Forensic Sciences

Go beyond the police tape and learn in cutting-edge facilities with this fascinating and highly practical Forensic Sciences degree.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time)

Award Title

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

F410

Why study Abertay's BSc (Hons) in Forensic Sciences?

Go beyond the police tape with this fascinating and highly-practical Forensic Sciences degree. Learn the techniques that underpin the recognition, identification, recovery, analysis and evaluation of information which can be used as evidence in a court of law.

Are you literate, numerate and analytical? Do you like to solve problems for fun? Are you naturally inquisitive with a passion for chemistry and biology? Put these traits to work during a Forensic Sciences degree that equips you with the knowledge required to help support the legal process.

It’s a hands-on degree, which allows you to analyse a variety of scenes in our purpose-built facilities, and learn the following physical and chemical analysis techniques in our state-of-the-art laboratories:

  • Crime scene investigation
  • Body fluid analysis
  • DNA profiling
  • Forensic chromatography and spectroscopy
  • Fingerprinting
  • Substances of abuse

This highly vocational programme is broken down into three main study areas – forensic science, chemistry and biology – and dovetails modules from the Division of Law to prepare you for a variety of workplace situations.

This course scored an amazing 90% for Overall Student Satisfaction in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS)Abertay is widely regarded as THE place to come for high quality teaching. But don't take our word for it:

  • Sunday Times UK University of the Year 2020 for Teaching Quality.
  • Guardian University Guide 2020 Top 10 in the UK for Student Satisfaction with TeachingCourse and Feedback.
  • National Student Survey 2020 Top 10 UK Universities for Student Satisfaction.

Your Journey Starts Here

Keen to learn more about body fluid investigation, crime scene investigation, and fingerprint enhancement, as well as a number of different techniques relevant for police investigation and the criminal justice system? Forensic Sciences is the programme for you.

About Your Modules

All modules shown are indicative and reflect course content for the current academic year. Modules are reviewed annually and may be subject to change. If you receive an offer to study with us we will send you a Programme document  that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme. Please see Terms and Conditions for more information.

Modules

Year 1 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules

Brief description

Introduction to basic chemical concepts and an overview of the application of chemistry to a wide range of science-based programmes.

Indicative content:

  • Introductory maths for scientists: Manipulation of equations, dimensional analysis, the application of units, logs, indices, graphs, significant figures.
  • The nature of matter: The periodic table; concept, structure and trends. Electronic structure and elemental properties. VSEPR theory, hybrisiation and molecular shape. Types of bonding. Intermolecular forces. Types of matter; gases, liquids and solids.
  • Describing chemical substances and their interactions: Avagadro’s number, the mole concept, law of conservation of mass, law of definite proportions, stoichiometry, chemical formulae, balancing chemical equations, acid / base titrations, molarity calculations.
  • Simple organic molecules: Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes, naming conventions, structural isomerism, cis/trans isomerism, conformational analysis.

Brief description

The concepts of scientific literacy skills, some of the main principles, practices and techniques used in Forensic Science and the roles of forensic scientists. Includes basic forensic practical skills involved in investigation, searching and examination of crime scenes.

Indicative content:

  • Information literacy and IT: This will include: how to use reading lists, library catalogues, online databases; the collection and evaluation of academic sources of writing, conventional formats and presentation, referencing, avoiding plagiarism; the planning and writing forensic scientific reports, defending academic arguments. As well as how to use the University desktop, file management, standard desktop software, introduction to software tools.
  • General principles and history of Forensic Science: An overview of the history of forensic science, including case studies and the practice of forensic science, the examination of scenes of crime as well as the nature of physical evidence, class and individual characterisation.
  • Forensic Science techniques: Anthropology; fires and explosions; court procedures & legal systems; fingerprints; firearms and ballistics; forensic uses of DNA, hair, entomology and blood dynamics; questioned documents; microscopy; toolmarks and impressions.
  • Practical Forensic skills - laboratory based: Carry out a number of selected biological, chemical and forensic experiments and interpret and report the data acquired.
  • Practical Forensic skills - crime scene based: Recording of crime scene – notes, sketches and photography; Evidence Preservation - avoidance of contamination, control samples, collection, packaging and labelling of evidence (choice of packaging, avoidance of loss, deterioration or tampering, sealing, labelling and transport); Methodology of Effective Sampling - Effective sampling of trace and contact evidence (handpicking, swabbing, tape lifts, sweeping, vacuuming). Representative sampling, known samples and negative controls.

Brief description

Introduction to the theory and practice of biology.

Indicative content:

  • The principles of cell biology: A basic overview of cell structure & division and a comparison between different cell types. Biochemical principles.
  • The organism: Overview of the major forms of life and their taxonomic relationships. Fundamental concepts in organismal biology (homeostasis, evolution and genetic inheritance).
  • Introductory microbiology: Types of microorganism, their characteristics, discovery, origin, evolution and medical significance.
  • Basic laboratory techniques: Use of basic instrumentation (i.e. spectrophotometers and microscopes), preparation of solutions, handling of liquids and solids (use of glassware and pipettes). Development of aseptic techniques, media selection & preparation, growth and isolation of microorganisms, enumeration, subculturing techniques. Macro & microscopic examination. Staining for microscopy. Recording and interpreting data.
  • Health and safety: Health and safety in the laboratory, Risk assessments and COSHH regulations as applied to the laboratory.
  • Data handling and numeracy skills: Basic numeracy skills for laboratory work (converting between units, molarity, percentage (w/v), percentage (v/v), stock solutions). Introductory statistics for biosciences: populations, variables, samples, randomness and independence (including basic statistical measurements, confidence intervals, correlation/regression, normal distribution, t-tests). Graphical and numerical data description.

Brief description

Chemical properties relating to chemical and biological systems such as electrochemical reactions and thermodynamics.

Indicative content:

  • Organic and biochemistry: Organic functional groups; alcohols, amines, carboxylic acids, aldehydes, ketones and amides. Their role shape and function in organic and biological chemistry.
  • Inorganic chemistry: Advanced study of the periodic table (transition metals) and related trends. Redox reactions. Precipitation reactions and solubility. Nuclear chemistry. Nature and structure of inorganic polymers.
  • Physical chemistry: Chemical kinetics, factors affecting reaction rates, activation energy. Equilibria and its application; weak acids and bases, pH, pKa and pKb, buffers and Ksp. Introduction to concepts of thermodynamics; Enthalpy, Hess’s law, entropy and free energy and their application to chemical and biological systems.

Brief description

The main physiological processes necessary for life and for maintaining whole body homeostasis.

Indicative content:

  • Cardiovascular physiology: Structure and function of the heart and blood vessels from single cell to whole system. Cardiac electrical activity and its measurement. Perfusion and its control. Blood pressure regulation. Embeds a variety of pathophysiological examples with reference to both biomedical and forensic applications throughout e.g. coronary heart disease.
  • Respiratory physiology: Structure and function of the respiratory tract from single cell to whole system. Lung mechanics and ventilation. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport. Central and peripheral control of respiration. Embeds a variety of pathophysiological examples with reference to both biomedical and forensic applications throughout e.g. asthma.
  • Reproductive physiology: Structure and functions of the reproductive systems from single cell to whole system. Normal body control of the female reproductive system and hormonal cycles. Embeds a variety of pathophysiological examples with reference to both biomedical and forensic applications throughout e.g. infertility.
  • Neuro and sensory physiology: Basic structures and divisions of the peripheral and central nervous system from single cell to whole system. Structure and function of nerves and the cells in the nervous system. How nerves communicate. Higher CNS functions and the ANS. Structure and function of key sensory organs. Embeds a variety of pathophysiological examples with reference to both biomedical and forensic applications throughout e.g. dementia.
  • Skeletomuscular system: Skeletal muscle structure and ultrastructure. Muscle and fibre types. Functions of tendons, joints, bones, muscle ligaments and fascia. The neuromuscular junction. Excitation - contraction coupling. The sliding filament theory. Muscle spindles. Golgi tendon organs. Reflex arcs. Embeds a variety of pathophysiological examples with reference to both biomedical and forensic applications throughout e.g. muscular dystrophy.

Years 1 and 2 Elective Modules

You must study and pass one elective module of your choosing

Brief description

Introduction of the concept of smart cities - hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and digital technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all.

Module content:

  • Social impacts

There is an overall need for theoretical and methodological plurality in how we assess the impact and value of future cities in terms for individual and societal well−being. Gaps in our understanding relate to the complex ways individuals and groups engage with built and natural settings, the cultural goods and consequent benefits that may arise and the inequalities associated with these cultural benefits.

  • Security

Different types of cyber-attacks that could be launched against a Smart City. Impact of cyber-attacks. Approaches to securing the smart grid and critical infrastructure, i.e. improving cyber resilience.

  • Sustainable urban food production

Includes the long established allotments movement to large-scale projects based on sustainability throughout the food chain. Urban food production includes the long established allotments movement. The demand for urban growing also responds to the densification and intensification of living areas, due to population rise, migration and demographic aging with lower housing and ‘garden’ space standards placing greater importance on collective production.

  • Energy, waste and water

At present, water and wastewater facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive responsibilities owned and operated by local governments, representing up to 35% of municipal energy use. Future cities will need to utilise more sustainable methods of water and wastewater management and renewable energy production.

  • Digital technologies

​Digital technologies will play a major role in creating sustainable and resilient cities offering a vehicle for more inclusive decision−making process and promoting dialog amongst architects, urban planners, the public and technologists.

Brief description

Develop a range of skills, knowledge and techniques within the natural, technological and social sciences relevant to the study of environmental sustainability and life in the twenty-first century. Understand the critical issues that confront humanity and begin to discern appropriate responses.

Module content:

The challenge of sustainable development
Problems associated with life in the 21st Century and the relationship to scientific provisionalism and uncertainty.

The genesis of sustainable development concept
Developments associated with the Club of Rome are outlined while Limits to Growth and the Tragedy of the Commons.

Evolution of sustainable development
The Reo Summit and Suitability, and Policy Developments thereof.

Scientific inquiry and sustainable development
Controversial issues like climate change, oil peak, and food production and the role of science in helping delimit them as problematic.

Mainstreaming sustainability
Sustainability and Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience, as individual and social concerns, and their role in transformation.

Communicating sustainability
Human well-being, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy and the practicalities of Sustainability in Scotland.

Sustainable development in practice
Community Empowerment associated with Land Reform. Energy Production and Food Production in Tayside.

Ethics and sustainability policy
Active citizenship and globalisation.

Innovating locally, transforming globally
Transformations required to embrace Sustainability.

Active relationship for sustainable futures
Thinking globally, acting locally.

Brief description

How lifestyle can effect physical and mental well-being. Reflect on your own lifestyle choices and how to incorporate good health behaviours into your life.

Module content:

  • Sleep and stress
    The impact of sleep and stress on health and performance. Completion of sleep diaries and questionnaires related to sleep patterns and stress.
     
  • Physical activity
    Current physical activity recommendations, components of physical fitness.
     
  • Physical inactivity
    Understanding why people are inactive. The link between physical inactivity, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
     
  • Physical activity and mental well-being
    The effects of physical activity on mental well-being.
     
  • The effect of carbohydrate consumption and exercise on blood glucose
    Measurement and recording of blood glucose in response to the carbohydrate ingestion and exercise.
     
  • Simple health and fitness testing
    Measurement and recording of data. Tests will include blood pressure, strength, endurance and flexibility. Data will be compared with normative values for these tests.

Brief description

Develop critical thinking skills that form the basis for progression across the academic disciplines of the university. Learn how to recognise, construct, evaluate, criticise and defend different forms of argument.

Module content:

•    Potential 'timeless' debates 
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: e.g. existence of God; privacy and civil society; private property; money as source of 'evil'; nature/nurture; free speech; pornography; capital punishment; prostitution; animal experimentation; meaning of justice; abortion; affirmative action; just war; trade union power; good life/good political community; human nature; monarchy; value of democracy; meaning of equality; citizenship rights.

•    Potential 'timely' debates
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: eg, Scottish independence, academic freedom; drug legalisation; drug use in sport; immigration; free health care; war on terror; EU membership; euthanasia; progressive taxation; race and gender discrimination; gay marriage; human rights; politics/sport; global warming; internet censorship; nuclear power; education league tables; nuclear weapons; GM agriculture; religion; cloning; fair trade; value of contemporary culture.

•    Critical thinking seminars
Follow-up discursive discipline specific seminar sessions led by teaching staff on topics covered in formal debates. Learn to identify types of argument presented, evaluate perspectives and to reflect upon their own reasoning processes and value assumptions. The debates and seminars facilitate a foundation for the acquisition of graduate attributes.

•    WEB CT Wiki discussion forum
Work in small groups to write a short 800 word indicative "Thinking Summary" online Wiki of the arguments presented in each debate. These summaries will be constructed by each designated Thinking Group of three students using the Wiki facility on Blackboard which will facilitate further discussion on the moderated WEB CT discussion forum.

Brief description

The social, managerial, economic, political, and technical challenges and opportunities associated with emerging renewable energy innovation, production, supply and consumption.

Module content:

•    Renewable energy non-technical challenges and opportunities
Social and political challenges and opportunities of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Economic and environmental challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Strategic and managerial challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption.


•    Renewable energy technological challenges and opportunities
Geotechnical, Geophysical and Hydrographic information; Knowledge of sources of hydrographic information and interpretation of published charts. Forces on structures; Appreciation of the various forces acting on marine structures. Technical limitations and challenges of energy distribution systems and energy storage. Current technological development trend, collaborative innovation in renewable energy.

Brief description

An understanding of the concepts of tolerance, and the importance of making sound ethical decisions. Develop the qualities, characteristics and skills to meet the aspiration for Abertay graduates to become global and active citizens. 

Module content:

•    Introduction to equality and ethics legislation 

•    Diversity competence and moral/ethical reasoning 
Inclusiveness, equal opportunities, positive action, reasonable adjustment.

•    Attributes for the workplace and for global citizenship.

•    Reflective practice 
Application of models of reflective practice.

•    Contemporary issues

Brief description

Learn how to adjust language to suit context. Analyse a range of linguistic issues, including “proper English”, how language can be used to create moral panics, and the ethics of communication.

Module content:

•    “Good English”
The role of standardisation, dialect and idiolect − how we choose language to reflect our identities and our role in a speech or discourse community.

Language and influence
How the media constructs narratives to persuade or inform the audience (and how to tell the difference).

Creating a narrative across genres
The conventions, freedoms and limitations of different forms; using these forms in new ways.

Narrative changes over time
How authors reinvent old stories to reflect current concerns.

Technical writing
The use and manipulation of data; hearing the author's voice; critiquing "bad science".

The ethics of communication
 (Electronic) media and ownership, attribution and theft.

Brief description

“Personal” digital safety to make computer security fun, practical and eye-opening.  Learn the base knowledge that will continue to be relevant to future generations of devices.

Module content:

•    Current state of computer security
An overview including legal aspects.

•    Cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and threats
Malware, Network attacks (denial of service, packet sniffing etc.), bots and rootkits. How the bad guys can obtain your password.

•    Information leakage
Recovery and forensics recovering deleted or corrupted files. What your browser knows about you. Web browser forensics.

•    Securing networks, accounts and devices
Defence against malware, honeypots, Secure protocols, intrusion detection, Password security, Mobile device security.

•    Human aspects of cyber security 
The Psychology of Hackers, Social Engineering, identity theft, Usability vs security.

•    Breaking the code
An introduction to cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, public and private keys, the key exchange problem.

•    History of cryptography 
The Caesar cipher, polyalphabetic ciphers, the Playfair cipher, the role of Enigma and the Bletchley Park cryptographers in WWII.

•    Computers and Crypto Diffie-Hellman and RSA encryption
Phil Zimmerman and “Pretty Good Protection". Quantum Cryptography – Provably unbreakable information hiding. Mathematical Underpinnings – Large prime numbers and why they matter.

•    Steganography
 A picture's worth a thousand words when you're hiding the wood in the trees.

•    The law, society and cryptography 
Why you can be imprisoned for forgetting your password. The Civil Liberties Arguments for and against strong-crypto. International perspectives on information hiding, information freedom, the right to privacy and the conflicts between these. Are unbreakable cyphers an unqualified “good thing”?

Brief description

Develop perspectives on the key challenges faced by humankind such as environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. Understand the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.

Module content:

  • Interdisciplinary research
    Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research
     
  • Global challenges
    Challenges from different disciplines. Examples include: Climate Change: causes and impact; Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games; Global Security: valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment; Contemporary Challenges to Healthy Living; Food Security: global threats and local needs; Energy Poverty: space travel.

Brief description

Design an activity to communicate and present scientific principles to primary school children. Learn about working as a group and how to communicate complex ideas.

Module content:

Developing a science communication activity
Target audience, sources of information to identify suitable activities (CfE documentation etc.), health and safety, issues around working with specific groups, accessibility, ethics, costing and sustainability.

The landscape of engagement and current practice
Types of public engagement activities, target audiences, funding, role of learned societies, universities and other bodies. Public engagement in Dundee and Tayside.

Brief description

Work in a team to develop game design concepts for serious applications. Gain the knowledge, processes and techniques of game design and study examples of serious games developed to benefit society.

Module content:

•    Overview of Games
A brief history of games, game art and gamification.

•    Games for change
Understanding how games can benefit society.

•    Game mechanics
Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

•    Gameplay constructs
What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

•    The game design process
Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow.

•    Game design theory and practice
Identifying the elements within effective design and how they are implemented.

•    Documenting the design interactive
Oriented design, technical design, capturing requirements.

•    Business models
Exploring methods that can be used to generate revenue within the game design.

Brief description

Develop the knowledge and awareness required to make good career decisions and the skills and confidence to successfully navigate each stage of the recruitment process for graduate jobs.

Module content:

  • Developing self-awareness
    Profiling of personal strengths, values and priorities in relation to career choice.
     
  • Developing opportunity awareness
    Generating career ideas based on your personal profile; Exploring the range of graduate opportunities within job sectors of interest; Reviewing occupations that are directly related to your own subject discipline.
     
  • Developing a career action plan
    Matching your personal profile with best fit opportunities in the job market; Creating a timeline of actions to improve your prospects of meeting your aim.
  • Developing job seeking skills
    Sourcing suitable job opportunities - both advertised and unadvertised; Creating a professional image online; Identifying the skills and qualities employers look for in graduates; Learning how to produce targeted applications for specific job roles; Practising the presentation of your strengths and motivations in face to face selection activities.

Brief description

Learn about natural disaster such as landslides and flooding, structural disasters such as the Tay Rail Bridge and the system of critical infrastructure (such as road, rail, air and shipping transport networks, power grid, gas and water networks, health system) that constitute the backbone of modern societies.

Module content:

•    Overview of the scope and the content of concept of critical infrastructure failure during natural disasters and resilience against such failures
The consequences of geophysical, hydrological and meteorological disasters on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure protection capabilities against natural disasters. Interdependencies of critical infrastructures during large disasters, presents a brief review of current research being done in this field, and presents a methodology to address interdependencies.


•    The identification of the vulnerabilities of the critical systems
The critical systems upon which modern society, economy, and polity depend. The identification of the vulnerabilities of these systems threats that might exploit these vulnerabilities. The effort to develop techniques to mitigate these vulnerabilities through improved design.


•     Flooding in Scotland
General overview of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, the structural, economic and societal impact and responses to flooding. Resources will include historical examples, current policies and information (including SEPA flood maps). Case study (with virtual/actual field visit?) the Perth Floods of 1990 and 1993 and the Perth flood defence scheme*


•    Landslide origins, types and mitigations
General overview what landslides are, why they happen and what can be done to prevent them.


•    Structural failure
An example such as why the Tay Bridge failed and what it meant for the Forth Rail Bridge.


•    Reports and investigations
The role of reports in accident and disaster investigations in creating informative reports; case studies of accidents, disasters, learning from history, learning from case studies, learning from common law

Brief description

Introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to launch a small business successfully. This module will define and help you acquire the personal and professional skills needed to develop a professional career and/or to succeed as entrepreneurs in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Module content:

  • Understanding entrepreneurship.
     
  • Generating successful business ideas.
     
  • Environmental scanning.
     
  • Developing a credible business plan that includes evaluating business ideas.
     
  • Presenting the business idea.

Brief description

An understanding of some of the processes involved in food production. Discuss common misconceptions and ideas which present the food and nutritional industries in a bad light.


Module content:

•    Student led investigations
Student led investigations of the different sectors within the food and drink industry including: prebiotics – and the controversy surrounding the term; if barbequing is a healthy cooking method; and exposing the celebrity chef - common Myths about cooking.


•    Consumerism
Does the food industry listen to us? Understanding consumer and sensory science to better understand why you buy the products you buy.  How food/public health is reported by the media? The French paradox / Mediterranean diet.


•    Future of food
Ethical food production and the future of foods, and what’s waste got to do with it?


•    Debunking myths
Debunking food myths, more science than science fiction in our food today, like the science behind getting sauce out of a bottle and what to drink – Whisky or Beer?


•    Facts from fiction
Finding facts from fiction, investigating the three-second rule – should I eat things that have fallen on the floor? What’s so super about super-foods? Fat or sugar: Which is worse?

Brief description

Learn how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Explore questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?’

Module content:

  • Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness
    How do we ‘think’ about mental health, and mental ill health?
     
  • Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement
    Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour?
     
  • Gender, culture and mental health
    How gendered cultural expectations and representations influence how we respond to mental health issues.
     
  • Media representations
    The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.
     
  • Resilience, treatment and recovery
    Common mental health problems in the UK, treatment and management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Brief description

An introduction to the wide range of disciplines in forensic investigation. Learn how crimes are investigated from the moment of reporting through to the presentation of the evidence in court. A hypothetical case study provides an over-arching framework in which to explore the critical aspects of forensic investigations. It involves not only physical and electronic evidence, but also statements from witnesses, suspects and victims which requires cross discipline collaboration of professionals.


Module content:

Crime scene investigation
How a crime scene is examined in the context of incomplete contextual information and to avoid loss or contamination of evidence and the maximising of the value of evidential material.

Media involvement
Positive and negative effects of the media/public interest in the crime.

Forensic biology
Examination and evidential value of body fluids, DNA, hairs and fibres.

Forensic chemistry
Analysis for drugs, toxicological analysis, firearms, explosives, and trace evidence.

Digital sources
Evidence from CCT, mobile phones, computer hardware, on−line behaviour.

Forensic reasoning and practice
An introduction to forensic problem solving, thinking styles, case assessment and interpretation.

Psychology of witnesses and suspects
False confessions, offender profiling, effects and avoidance of cognitive bias in forensic science through process design.

Year 2 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules

Brief description

Forensic psychology is a constantly growing discipline and covers an exciting and broad range of topics. This module will examine key issues in forensic psychology integrating information from clinical, biological, developmental, personality, social and cognitive psychology.

Indicative content:

  • General Issues: Introduction to offenders, offences, victims, and the role of psychology in the actions of the police, the courts and prisons.
  • Explanatory Models of Crime and Offending: Biological factors, gender differences, individual differences, childhood and developmental issues, social and economic factors, and cognitive-behavioural approaches.
  • Developmental Basis for Criminal Behaviour: Biological basis of social, aggressive, and sexual behaviour with regard to neuropsychological, neuropharmacological and evolutionary issues. Psychological and biological treatments for childhood and adult psychopathology.
  • Mental Health and Offending: Mental health issues in offending behaviour. The relationship between mental health symptoms and risk in relation to offending. Personality disorder and schizophrenia as critical issues in serious offending.
  • Personality Abnormality: Inherited and acquired conditions in lifelong risk of criminal behaviour such as ADHD, Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Examining the factors that increase the likelihood of serious sexual and violent behaviour, stalking, and criminal recidivism.
  • Substance Use and Crime: Addiction Models of criminal behaviour. Models of emotional dyscontrol in offending. The role of alcohol and drugs in serious assaultative behaviour, neuropharmcology and psychology.
  • Specific Criminal Offences: Consideration of information from specific offending populations and the psychological factors contributing to offences. Offences may include violent offending, fire raising, stalking, terrorism.
  • Sexual Offending: Detailed consideration of individual offenders and the psychological characteristics of their criminal offences and offence development in relation to sexual and violent offending.
  • Risk Assessment: Critical discussion of the role and nature of risk assessments with forensic populations including specific methods of risk assessment.
  • Treatment and Interventions: Consideration of the background to the development and application of treatments and interventions including `what works?' approaches and cognitive-behavioural treatments, as well as key issues relating to working with offenders.

Brief description

In this module, you will learn how forensic practitioners interact with the UK legal system, and how the legal system influences how forensic work is carried out. 

Indicative content:

  • UK Legal systems for forensic practitioners:
    The structure of the Scottish legal system versus the rest of the UK; sources of law, abiding by the law and general principles of criminal law for forensic practitioners.
  • Quality Management: Sources of Error, Total Quality Management, Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Forensic Science Regulator: Field Specific codes of practice, Forensic Science Regulators Codes of Practice, Forensic science providers codes of practice.

Brief description

The INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process and the use of biometric information, not just for personal security, but also in a forensic capacity for the purposes of human identification.

Indicative content:

  • Biometric Human Identifiers: Application of biometric information for both personal security and human identification purposes. Biometric evidence recovery from a crime scene and/or victim. Specialised and emerging biometric data. Links to current biometric databases.
  • INTERPOL DVI: Introduction to the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) process, recognising the four stages, the classification of disasters and understanding the identification criteria required to enable reconciliation.
  • Body Recovery and Mortuary Procedures: Describe and acknowledge the roles and responsibilities of the post mortem (PM) examination team. Recognise the sequence of a PM examination, the purpose and evidential value of samples recovered and how these items of evidence are preserved through integrity and continuity.

Brief description

Basic analytical skills and the theory behind these techniques. Relate them to forensic and biomedical applications.

Indicative content:

  • Quality: Sample custody and traceability. Data interpretation and reporting.
  • Sample preparation: Sampling. Drying. Crushing. Weighing. Dissolution. Separation and concentration.
  • Spectroscopy: Electromagnetic radiation and the nature of light. Beer Lambert law. Theory of spectroscopy. Instrumentation. UV-visible, IR and AAS spectroscopy. Presumptive tests. Spectroscopic.
  • Theory and principles of chromatography: Introduction to TLC.
  • Immunotechnology: Diagnostic and detection systems based on antibody-antigen interaction: RIA, ELISA, Agglutination, Precipitation reactions. Direct, Indirect and sandwich assays. Use of serological methods in diagnosis of infectious diseases and forensic applications such as body fluid identification.

Brief description

Introduction to both Medical and Forensic genetics that uses specific examples to highlight the importance of DNA analyses in both fields.

Indicative content:

  • Genes and gene expression: Structure of human genes. Control of gene expression, with an emphasis on variations in genes that cause both medical conditions and common, forensically useful human traits. Splicing and differential gene expression. Common human variations and Mutations, including point mutations, indels, repeat expansions, and chromosomal aberrations.
  • Human genomics and bioinformatic analysis: Sequence architecture of the human genome. Chromosome structure. DNA sequencing methods: Focusing on the comparison of the dideoxy irreversible terminator method of Sanger, with the “next generation” reversible terminator method of Balasubramanian and Klenerman. Analysis of sequence data. Genetic variation: the human gene pool, population genetics including Hardy-Weinberg equilibria.
  • Genetic engineering and other analytical techniques: Basic cloning including restriction digestion, ligation and transfection. PCR, Gel and capillary electrophoresis and accurate sizing of DNA fragments.

Years 1 and 2 Elective Modules

You must study and pass one elective module of your choosing

Brief description

Introduction of the concept of smart cities - hard infrastructure, social capital including local skills and community institutions, and digital technologies to fuel sustainable economic development and provide an attractive environment for all.

Module content:

  • Social impacts

There is an overall need for theoretical and methodological plurality in how we assess the impact and value of future cities in terms for individual and societal well−being. Gaps in our understanding relate to the complex ways individuals and groups engage with built and natural settings, the cultural goods and consequent benefits that may arise and the inequalities associated with these cultural benefits.

  • Security

Different types of cyber-attacks that could be launched against a Smart City. Impact of cyber-attacks. Approaches to securing the smart grid and critical infrastructure, i.e. improving cyber resilience.

  • Sustainable urban food production

Includes the long established allotments movement to large-scale projects based on sustainability throughout the food chain. Urban food production includes the long established allotments movement. The demand for urban growing also responds to the densification and intensification of living areas, due to population rise, migration and demographic aging with lower housing and ‘garden’ space standards placing greater importance on collective production.

  • Energy, waste and water

At present, water and wastewater facilities are often the largest and most energy intensive responsibilities owned and operated by local governments, representing up to 35% of municipal energy use. Future cities will need to utilise more sustainable methods of water and wastewater management and renewable energy production.

  • Digital technologies

​Digital technologies will play a major role in creating sustainable and resilient cities offering a vehicle for more inclusive decision−making process and promoting dialog amongst architects, urban planners, the public and technologists.

Brief description

Develop a range of skills, knowledge and techniques within the natural, technological and social sciences relevant to the study of environmental sustainability and life in the twenty-first century. Understand the critical issues that confront humanity and begin to discern appropriate responses.

Module content:

The challenge of sustainable development
Problems associated with life in the 21st Century and the relationship to scientific provisionalism and uncertainty.

The genesis of sustainable development concept
Developments associated with the Club of Rome are outlined while Limits to Growth and the Tragedy of the Commons.

Evolution of sustainable development
The Reo Summit and Suitability, and Policy Developments thereof.

Scientific inquiry and sustainable development
Controversial issues like climate change, oil peak, and food production and the role of science in helping delimit them as problematic.

Mainstreaming sustainability
Sustainability and Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience, as individual and social concerns, and their role in transformation.

Communicating sustainability
Human well-being, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy and the practicalities of Sustainability in Scotland.

Sustainable development in practice
Community Empowerment associated with Land Reform. Energy Production and Food Production in Tayside.

Ethics and sustainability policy
Active citizenship and globalisation.

Innovating locally, transforming globally
Transformations required to embrace Sustainability.

Active relationship for sustainable futures
Thinking globally, acting locally.

Brief description

How lifestyle can effect physical and mental well-being. Reflect on your own lifestyle choices and how to incorporate good health behaviours into your life.

Module content:

  • Sleep and stress
    The impact of sleep and stress on health and performance. Completion of sleep diaries and questionnaires related to sleep patterns and stress.
     
  • Physical activity
    Current physical activity recommendations, components of physical fitness.
     
  • Physical inactivity
    Understanding why people are inactive. The link between physical inactivity, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
     
  • Physical activity and mental well-being
    The effects of physical activity on mental well-being.
     
  • The effect of carbohydrate consumption and exercise on blood glucose
    Measurement and recording of blood glucose in response to the carbohydrate ingestion and exercise.
     
  • Simple health and fitness testing
    Measurement and recording of data. Tests will include blood pressure, strength, endurance and flexibility. Data will be compared with normative values for these tests.

Brief description

Develop critical thinking skills that form the basis for progression across the academic disciplines of the university. Learn how to recognise, construct, evaluate, criticise and defend different forms of argument.

Module content:

•    Potential 'timeless' debates 
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: e.g. existence of God; privacy and civil society; private property; money as source of 'evil'; nature/nurture; free speech; pornography; capital punishment; prostitution; animal experimentation; meaning of justice; abortion; affirmative action; just war; trade union power; good life/good political community; human nature; monarchy; value of democracy; meaning of equality; citizenship rights.

•    Potential 'timely' debates
Debates delivered by internal and external experts on: eg, Scottish independence, academic freedom; drug legalisation; drug use in sport; immigration; free health care; war on terror; EU membership; euthanasia; progressive taxation; race and gender discrimination; gay marriage; human rights; politics/sport; global warming; internet censorship; nuclear power; education league tables; nuclear weapons; GM agriculture; religion; cloning; fair trade; value of contemporary culture.

•    Critical thinking seminars
Follow-up discursive discipline specific seminar sessions led by teaching staff on topics covered in formal debates. Learn to identify types of argument presented, evaluate perspectives and to reflect upon their own reasoning processes and value assumptions. The debates and seminars facilitate a foundation for the acquisition of graduate attributes.

•    WEB CT Wiki discussion forum
Work in small groups to write a short 800 word indicative "Thinking Summary" online Wiki of the arguments presented in each debate. These summaries will be constructed by each designated Thinking Group of three students using the Wiki facility on Blackboard which will facilitate further discussion on the moderated WEB CT discussion forum.

Brief description

The social, managerial, economic, political, and technical challenges and opportunities associated with emerging renewable energy innovation, production, supply and consumption.


Module content:

•    Renewable energy non-technical challenges and opportunities
Social and political challenges and opportunities of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Economic and environmental challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption. Strategic and managerial challenges of renewable energy production supply and consumption.


•    Renewable energy technological challenges and opportunities
Geotechnical, Geophysical and Hydrographic information; Knowledge of sources of hydrographic information and interpretation of published charts. Forces on structures; Appreciation of the various forces acting on marine structures. Technical limitations and challenges of energy distribution systems and energy storage. Current technological development trend, collaborative innovation in renewable energy.

Brief description

An understanding of the concepts of tolerance, and the importance of making sound ethical decisions. Develop the qualities, characteristics and skills to meet the aspiration for Abertay graduates to become global and active citizens. 

Module content:

•    Introduction to equality and ethics legislation 

•    Diversity competence and moral/ethical reasoning 
Inclusiveness, equal opportunities, positive action, reasonable adjustment.

•    Attributes for the workplace and for global citizenship.

•    Reflective practice 
Application of models of reflective practice.

•    Contemporary issues

Brief description

Learn how to adjust language to suit context. Analyse a range of linguistic issues, including “proper English”, how language can be used to create moral panics, and the ethics of communication.

Module content:

•    “Good English”
The role of standardisation, dialect and idiolect − how we choose language to reflect our identities and our role in a speech or discourse community.

Language and influence
How the media constructs narratives to persuade or inform the audience (and how to tell the difference).

Creating a narrative across genres
The conventions, freedoms and limitations of different forms; using these forms in new ways.

Narrative changes over time
How authors reinvent old stories to reflect current concerns.

Technical writing
The use and manipulation of data; hearing the author's voice; critiquing "bad science".

The ethics of communication
 (Electronic) media and ownership, attribution and theft.

Brief description

“Personal” digital safety to make computer security fun, practical and eye-opening.  Learn the base knowledge that will continue to be relevant to future generations of devices.

Module content:

•    Current state of computer security
An overview including legal aspects.

•    Cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities and threats
Malware, Network attacks (denial of service, packet sniffing etc.), bots and rootkits. How the bad guys can obtain your password.

•    Information leakage
Recovery and forensics recovering deleted or corrupted files. What your browser knows about you. Web browser forensics.

•    Securing networks, accounts and devices
Defence against malware, honeypots, Secure protocols, intrusion detection, Password security, Mobile device security.

•    Human aspects of cyber security 
The Psychology of Hackers, Social Engineering, identity theft, Usability vs security.

•    Breaking the code
An introduction to cryptography, Encryption and Decryption, public and private keys, the key exchange problem.

•    History of cryptography 
The Caesar cipher, polyalphabetic ciphers, the Playfair cipher, the role of Enigma and the Bletchley Park cryptographers in WWII.

•    Computers and Crypto Diffie-Hellman and RSA encryption
Phil Zimmerman and “Pretty Good Protection". Quantum Cryptography – Provably unbreakable information hiding. Mathematical Underpinnings – Large prime numbers and why they matter.

•    Steganography
 A picture's worth a thousand words when you're hiding the wood in the trees.

•    The law, society and cryptography 
Why you can be imprisoned for forgetting your password. The Civil Liberties Arguments for and against strong-crypto. International perspectives on information hiding, information freedom, the right to privacy and the conflicts between these. Are unbreakable cyphers an unqualified “good thing”?

Brief description

Develop perspectives on the key challenges faced by humankind such as environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. Understand the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.

Module content:

  • Interdisciplinary research
    Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research
     
  • Global challenges
    Challenges from different disciplines. Examples include: Climate Change: causes and impact; Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games; Global Security: valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment; Contemporary Challenges to Healthy Living; Food Security: global threats and local needs; Energy Poverty: space travel.

Brief description

Design an activity to communicate and present scientific principles to primary school children. Learn about working as a group and how to communicate complex ideas.

Module content:

Developing a science communication activity
Target audience, sources of information to identify suitable activities (CfE documentation etc.), health and safety, issues around working with specific groups, accessibility, ethics, costing and sustainability.

The landscape of engagement and current practice
Types of public engagement activities, target audiences, funding, role of learned societies, universities and other bodies. Public engagement in Dundee and Tayside.

Brief description

Work in a team to develop game design concepts for serious applications. Gain the knowledge, processes and techniques of game design and study examples of serious games developed to benefit society.

Module content:

•    Overview of Games
A brief history of games, game art and gamification.

•    Games for change
Understanding how games can benefit society.

•    Game mechanics
Deconstructing core components of popular game genres.

•    Gameplay constructs
What is gameplay and how is this broken down and communicated within the game design.

•    The game design process
Conceptualisation, iteration, phases of workflow.

•    Game design theory and practice
Identifying the elements within effective design and how they are implemented.

•    Documenting the design interactive
Oriented design, technical design, capturing requirements.

•    Business models
Exploring methods that can be used to generate revenue within the game design.

Brief description

Develop the knowledge and awareness required to make good career decisions and the skills and confidence to successfully navigate each stage of the recruitment process for graduate jobs.

Module content:

  • Developing self-awareness
    Profiling of personal strengths, values and priorities in relation to career choice.
     
  • Developing opportunity awareness
    Generating career ideas based on your personal profile; Exploring the range of graduate opportunities within job sectors of interest; Reviewing occupations that are directly related to your own subject discipline.
     
  • Developing a career action plan
    Matching your personal profile with best fit opportunities in the job market; Creating a timeline of actions to improve your prospects of meeting your aim.
  • Developing job seeking skills
    Sourcing suitable job opportunities - both advertised and unadvertised; Creating a professional image online; Identifying the skills and qualities employers look for in graduates; Learning how to produce targeted applications for specific job roles; Practising the presentation of your strengths and motivations in face to face selection activities.

Brief description

Learn about natural disaster such as landslides and flooding, structural disasters such as the Tay Rail Bridge and the system of critical infrastructure (such as road, rail, air and shipping transport networks, power grid, gas and water networks, health system) that constitute the backbone of modern societies.

Module content:

•    Overview of the scope and the content of concept of critical infrastructure failure during natural disasters and resilience against such failures
The consequences of geophysical, hydrological and meteorological disasters on critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure protection capabilities against natural disasters. Interdependencies of critical infrastructures during large disasters, presents a brief review of current research being done in this field, and presents a methodology to address interdependencies.


•    The identification of the vulnerabilities of the critical systems
The critical systems upon which modern society, economy, and polity depend. The identification of the vulnerabilities of these systems threats that might exploit these vulnerabilities. The effort to develop techniques to mitigate these vulnerabilities through improved design.


•     Flooding in Scotland
General overview of fluvial, pluvial and coastal flooding, the structural, economic and societal impact and responses to flooding. Resources will include historical examples, current policies and information (including SEPA flood maps). Case study (with virtual/actual field visit?) the Perth Floods of 1990 and 1993 and the Perth flood defence scheme*


•    Landslide origins, types and mitigations
General overview what landslides are, why they happen and what can be done to prevent them.


•    Structural failure
An example such as why the Tay Bridge failed and what it meant for the Forth Rail Bridge.


•    Reports and investigations
The role of reports in accident and disaster investigations in creating informative reports; case studies of accidents, disasters, learning from history, learning from case studies, learning from common law

Brief description

Introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to launch a small business successfully. This module will define and help you acquire the personal and professional skills needed to develop a professional career and/or to succeed as entrepreneurs in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Module content:

  • Understanding entrepreneurship.
     
  • Generating successful business ideas.
     
  • Environmental scanning.
     
  • Developing a credible business plan that includes evaluating business ideas.
     
  • Presenting the business idea.

Brief description

An understanding of some of the processes involved in food production. Discuss common misconceptions and ideas which present the food and nutritional industries in a bad light.


Module content:

•    Student led investigations
Student led investigations of the different sectors within the food and drink industry including: prebiotics – and the controversy surrounding the term; if barbequing is a healthy cooking method; and exposing the celebrity chef - common Myths about cooking.


•    Consumerism
Does the food industry listen to us? Understanding consumer and sensory science to better understand why you buy the products you buy.  How food/public health is reported by the media? The French paradox / Mediterranean diet.


•    Future of food
Ethical food production and the future of foods, and what’s waste got to do with it?


•    Debunking myths
Debunking food myths, more science than science fiction in our food today, like the science behind getting sauce out of a bottle and what to drink – Whisky or Beer?


•    Facts from fiction
Finding facts from fiction, investigating the three-second rule – should I eat things that have fallen on the floor? What’s so super about super-foods? Fat or sugar: Which is worse?

Brief description

Learn how we approach and understand mental health, from historic, social, therapeutic, and individual perspectives. Explore questions such as ‘what is madness?’, ‘how does society position people with mental illness?’, and ‘how do we best respond to challenges to our mental health?’

Module content:

  • Historical and cultural perspective on mental illness
    How do we ‘think’ about mental health, and mental ill health?
     
  • Diagnosis and the anti-psychiatry movement
    Who holds the power to decide what is normal in terms of psychological well-being and behaviour?
     
  • Gender, culture and mental health
    How gendered cultural expectations and representations influence how we respond to mental health issues.
     
  • Media representations
    The impact of film and literature on attitudes and understandings of mental health.
     
  • Resilience, treatment and recovery
    Common mental health problems in the UK, treatment and management, and frameworks for enhancing well-being and resilience.

Brief description

An introduction to the wide range of disciplines in forensic investigation. Learn how crimes are investigated from the moment of reporting through to the presentation of the evidence in court. A hypothetical case study provides an over-arching framework in which to explore the critical aspects of forensic investigations. It involves not only physical and electronic evidence, but also statements from witnesses, suspects and victims which requires cross discipline collaboration of professionals.


Module content:

Crime scene investigation
How a crime scene is examined in the context of incomplete contextual information and to avoid loss or contamination of evidence and the maximising of the value of evidential material.

Media involvement
Positive and negative effects of the media/public interest in the crime.

Forensic biology
Examination and evidential value of body fluids, DNA, hairs and fibres.

Forensic chemistry
Analysis for drugs, toxicological analysis, firearms, explosives, and trace evidence.

Digital sources
Evidence from CCT, mobile phones, computer hardware, on−line behaviour.

Forensic reasoning and practice
An introduction to forensic problem solving, thinking styles, case assessment and interpretation.

Psychology of witnesses and suspects
False confessions, offender profiling, effects and avoidance of cognitive bias in forensic science through process design.

Year 3 Core Modules

You must study and pass all six core modules

Brief description

Introduction to the identification and confirmation of body fluids in forensic biology casework and the scientific interpretation of bloodstain patterns. Covered also is the contribution of specific biological sciences to specialised forensic science studies.

Indicative content:

  • Body fluids: Methods for detection and confirmation of the presence of blood, saliva, semen, faeces and urine. Interpretation of the presence and distribution of such staining and an understanding of body fluid persistence.
  • Blood dynamics and blood stain patterns: Rheology of blood and blood behaviour. Impact, cast- off, arterial and transfer patterns, interpretation and evidential value.
  • Selected areas of biology relevant to Forensic Science: For example: aspects of entomology, trichology and other specialist areas of forensic biology may be considered.

Brief description

The theoretical basis for chromatography and the ability to use spectroscopic techniques to identify organic compounds.

Indicative content:

  • Chromatography: Methods of separation; paper chromatography; column chromatography; chromatograms-integration, calibration, response factors; HPLC; GC; GC-MS; LC-MS. Thermodynamic and kinetic principles of separation.
  • Spectroscopy: Near Infrared spectroscopy; Mid Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance; mass spectrometry; uv-vis spectroscopy.
  • Problem solving: Use of a range of spectroscopic data to provide rational structures for selected organic compounds. Forensic Science related case studies, such as the analysis and identification of fire accelerants or drugs of abuse.
  • Laboratory techniques: Carry out a range of separation and spectroscopic techniques in the laboratory on forensic related samples.

 

Brief description

The investigation, evaluation and interpretation of evidence from fires and explosions. The causes of fire, thermodynamics of combustion, sample collection and packaging, chemical tests and analytical techniques for fire debris analysis.

Indicative content:

  • Fire and Explosion Dynamics: Heat transfer mechanisms, ignition and spread of flame, spontaneous and smouldering combustion, pre-and post-flash-over fires, smoke movement, buoyancy, fuel load.
  • Thermochemistry of Fuels and Explosives: Combustion and energy release, oxygen balance and the Kistiakowsky−Wilson rules, Hess's law, heat and temperature of explosion, the concept of heat capacity.
  • Explosion and Fire Debris analysis: Explosives classification, factors affecting detonation. Debris position, identification of mechanical, thermal history and origin. Use of chemical tests to identify potential explosive residues and accelerants. Fire cause diagnosis, identification of origin of fire and source of ignition.
  • Internal, External and Terminal Ballistics: Factors affecting velocity, trajectory and impact of ballistic weapons, wounding, permanent and temporary cavity production factors.
  • Ballistic physical evidence: Tool-marks, firing pin impressions, rifling striations, gunshot residue, class and individual characteristics, factors affecting evidence production, transfer and persistence and interpretation.

Brief description

The value and limitations of selected trace evidence types in criminal investigations. The main trace evidence materials of glass, paint and fibres from the initial case assessment and lab analysis through to evaluation and presentation of trace evidence in court.

Indicative content:

  • General concepts of trace evidence: Scope, recognition, recovery, case assessment, analysis, interpretation and presentation. Importance of discriminatory analytical methods, use of controls, sampling, reference materials, contamination avoidance, quality processes in the trace evidence laboratory, traceability, databases, frequency of occurrence, classical and Bayesian style interpretation and evaluation of evidence.
  • Composition and properties of common trace evidence materials: Composition, properties & where appropriate general processes used in the manufacture & colouring of glass/paints/manmade & natural fibres. Appreciation of different analytical processes approp to trace evidence examinations & some of the quality issues surrounding lab trace evidence exams. The use of groupings & t tests in the statistical analysis of data together with the limitations of such approaches & the use of continuous Bayesian style statistics in the evaluation of trace evidence.
  • Characterisation of common trace evidence materials: Laboratory characterisation of glass, paints and fibres, use of various microscopic techniques in the comparison/discrimination of different trace evidence materials. Introduction to evidence interpretation and reporting of trace evidence laboratory casework; quality control, quality assurance, proficiency testing.

Brief description

The effects of toxins and drugs on human systems and the approaches to their detection and quantification in accidental and deliberate poisonings. Based around mammalian toxicology with a predominant focus on human examples.

Indicative content:

  • Mechanisms of drug action and pharmacodynamics: This will include; receptor signalling; agonists antagonists. Drug− receptor binding and interaction. Examples will be drawn from central nervous system (CNS) receptors, adrenergic cholinergic receptors/neurotransmission.
  • Pharmacokinetics: Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME). Routes of administration and the implications for drug/ toxin effect, and the distribution/dispersion of drug/toxins, phase I II metabolism, biotransformation. – including bioactivation. Elimination/ Excretion. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting ADME (such as pharmacogenetics). Introduction to quantitative elimination/back− calculation. Case studies.
  • Poisoning symptoms: Toxicity, Toxidromes and the Treatment of Poisoning.
  • Forensic investigations: History of Forensic Toxicology. Areas of Forensic Toxicology. Environmental Toxicology. Sample types: Advantages, Disadvantages; Sample handling. Screening and confirmatory tests. Post−mortem toxicology. Toxicological reports.
  • Topic case studies: Case studies based on real clinical, environmental and forensic toxicological cases.

Brief description

Advanced principles and techniques used in Forensic Science and the roles of Forensic Scientists. Higher level forensic practical skills involved in the investigation, searching and examination of crime scenes is covered, as well as the examination techniques used in the examination of some of the evidence types found at crime scenes

Indicative content:

  • Approach to crime scene investigation: Roles responsibilities and liabilities of crime scene investigation and management, along with protection of the scene and co- ordination from initial assessment to scene conclusion.
  • Crime scene examination and searching: Methodologies of effective searching, examination of points of entry, systematic approach, use of light sources and photography. Fingerprinting techniques (e.g dusting, ninhydrin and cyanoacrylates), fingerprint identification and classification, casting techniques for toolmarks and footwear marks, footwear enhancement, comparison and identification.
  • Advanced enhancement techniques: Application of advanced enhancement techniques of latent marks using chemical and lighting techniques, along with selection of the appropriate visualisation techniques to develop latent marks on various substrates.
  • Report writing: The production of reports used to record evidence found at a scene and present evidence in court, which will follow the evidence from crime scene to court.

Year 4 Core Modules

You must study and pass all five core modules

This field is required

Brief description

Techniques and research used in a forensic DNA laboratory from sample receipt, extraction and replication to analysis and interpretation. You use your own samples to work through DNA analysis.

Indicative content:

  • DNA structure, genetics, molecular biology: Occurrence and distribution of unique, middle and highly repetitive DNA fractions. Hypervariable fraction and its exploitation in forensic science.
  • Background to DNA profiling: Alec Jeffreys - minisatellite DNA - first use of DNA profiling - progress through the 1980’s, 90s, 00s - Multilocus DNA profiling (MLP) - Single locus probes (SLP), PCR based techniques such as HLADQa, Quad, SGM SGMplus, DNA-17, New multiplexes.
  • Generation of STR DNA profiles: Introduction to how reproducible and sizeable DNA profiles using multiplexed short tandem repeat (STR) are generated.
  • Crime Scene profiling: Sources of DNA encountered in forensic casework and anti-contamination procedures.
  • Statistical evaluation of DNA matches and court presentation: Match probability calculations, population genetics and Bayesian approach to evidence interpretation. Presentation of DNA evidence in court; challenges and appeals.
  • Population genetics: Principles of inheritance - Mendel’s laws, population genetics.
  • Identification of human remains: Human remains identification, including mass disaster- victim ID by the use of surrogate reference samples and relatives’ samples.
  • Intelligence-led screens: Role of such initiatives with casework examples.
  • Specialist techniques: New developments/ Ongoing research areas.

Brief description

The chemistry and pharmacology of commonly abused substances. Study their chemical structure, production and distribution within the supply chain, their biological effects and analyses together with relevant legislation and the forensic reporting of casework samples.

Indicative content:

  • Physiological and pharmacological considerations: Types of substances, routes of ingestion and pharmacokinetics (ADME) of specific substances of abuse, pharmacodynamics and physiological effects including addiction/dependency.
  • Analytical/Legal considerations: Presumptive Testing, sampling, errors of measurement, reference materials, challenges associated with unequivocal identification of illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances, method validation and reporting levels, uncertainty, quantification, UKAS accreditation and various sections of current UK legislation.
  • Production, quality, drug intelligence and chemical considerations: Clandestine laboratories, health & safety, precursors, steroisomerism, potency, yield, purity, batch characterization, secondary processing, diluents & adulterants, storage conditions, degradation, product safety, databases, cluster analysis and drug intelligence.

Brief description

The theoretical underpinning skills required for you to pursue a detailed investigation of a selected research topic under the guidance of a member of staff.

Indicative content:

  • Research project management: The role of literature review in research. The principles and practice of GLP and GMP, Research methods, The role of literature review in research. Research project management. Time management in the research context.
  • Research project development: Research ethics. Research health and safety. Statistical skills for research.
  • Practical and laboratory skills: Practical and laboratory skills required for the project.
  • Competencies relating to professional roles and status: Linking examples of previous and planned activity with competency statements.

Brief description

Taking an integrative and holistic approach to the application of forensic science to complex cases. Apply cognitive abilities to critical analysis, deductive and inductive reasoning, conceptual understanding, interpretation and presentation of complex forensic science cases. 

Indicative content:

  • Contemporary practice: Operating environment and expectations of professional forensic scientists. Opinion evidence. Probability concepts in case assessment & interpretation of evidence - the CAI model and the use of databases. The role of communication: the expert witness, statement writing and presentation of evidence in court.
  • Practical case study: Apply the full range of forensic science knowledge skills to identifying, obtaining, analysing, interpreting, evaluating, and presenting case study evidence in a moot court scenario.

Brief description

Plan, conduct report and present an extensive piece of research work.

Indicative content:

  • Project work: Effectively and efficiently conduct the project into a specific aspect of forensic/analytical science, under the supervision of a named academic or academic team.
  • Project log / Lab book: Record day to day progress in the form of a project log or detailed laboratory note book and submit it for scrutiny on a weekly basis.
  • Portfolio: Produce a final project report within the given guidelines and on time. Present the outcomes of the research project by means of a poster presentation and defend the findings under critical questioning in a short viva-voce examination.
  • Presentation: Present the outcomes of the research project by means of a poster presentation.

How the Course Works

 

Learning and Assessment 

You’ll learn via traditional lectures and tutorials, student-led learning, interactive class sessions, practical work and a substantial element of laboratory work. We encourage you to be self-motivated and to study independently, which means you will take responsibility for your own learning.

Assessment is by a variety of methods, enabling you to demonstrate progress in different ways.

Coursework typically includes lab reports, essays and oral presentations.

Formal exams typically include questions that require either short answers or essays, coupled with problem-solving of forensic-related challenges.

In your final dissertation, you’re individually supported by an experienced research-active member of staff.

Year 1 is approximately 50% exam and 50% coursework.

Year 4 is approximately 80% exam in some instances. This does not include your final year project, which is coursework based.

Accreditation 

Our Forensic Sciences degree is professionally accredited and commended by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSoFS), which means you’re eligible to apply for associate membership upon graduating. This programme is taught by practitioners who’ve come directly from the industry, as well as forensic researchers at the cutting edge of their fields. 

Entry Requirements

Please note: All applicants must have a pass Maths - National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4.  National 5 Lifeskill Maths not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Republic of Ireland applicants, click on the UK tabs and scroll down to find your Entry Requirements.

See information about studying and applying to Abertay for International students.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher (standard entry) BBBB To include Biology or Human Biology or Physics or Chemistry. National 5 Chemistry (or equivalent) must be present for entry in the absence of Higher Chemistry.
Higher (minimum entry) We may make you an offer at the minimum entry grades if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible for minimum entry (see below). BBC To include Biology or Human Biology or Physics or Chemistry at B
A-Level CCC To include Biology or Human Biology or Physics or Chemistry
Irish Highers H3H3H3H3 To include Biology or Human Biology or Physics or Chemistry
International Baccalaureate 28 Points Biology or Human Biology or Physics or Chemistry at S5/H4
BTEC Extended Diploma MMM Applied Science (all pathways)
AHEAD Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP Access BBB Access to: Life Sciences, Health & Life Sciences, Science, Biological Sciences, Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher BBB To include Chemistry and Biology or Human Biology
A-Level BBB To include Chemistry and Biology or Human Biology
BTEC Extended Diploma DDD Applied Science
HNC/HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants from across the world. Please select your country from the searchable list below to view different qualification entry requirements. If you have different qualifications to those listed, please contact us using the form below.

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Academic Requirements

Applicants will typically be required to achieve CCC at A-Level, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with an overall score of 28 points, to include any essential subject(s) at S5 or H4.

English language: English B at S5 or H4 is accepted. For English A, no grade is specified. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically require a High School GPA of 3.0, plus one of the following:

  • SAT (I) score of 1100
  • 3 AP Tests at grades 333
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests at 600
  • ACT Composite score of 25

A combination of AP/SAT II tests may be used, provided they are in different subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) with 6 units as follows: 4 units at III, 2 units at IV, to include any essential subject(s) at III.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the European Baccalaureate with an overall grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7 are accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the NECO in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 54%/2.00, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the NECO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the WAEC in at least five subjects at an average of B/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 54%/2.00, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%/2.70.

English language: English at C6 or higher in the WAEC is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomë e Maturës Shtetëore with an overall grade of 7.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Technique / Commercial with an overall grade of 14, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire with an overall grade of 14, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants with national school qualilfications will typically be required to pass the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 12/20, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Trayecto Técnico Profesional with an overall grade of 6.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior/Universitario with an overall grade of 6.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Araratian Baccalaureate at Extended Level with grades CCC, to include any essential subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary General Education wih an average of 13 and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 64%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Year 12 Certificate plus ATAR rank of 77 or Overall Position of 11, to include any essential subject(s) at Year 12 with grade B, grade 3 or Sound Achievement.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis with an overall grade of 2.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at grade 2 in the Reifeprüfung/Maturazeugnis is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Tam Orta Tahsil Hazzinda Aggestat with an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 62%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama/General Secondary Education Certificate with an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree or post-secondary diploma in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65% or 2.25 (on the 4 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Intermediate/Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 2.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 50% or C+, to include any essential subject(s) at 60% or grade B.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of General Secondary Education at an average of 6, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 6.0, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur with an overall grade of 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma van secundair onderwijs with an overall grade of 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abschlusszeugnis der Oberstufe des Sekundarunterrichts with an overall score of 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma de Bachiller at 64%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 63%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conculsão de Segundo Grau with an average score of 8.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificado de Conclusão de Ensino Médio with an average score of 8.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.0.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Brunei A Levels in 3 subjects at grades CCC, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma za Sredno Obrazonvanie with an average score of 4.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Upper Secondary Education at average of C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalaureat or Baccalaureat Technique at an overall grade of 12, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Secondary School Diploma or Diplôme d'Études Collégiales with five grade 12 subjects at an average of 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Licencia de Education at an average of 4.5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 4.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

Applicants will typically be required to complete Senior Middle/High School Certificate/Diploma at an average of 75%, to include any essential subject(s) at 77%; and pass GAOKAO with 500 points (based on the 750 points scheme).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Bachiller Academico at an average of 3.25, and the first year of a university degree or Tecnico Universitario in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.3, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Svjedodžba o Maturi with an overall grade of 3.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Apolytírio Lykeíou with an overall grade of 17.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvědčení o maturitní zkoušce with an overall grade of 2.4, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3 (Dobrý).

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentereksamen (STX), including 3 Level A subjects an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: Studentereksamen English Level A or B at grade 7 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller at an average of 7.0, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 13 / 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at 60%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Gumaasiumi lõputunnistus with an average score of 3.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4; and pass 3 state examinations at a minimum of 55% (or 2 states examinations plus C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS).

English language: 75% in the English state examination is accepted, or C1 Advanced English CAE or IELTS (overall score 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5). For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Studentsprogv at an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at Level A grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen at an overall grade 4, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 5.

English language: Advanced English at grade 5 within the Ylioppilastutkinto/Studentexamen is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique at an overall grade 12, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 14 in the Baccalauréat Général/Professionnel/Technologique is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat at an overall grade 11, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 13.

English language. English at grade 13 in the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sashualo Skolis Atestati (Secondary School Certificate) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Shualo Specialuri Sastsavleblis Diplomi (Special School Leaving Diploma) at an average grade of 7, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Abitur with an overall grade of 2.4, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 11.

English language: Abitur English at grade 10 is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Greek Apolytirion of Geniko Lykeio at grade 17 and 3 Pan-Hellenic exams at an average of 16, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 17.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Hong Kong HKDSE at 3333 in 4 core subjects, with elective subjects at 333 (for 3 electives) or 43 (for 2 electives), to include any essential subject(s) at 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Érettségi Bizonyítvány at an overall grade 4.0, with 2 higher subjects at grade 4, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Stúdentspróf at an overall grade 6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 6.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Indian Senior School (Year 12) exam at an average of 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan/Madrasah Aliyah (SMK / MA) at 71%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Post School Qualification Diploma 1 at 2.2, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants from Ireland should check the UK Year 1 Entry tab for entry requirements with Irish Highers.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Te'udat Bagrut or Bagrut with at least 2 subjects at level 5 and 1 subject at level 4 at an average of 60%, to include any essential subject(s) at Level 5 with 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma di Esame di Stato at 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8 (on the 10 point scale) or grade 16 (on the 20 point scale).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Upper Secondary School Leaving Certificate at grade 3.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Completed Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 70% / 2.33, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) at an average of B, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 50%, to include any essential subject(s) at 55%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.4, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Atestas par vispārējo vidējo izglītību with an average score of 7, to include 3 state exams at a minimum of 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 70%.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Baccalauréat Libanais or Baccalauréat II with 12, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 12.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Brandos Atestatas with an average score of 7 with a minimum of 70% in 3 state exams, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

English language: 80% in the English state exam is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplôme de Fin d'Études Secondaires at an overall grade of 42, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 44.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Higher Secondary Education with 70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 73%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Ensino Secundário Complementar with grade 2.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Cambridge Overseas Higher School Certificate (COHSC) with grades CCC, to include any essential subject(s) at grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Malawian School Certificate of Education at grade 5, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 60%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with a minimum of 3 subjects at BCC or 2.30 GPA, to include any essential subject(s) at grade B/3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) with 4 subjects at 70% / B5 B5 B5 B5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 75%/B5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matriculation Certificate Examination with grades BC at Advanced level and CCCC at Intermediate level, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level grade C.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 6.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at 70%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 70%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary Education Certificate (HSC) with 65%, to include any essential subject(s) at 65%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO) with an overall score of 6.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

English language: English at grade 8 in HAVO is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Secondary School Leaving Diploma/Matura with an overall grade of 3.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering with an overall average of 3.6, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

English language: English at grade 4 in the Vitnemål for Vidergaende Opplaering is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Higher Secondary School Certificate at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%/2.5, to include any essential subject(s) at 68%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Matura with an average score of 60%, to include 3 Advanced subjects at a minimum of 50%, to include any essential subject(s) at Advanced level with a score of 70%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma/Certificado Nível Secundário de Educação with an overall grade of 14, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 16.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Qatar Senior School Certificate (Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al-Aama) at an average of 60%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.0/70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5/75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diplomă de Bacalaureat with an overall grade of 7, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 8.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestat o Srednem Obrzovanii (Certificate of Secondary Education) at an average of 4, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihiyah) with an average of 60%, and either the post-secondary diploma or first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.0/70%, to include any essential subject(s) at 75%.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Singapore GCE A-Levels with grades CCC, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 75%/B5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške at grade 2.4, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.

English language: English at B2 level at grade 2 in the Vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Maturitetno spričevalo at grade 3.5, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the National Senior Certificate (with Matriculation Endorsement) with 4 subjects at 5555, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Bachiller with an average score of 6.8, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 7.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Sudan School Certificate with an average of 60%/C, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65%/B, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola with an average score of 15.5, to include any essential subject(s) at level 5 grade B.

English language: English Level 5 at grade B or English Level 6 at grade C in the Avgangsbetyg/Slutbetyg fran Gymnasieskola is accepted. For alternative English language qualifications, please see below.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificat de Maturité or the Maturitätszeugnis or the Attestato Di Maturità with an overall grade of 4.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass Maturitätszeugnis with an overall grade of 4.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Attestato Di Maturità with an overall grade of 4.2, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 4.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.4, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to complete the Certificate of Secondary Education/Maw 6 with an average of 70%/3.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 3; or complete the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average of 2.0, to include any essential subject(s) at 2.5.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the High School Diploma at an average of 55%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.9 (on the 5 point scale) or 55 (on the 100 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Secondary Education at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 3.5, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Certificate of Complete General Secondary Education, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 65% / 2.2 (on the 4 point scale) / 4.0 (on the 5 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination at 65%, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 2.0, to include any essential subject(s) at grade 2.3.

Applicants will typically require a High School GPA of 3.0, plus one of the following:

  • SAT (I) score of 1100
  • 3 AP Tests at grades 333
  • 3 SAT Subject Tests at 600
  • ACT Composite score of 25

A combination of AP/SAT II tests may be used, provided they are in different subjects.

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Diploma of Academic Lyceum at an average of 3, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 60%, to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Título de Técnico Superior Universitario, and the first year of a university degree in a relevant subject with an average grade of 50% / 6.1 (on the 10 point scale) / 12 (on the 20 point scale), to include any essential subject(s).

Applicants will typically be required to pass the Zimbabwe General Certificate of Education at Advanced Level with grades CCC, to include any essential subject(s).


English Language Requirements

All courses at Abertay University are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate that you meet our English language requirements. Accepted English language qualifications include:

IELTS - overall score of 6.0 with no band lower than 5.5

TOEFL - overall score of 78 (individual elements: L-17, R-18, S-20, W-17)

Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE - overall score of 169 on Cambridge Grading Scale

International Baccalaureate - English B at S5 or H4, English A no specific grade required

European Baccalaureate - English Language 1 at grade 6 or English Language 2 at grade 7

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English language if you are a national of certain countries. Please see English Language Requirements for the full list of accepted qualifications and further details.

 

If your academic qualifications aren't listed above, or if you have any further questions, please contact our international team using the form below. There is also lots of useful information for international applicants on our international pages.


Contact our International Team

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Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Fees and funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you depends on factors such as your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. 

More information

Find out about grants, bursaries, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs in our undergraduate fees and funding section.

 

Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.

As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.

Abertay rUK Scholarship

This is a £4000 award for prospective undergraduate students applying from England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Abertay International Scholarship

This is an award of up to £12,000 for prospective international undergraduate students.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Careers

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. A number of our graduates have successfully obtained these highly competitive jobs.

A hand can be seen using a cotton swab to take a sample from a blood stained knife

Choose Your Path

The course also provides you with the skills and abilities to pursue alternative, interesting and fulfilling career paths. For example:

  • Developing diagnostics in the biotechnology industries
  • Quality assurance
  • Problem solving in public utilities
  • Developing protocols and procedures in the armed forces or government agencies

You may also wish to pursue a career in teaching – many of our graduates have trained as science teachers. Alternatively, you may want to undertake higher research at MSc/PhD level.

The transferable skills gained during this degree can also be used in a range of other careers, such as management/business, law, accountancy and disciplines unrelated to science.

 

Close up of finger print analysis

Industry Links

We enjoy excellent relationships with a number of forensic laboratories.

Throughout the programme, you’ll hear guest lectures from representatives of organisations like the Scottish Police Authority, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), James Hutton Institute, and Forensic Access.

Male working on computing equipment

Get inspired

Meet some of our Forensic Science graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

Close up of female smiling

Mel Smith

Mel helps doctors to find donors for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme in Singapore

Find out more

A picture of Karim Abu Nour Dettori on graduation day

Karim Abu Nour Dettori

Kasim is a Graduate Product Development Scientist at Vascutek where he manufactures grafts for people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

Find out more

Three males chatting

Simon Patterson

Working for the largest motorcycle publication in the world means travelling all over to cover MotoGP racing

Find out more

Always-On Online Open Day

We aim to immerse you in student life here at Abertay and give you a true feel for our courses and our amazing academic community.

Experience our Always-On Open Day anytime for a mix of:

  • Subject and course presentations and videos.

  • Campus tours, info on applying, funding, student support and accommodation.

  • What the city of Dundee is like to live in.

Take time to soak it all in.

SEE ONLINE OPEN DAY

 

An Abertay Student on a yellow coloured background

Unistats

Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).