The Foundation course in Forensic Science is for students who don’t meet the entry for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree. You’ll start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your scientific skills and knowledge.
Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, this 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 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. 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 foundation year of your Forensic Science degree prepares you through theoretical and practical study of the knowledge and skills in biology, chemistry and mathematics necessary for the first year of the course.
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 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 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 six hours in lectures and small group tutorials, and up to twelve 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. Forensic Science degree students typically have six lectures per week as well as ten to twelve hours of practical work plus some small group tutorials.
Guest lectures are delivered by external experts as part of the course and through presentations organised by the University Forensic Science Society and Chemistry Society.
You will be assessed using 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.
To increase your employability, you may be eligible to spend a year working in industry mid-way through the course, which is an excellent way to expand your range of skills.
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.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
EE to include a relevant Science subject but excluding General Studies
BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass in a relevant subject
24 points or two IB Certficates at Higher level to include Science or Maths.
Pass Science Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits all Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 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.
This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.
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.
Throughout the Forensic Science degree, you 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. Career opportunities for our graduates have been very good, 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.
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.