Are you fascinated by the process of conducting DNA analysis to investigate the scene of a crime? As one of the first UK universities to offer a Forensic Biology degree, we’ve been nurturing investigative minds for over a decade, and can help you on the path to your career in forensic biology. Our exciting and practical BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology degree offers the skills and knowledge to appreciate the value of biological evidence, giving you an excellent grounding for a career in forensic biology and forensic investigation
You’ll be based in our purpose-built laboratories at the Pontypridd Campus. There will be the opportunity to put your analytical skills into practice at our Crime Scene House, where real-life crime scenarios are recreated. With accreditation from The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, you can rest assured that the Forensic Biology degree meets industry standards and will put you in an excellent position to compete for graduate jobs in this exciting sector.
The Forensic Biology degree covers a wide range of sciences, from criminalistics to organic chemistry. It will develop the concepts of crime scene investigation protocol. You will also gain scientific knowledge of the chemical and biological analytical techniques used to assist investigations.
The first year of your Forensic Biology degree introduces you to the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in biological, analytical chemistry and crime scene investigation employed within forensic investigation.
The second year of your Forensic Biology degree will enhance your practical skills and theoretical knowledge through forensic evidence and forensic imaging. You will develop your skills in applying analytical chemistry techniques and your understanding of biological science through molecular biology and medical microbiology.
In the third year, you will study advanced modules and critically analyse forensic case studies, as well as forensic microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. You will study toxicology and clinical biochemistry, as well as advanced biological analyses that involve genetics, DNA and biological anthropology.
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice and year of study. Forensic Biology degree students typically have six lectures per week as well as ten to twelve hours of practical work plus some small group tutorials.
In addition to lectures from the staff at The University of South Wales, guest lectures are delivered by external specialist experts in their field as part of the module delivery and additionally through presentations organised by the University Forensic Science Society and Chemistry Society.
In addition many events are held during the year such as Career Fairs and Career conferences where students will have an opportunity to find out more about prospective careers and meet prospective employers.
You will be assessed using a range of approaches depending on your module choice and year of study. Your progress and achievements will be monitored through coursework, such as written reports, experimentation practicals, in-class and on-line tests plus end-of-year examinations.
No more than about 25% of the course is assessed through formal end of year examinations.
Our forensic students will be trained in vibrant and modern facilities where you will learn key skills in brand-new purpose-built laboratories and at our Crime Scene House -a unique facility where you will learn how to process major crime scenes.
Dr Edward Morgan
Dr Stephen Ling
Dr Paul Jones
Dr Gareth Powell
Dr Ryszard Babecki
Prof Tony Davies
Prof Richard Dinsdale
Prof Alan Guwy
Dr Peter Jenkins
Dr Rehana Karim
Dr John Morton
Dr Charlotte Miller
Dr Sorcha Diskin
Dr Paul Messenger
Dr Phillip Trevelyan
Dr Graeme Boswell
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
BCC to include Chemistry and Biology but excluding General Studies
BCC - CDD to include Chemistry and Biology but excluding General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Grade C and BC at A Level to include Chemistry and Biology but to exclude General Studies
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include Chemistry and Biology but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass which must include Biology and Chemistry modules (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include grade 5 in Biology and Chemistry
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include grade 5 in Biology and Chemistry (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Graduates from the Forensic Biology degree have the knowledge and skills to gain good careers in a number of areas, such as scenes of crime and forensic investigation teams, biomedical laboratories, toxicology laboratories, or employment in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.