
Substances of Abuse
Core
Semester 1
15
 


Information on course structures and modules is drawn from 2014/5 data and may be subject to change without prior notification. Students who are registering with us will be provided with the up to date information on their course structure in order to allow them to register on the appropriate modules

More info

Career prospects
Graduates can go into careers such as forensic scientists (either as part of the civil service or the private sector) and related areas such as scenes of crime investigation or police officer, and a number of our graduates have successfully obtained these highly competitive jobs.  The course also provides you with the skills and abilities to pursue alternative interesting and fulfilling career paths. For example, the development of diagnostics in the biotechnology industries, quality assurance, problem solving in the public utilities and the development of protocols and procedures in the armed forces or government agencies. Students may wish to pursue a career in teaching and several of our graduates have trained as science teachers, or you may want to undertake higher research (at MSc/PhD level).  Transferable skills can also be used in a range of other careers such as management/business, law, accountancy and disciplines unrelated to science.

Studying at Abertay has had a huge, and positive, impact on my life. The subject matter combined with the lecturers’ sheer enthusiasm really makes all the difference between a good course and a great course. Post Abertay I moved from Dundee to London to be a DNA analyst for one of the most competitive forensic companies in the UK. DNA analysis was a subject of extreme interest to me at uni; mainly because of the supremacy of such evidence, but also because of how fast DNA technology has progressed.”  Debbie, South Lanarkshire

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081
E:  sro@abertay.ac.uk 

 



 

Fees & Scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish
students

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

Fees shown are payable annually, and may be subject to increase each year.


Share


Back to top