At Kent, you study all aspects of forensic science, developing scientific and analytical skills. We create ‘crime scenes’ - including using our brand new crime scene house - for you to examine and conduct ‘major incident’ exercises, where you react in real time to an unfolding event. We also demonstrate how your forensic skills can be used within archaeology and in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
This programme is fully accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. All students on the programme are offered free student membership for the duration of their degree.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you get to grips with the broad base of knowledge on which forensic science is built, including biochemistry, drug chemistry, and ballistics. You also develop your investigative and laboratory skills.
In your second and final years, you expand your knowledge to cover analytical chemistry, forensic archaeology, digital forensics, fires and explosions, and firearms. You also study criminal law (taught by Kent’s highly ranked Law School) and are trained in forensic expert witness skills. In certain modules, you are taught by industry specialists.
If you do not have the grades for direct entry on to the Forensic Science BSc, you can take Forensic Science with a Foundation Year. It is also possible to take a four-year programme, which leads to an MSci.
Forensic Science student Natalie talks about her course at the University of Kent.
Year in industry
Many students choose to take a year in industry. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply: see Forensic Science with a Year in Industry.
We recently invested £10 million in our laboratories and improved our general study spaces. Facilities to support forensic science include:
- dedicated ballistics and firearms kit
- scene-of-crime facilities that allow you to apply the theory of crime scenes, evidence recovery and fingerprinting
- a document examination instrument used in the detection of forged documents
- a full analytical suite for forensic chemical analysis, including:
- Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
- High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
- Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS)
- Raman Spectrometry
- Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectrometry (FTIR)
- Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).
The School of Physical Sciences is home to an international scientific community of forensic science, chemistry, physics and astronomy students. Numerous formal and informal opportunities for discussion make it easy to participate in the academic life of the School. All students have an academic adviser and we also run a peer mentoring scheme.
You are encouraged to participate in conferences and professional events to build up your knowledge of the science community and enhance your professional development. The School also works collaboratively with business partners, which allows you to see how our research influences current practice.
You can also take part in:
- the School’s Physical Sciences Colloquia, a popular series of talks given by internal and external experts on relevant and current topics
- the student-run Forensic Science Society, which organises talks with top industry professionals, practical demonstrations and social events
All students are offered free membership of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
The School of Physical Sciences also has links with:
- the Home Office
- the Forensic Explosives Laboratory
- forensic science services
- local health authorities
- biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical companies in the UK and Europe