Would you like to top-up your Foundation Degree to a full Honours degree in Analytical and Forensic Sciences? The knowledge and practical skills of forensic scientists are highly desirable in a variety of industries.
Completion of this one-year BSc (Hons) Analytical and Forensic Science (Top Up) degree will enable you to compete for graduate positions based in forensic laboratories, crime scene investigation teams, toxicology, biomedical and environmental laboratories, police forces, fingerprint bureaus and more.
Our Analytical and Forensic Science degree will introduce you to advanced analytical and forensic techniques and the practical use of a wide range of industry-standard instrumentation.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
The BSc (Hons) Analytical and Forensic Science (Top Up) is designed to enhance and complement your foundation degree studies. You will study 120 credits at Level 6. The Modules will each be worth 20 credits and include:
In this module you will be introduced to the physical principles and practical application of scanning electron microscopy and x-ray analysis in aspects of forensic science. You will also appreciate the light microscope as an instrument to examine and analyse specimens using techniques including fluorescence microscopy and immunofluorescence: excitation filters and barrier filters, fluorescent microscope for transmitted light and fluorescent microscope for incident light.
Major Scene Investigation
The module will introduce you to the roles within a Major Investigation Team, Crime Scene Management and Coordination. Students will apply their learned skills and knowledge to a range of specialist and serious offences including, fire and explosion investigation, firearms and ballistics investigation, kidnap, blackmail, drug offences and unexplained deaths. The module aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the medico-legal investigation and the role of the coroner
This module augments the analytical toxicological methods studied in your foundation degree by introducing you to the biochemical, mechanistic and clinical aspects of toxicology. Areas studied include toxicodynamics and toxicokinetics, acute and chronic toxicity, the toxicity of natural products and illicit compounds and dose-response relationships.
Research, Employability and Professional Skills
This module will provide you with the necessary professional skills required for working in the forensic sciences, including the interpretation of and use of evidence, the application of scientific and statistical methods to data and information analysis. You will learn communication, cross-examination skills, the process of the courtroom and the role of the expert witness. You will also undertake literature research on a chosen topic and give a presentation of your findings, thereby enhancing communication and critical reflection skills. You will also participate in an employability conference, which is aimed at improving your employability potential and will include CV evaluations and mock interviews.
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
In this module you will broaden your knowledge of analytical chemistry and practical skills through the study of modern instrumental methods of analysis. The instruments will include ICP-OES, FTIR-ATR, Raman, LC-MS/MS, GC-MS, NMR. You will also undertake a series of practicals which focus upon use of HPLC with fluorescence detection, UPLC-MS/MS, GC-MS and deconvolution of spectra, ATR spectroscopy, and ICP-OES. Some practicals have an interpretation and method development focus.
Human Variation and Forensic Anthropology
In this module you will learn how to understand the evolution of biological variation and its role for modern human populations. This will include an overview of human evolution, considering the molecular, anatomical, physiological, social and cultural strands. You will also understand the basis for forensic anthropological identifications and the limitations of these methods.
You will be taught through lectures, tutorials and practical work. A typical week involves six lectures, ten to twelve hours of practical work, plus some small group tutorials. Some of the delivery may be provided by guest speakers. Self-directed study plays a part in all modules and is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment. The proportion of self-directed study depends on the module and can range from 50% to 80%. Overall, this is 22% timetabled activities, 78% self-directed study.
You will be assessed using a variety of methods including formal end of year examinations, in-class timed assessments, practical reports, simulated case files, and oral presentations.
The overall assessment is composed of the following components – written exam 51%; coursework 11% and practical 38%.
The Chemistry/Analytical suite of laboratories comprise of:
The general Biology laboratories include a variety of light microscopes, extensive human anatomical models and a range of skeletons for vertebrate zoology.
The Crime Scene House contains a dedicated fire scene room and a firebox exercise is run where a representation of a bedroom is set fire and investigated for evidence after the fire is extinguished.
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The BSc (Hons) Analytical and Forensic Science (Top Up) degree is Year 3 entry only. A pass in the Foundation Degree in Analytical and Forensic Science or Foundation Degree in Forensic Sciences at one of the University of South Wales’ Partner Colleges is required. Applicants with Foundation Degrees in similar subject areas will be considered on an individual basis.
Please note that whilst this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions.
Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path we would recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure that your conviction will not disadvantage you.
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 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.
Students on the Analytical and Forensic Science course 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 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.
Career opportunities for our graduates are great, gaining posts all over the world in forensic laboratories, crime scene investigation teams, toxicology, biomedical and environmental laboratories, police forces, fingerprint bureaus, insurance investigation, and health and safety. Our network of employers includes analytical laboratories and forensic science providers, such as Cansford Laboratories, Synergy Health, Lextox, Alere Toxicology, Markes International, fire investigators and CSI teams.
As a USW Forensics 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.