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University of South Wales

Analytical and Forensic Science

UCAS Code: 4T3W

Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons)

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About this course

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Full-time | 2021


Forensic science

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 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:

Forensic Microscopy
Fire and Explosion Investigation
Research professional practice and employability in the forensic sciences
Advanced analytical chemistry
Human Variation and Forensic Anthropology
Forensic Microscopy
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.

Fire and Explosion Investigation
An in-depth understanding of combustion, explosion and fire behaviour is necessary to determine the origin and cause of an incident. This module will enable you to investigate fatal fires in vehicles and buildings, and to determine their origin and cause, including evidence of arson.

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, Professional Practice and Employability in the Forensic Sciences
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.

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Applied Sciences

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Forensic science

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Forensic and archaeological sciences

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

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What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

General, applied and forensic sciences

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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