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studentstudents, parents, grandparentsgb, united kingdomforensic science

Forensic science courses

Forensic science involves using applied science to investigate crime and examine and present evidence. The degree combines study of chemistry and biology with learning forensic techniques such as fingerprinting, crime scene procedures, examining evidence in the lab and report-writing. Bear in mind that forensic science roles in the police or in associated laboratories are very popular and you may have to consider other fields of work where you can use the knowledge and skills you have gained.

Studying forensic science at university

Example course modules

  • Chemiobiology
  • Bioanalytical techniques
  • Applied statistics
  • Biochemical toxicology
  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Criminal law and evidence
  • Genetics and development
  • Principles of human disease
  • Forensic technologies
  • Metabolic regulation

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 73%
    Male : 27%
  • Mature : 14%
    School leaver : 86%
  • Full-time : 98%
    Part-time : 2%

What students say about forensic science

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Chemistry
  • Biology

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
The statistics below primarily reflect the prospects for forensic science graduates, as the largest group of students to study a forensic and archaeological science. While there are not a lot of jobs available in forensics itself just at the moment, reflected in the overall unemployment rates for forensic science graduates, there are still jobs for graduates from these subjects. Last year's graduates went into analysis work in labs, technician roles and general research, and for those looking a little wider, IT and management also employed forensics graduates. This is also a good subject for those wanting to work for the police, and if you do, it’s sometimes possible to get sponsorship, so that can be an option to fund your studies and get some relevant – and challenging - experience.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Science, engineering and production technicians

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Analytical chemist
  • Forensic scientist
  • Laboratory technician

Other real-life job examples

  • Market researcher
  • Police officer
  • Data analyst

What employers like about this subject

A degree in forensic sciences will give you subject-specific skills including the application and understanding of the scientific method in the planning, execution and analysis of scientific investigations; in the recording, recovery, scientific analysis, evaluation, interpretation, preservation and presentation of evidence and in the issues and ethical and legal framework around the practice of forensic sciences. You will also gain useful transferable skills in numeracy, communication, report writing and data interpretation. Forensic sciences graduates are in demand from industries including law enforcement, the pharmaceutical industry, scientific testing and analysis, hospitals, computing and the finance industry.