Would you like to perform a crucial role in the investigation of crime and legal scenarios? This forensic science degree is the highly practical application of a range of sciences in the context of criminal and civil law. You’ll gain knowledge and skills from the fields of chemistry, biology and other sciences, with a focus on how they are applied in crime scene science and criminal investigation.
Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, USW's forensic science course has a strong focus on employability and you’ll study the entire process from crime scene to court. You will be trained in standard practices and techniques used in crime scene investigation, as well as laboratory analysis of evidence and its interpretation. You’ll study specialist branches of forensic science, including anthropology, fire investigation and toxicology. The forensic science course has a very strong scientific base, which means you’ll be employable in a number of scientific sectors.
The forensic science degree covers a wide range of sciences, from criminalistics to organic chemistry. You will develop the concepts of crime scene investigation protocol and gain scientific knowledge of the chemical and biological analytical techniques used to assist investigations.
The first year of your forensic science 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 science 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 within forensic investigation.
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, advanced analytical chemistry and fire and explosion investigation.
This forensic science degree will involve about ten hours in lectures and small group tutorials, and up to ten hours of practical work each week.
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. 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 by a combination of different approaches including end of year examinations, in-term tests, practical and laboratory skills assessments, written essay-style coursework, online short answer assessments, laboratory reports, simulated case work files, preparation of witness statements, data analysis exercises, mock court sessions and oral presentations.
Many of the tasks and assessments you will complete have transferable and employability skills deeply embedded within them including independent learning, working as part of a team, numeracy, planning, organisation and communication skills, as well as allowing you to develop professional skills for practice in forensic science.
The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science course is accredited by The Forensic Science Society in three component standard areas - Crime Scene Investigation; Laboratory Analysis and Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence.
The forensic science degree focuses on practical investigative skills in the forensic laboratory. You’ll benefit from industry standard instruments, providing you with skills in a wide range of evidence examination techniques.
Our excellent facilities include a multi-room Crime Scene House, dedicated instrument laboratories and a DNA analysis suite. This gives you experience in crime scene examination and chain of custody processes, as well as potential issues at crime scenes.
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 - 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 in a relevant subject to include Chemistry and Biology modules (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
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 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 in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (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
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
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.
Students on our forensic science degree will gain an excellent portfolio of practical skills that are in demand by employers, plus you will be trained using the same instruments and techniques as practising forensic scientists, which will give you an advantage when applying for graduate positions. The skills and knowledge of our forensic science graduates are highly desirable and can be used in other scientific areas such as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, or in postgraduate study such as Masters, Doctorate and fast-track medicine. Graduates have gained employment with some of the UK’s leading forensic science service providers, becoming reporting scientists, or working in the wider analytical sector where highly skilled graduates are in demand.
As a USW forensic science 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.