Science

Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

A sought-after qualification by employers, this accredited course explores the techniques used to recover, examine, analyse and present scientific evidence within a legal context. Students gain significant practical skills and experience in our crime scene house and excellent forensic laboratories.

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Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments — rather than lots of exams at the end of the year — and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging.

Read more about block teaching

Overview

Watch: Senior Lecturer Emma Johnston tells you more about our accredited Forensic Science programme which allows students to apply theory to practice in our dedicated laboratories and mock court facilities.

Forensic science – familiar to most of us thanks to its appearances in popular TV police dramas – is the application of science to law and is carried out through the recovery, analysis, interpretation and presentation of scientific evidence, from crime scene to court.

If you have an enquiring mind, are good at solving scientific problems and want to work with cutting-edge equipment and facilities, then you could be the right person to work as a crime scene investigator or to analyse the evidence recovered from that scene.

In year 1, you will study the foundations of both chemistry and biology for forensic science, you will develop your forensic, professional and quantitative skills, including crime scene and forensic photography skills, and learn much more about a broad array of areas of forensic science in the essentials of forensic investigations module.

In year 2, you will learn about bodies, tissues and fluids, drugs and trace evidence, analytical forensic chemistry and will go on to learn more about the legal system in our issues in criminal justice module.

In your final year, you will cover forensic case studies, DNA profiling and the presentation of evidence,  fire and toxicology and conduct a piece of research in our research project and professional skills module.


Key features

  • This course was developed in collaboration with Leicestershire Police  and is professionally accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences ensuring your learning is of high-quality and remains relevant to current practice and standards.
  • You will have lots of opportunity to develop your practical and professional skills in our crime scene house, crime studio, crown court and our excellent forensic science laboratory facilities.

  • Our strong links with industry mean you’ll not only develop practical and professional skills, but may also be offered the opportunity to apply them to real-world scenarios by spending a year on placement.

  • Our teaching is delivered by a team of expert academics and former practitioners, including Leisa Nichols-Drew, who was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to help her to develop her work exploring international approaches to the forensic investigation of knife crime.   

  • Students have gained valuable and often unique international experience as part of their studies with our DMU Global programme, which has enabled students on previous trips to unearth information on human rights abuses and genocide in Guatemala, attend the New York Supreme Court to learn about judicial processes, and support refugees in Berlin.

  • Our graduates have gone on to work for world-leading employers including Eurofins (formerly LGC Forensics), Cellmark Forensics, Key Forensic Services, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, 3M and the National Crime Agency. 

 

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Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: F410

Duration: Three years full-time or four years with optional placement year

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

 

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: F410

Duration: Three years full-time or four years with optional placement year

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £16,250

Find out more about available funding for international students.

 

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

Entry criteria

GCSE

  • Five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.

Plus one of the following:

A-Level

  • A minimum of 112 UCAS points from at least two A levels with a science subject (from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Applied Sciences) at grade C or above

T Levels

  • Merit in Science (with optional module in Laboratory Science only)

BTEC

  • BTEC National Diploma in Science BTEC - Distinction/Merit/Merit
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Science BTEC - Distinction/Merit/Merit

Alternative qualifications include:

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass QAA Accredited AHE with at least 15 level 3 credits at distinction and 30 level 3 credits at merit.

GCSE Maths and English grade 4 or above required as separate qualifications.

International Baccalaureate: 26+ with 6 higher level points in a science subject

Interview: No

Work experience: No

Personal Statement selection criteria

  • Clear communication skills, including good grammar and spelling
  • Information relevant to the course applied for
  • Interest in the course demonstrated with explanation and evidence

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

 

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise and accreditations

 

 

First Year

Semester 1

  • Forensic, Professional and Quantitative Skills
  • Foundations of Biology for Forensic Science

Semester 2

  • Essentials of Forensic Investigations
  • Foundations of Chemistry for Forensic Science

Second Year

Semester 1

  • Analytical Forensic Chemistry
  • Issues in Criminal Justice

Semester 2

  • Bodies, Tissues and Fluids
  • 'Operation Vestigium'- Drugs and Trace Evidence 

 

Third Year

Semester 1

  • Forensic Case Studies
  • ‘Operation Ignis’ – A Fire and Toxicology based investigation

Semester 2

  • DNA Profiling and the Presentation of Evidence
  • Research Project and Professional Skills 

Your precise timetable will depend on your modules, however, you will normally benefit from 22 contact hours timetabled teaching sessions each week, consisting of lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions and workshops. You will also be expected to devote a considerable amount of time to independent study, typically 18 - 20 hours per week.

Practical work forms a large part of teaching and includes exercises at our mock crime house facility. You will also learn from visiting lecturers involved in forensic science. Assessments include coursework, practical reports and exams, phase tests, and written and oral presentations.

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on any optional modules you choose to study. However, typically you will have up to 22 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: approx. 3 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week

Medium group teaching: approx. 10 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Large group teaching: approx. 9 hours of lectures each week

Personal study: approx. 20 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.

Academic expertise

You will be taught by a team of academics with a wide range of experience in both academic and industrial settings. Research specialisms include forensic DNA analysis, wildlife crime, fingermark development and recovery, fire investigation, firearms chemistry and forensic applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).

Accreditation

Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Forensic-science-society-logo

 

Facilities and features

Hawthorn Building

Substantial investment in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

We offer dedicated equipment, facilities and laboratories including a mock crime scene house and a crime studio – the ideal opportunity for realistic training in crime-scene processing and evidence recovery in both domestic and more industrial environments.

Our physical evidence, analytical science and DNA analysis laboratories include a variety of specialist industry-standard equipment which includes forensic microscopy, imaging, trace evidence, fingermark development and other analysis systems.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team
Forensic Placement

Placements

As part of this course you will have the opportunity to complete a paid placement, which offers invaluable professional experience working in a scientific environment. Students have been placed in internationally recognised companies such as Pfizer.

Our Careers Team can help you secure a placement through activities such as mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and you will be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your placement.

Forensic Science student Beatriz Silva helped to fight against serious crime during her placement as a research assistant at the National Crime Agency (NCA). Beatriz says, “This year has helped me develop many skills, such as data analysis and the use of databases. It has also helped me boost my confidence as a professional."

Forensic Graduate

Graduate careers

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of areas including law enforcement, forensic science, crime scene and scientific support work, analytical chemistry, general scientific analysis, health and safety, and the insurance industry.

Forensic Science graduate Lauren Dougan was “ecstatic” when she landed her dream job working for ALS Food & Pharmaceutical, the UK's leading provider of food and drink testing services.

Lauren, who hopes to progress within the company and possibly study for a master's, said: “The best thing about my job is it allows me to transfer all the skills I learned at DMU and apply them to a real-world situation.”

Other graduates from this course have gone on to work for world-leading forensic science employers including LGC Forensics, Orchid Cellmark, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser and 3M.

dmu-global-img-01

DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have previously undertaken DMU Global trips to places such as Guatemala, where they witnessed the work of experts from the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, an organisation that has carried out important work in helping to unearth human rights abuses and genocide in the Central American country.

Students have also visited New York, where they were taken from the crime scene, to the forensic laboratory and all the way to the court, thanks to inside access to some of the USA’s most renowned crime investigation and judicial centres. 

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