Forensic Science (BSc (Hons))

University of Kent the United Kingdom

For more information about Forensic Science at University of Kent, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
BSc (Hons)

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
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Course starts
September

International course fees
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All study options

About Forensic Science at University of Kent

We create simulated crime scenes and conduct major incident exercises where you react in real time to an unfolding event. You can even prepare a case for court and present it at a simulated trial in a realistic court environment. You’ll see how forensic skills can also be applied within archaeology and in the food and pharmaceutical industries. This course is fully accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.  Reasons to study Forensic Science at Kent Forensic Science at Kent was ranked 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2023.Apply your knowledge and practical skills in our fantastic forensic investigation facilities, which include a crime scene house and vehicles along with industry standard laboratories.Spend a year on professional placement gaining valuable experience before you graduate. It’s also possible to spend a year studying abroad. Our unique courses teach you the science behind crime scenes, as well as criminal law and specialist modules such as ballistics, DNA analysis and digital forensics.Our Forensic Science degree is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.We support you in all areas of your student life with excellent in-house student support to assist with pastoral issues; careers experts with specialist knowledge to help prepare you for a great future; and Academic Advisors and Peer Mentors to help with your studies.Flexible Foundation Year options available. What you'll learn You start by getting to grips with the broad base of knowledge on which forensic science is built, including core chemistry, biochemistry, drug chemistry, and ballistics. You also develop solid investigative and laboratory skills. Next you build on this knowledge to cover analytical chemistry, forensic archaeology, digital forensics, fires and explosions, and firearms. You also are trained in forensic expert witness skills. Our crime scene house helps you to develop your approaches to evidence recording and preservation, and to appreciate the importance of persistence. Extensive use of these practical sessions helps to prepare you for the diverse nature of crime scenes you may encounter in your future career and to develop many transferable skills for the future. If you do not have the grades or previous science qualifications for direct entry to the Forensic Science BSc, you can take Forensic Science with a Foundation Year. It is also possible to take a four-year programme, with a year abroad, with a professional placement or an MSci. See the modules you'll study

There are approximately eight one-hour lectures each week, as well as laboratory classes, project work and problem-solving seminars.

Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment and other assignments. You must pass the Stage 1 examinations in order to go on to Stage 2. Coursework assessments include incident analysis, evidence preservation, presentation skills and expert witness testimony.

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units, conventions, and laboratory methods in relation to forensic science.
  • Areas of chemistry as applied to forensic analysis, and areas of bioscience, including cells, biochemistry, human DNA.
  • Numeracy, forensic investigation and interpretation and apply them to forensic examination and analysis.
  • Incident investigation, evidence recovery, preservation, and presentation as an expert witness within the judicial environment.

Intellectual Skills

You gain intellectual skills in how to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject to find the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
  • Recognise and analyse novel problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data by a variety of computational methods.
  • Recognise and implement good measurement science and practice and commonly used forensic laboratory techniques.
  • Write essays and present scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences including legal contexts.
  • Communicate complex scientific argument to a lay audience.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use and to risk assess such hazards.
  • Conduct of standard laboratory procedures involved in analytical work and in the operation of standard forensic instrumentation.
  • Competence in the planning, design and execution of investigations, from the problem-recognition stage through to the evaluation and appraisal of results and findings.
  • Safe handling of firearms, ammunition, and propellants; analysis of forensic evidence related to firearms, firearm discharge, and ballistic theory; collision analysis: mathematical interpretation, field application and reconstruction.
  • Ability to interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements, and to present such data to an examining body in the role of expert witness.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Communication skills covering both written and oral communication.
  • Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support lifelong learning.
  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources.
  • IT skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Time-management and organisational skills.
  • Study skills needed for continuing professional development and preparation for employment as a practising forensic scientist.
  • Ability to plan and implement independent projects at degree level.

The programme aims to:

  • Instil enthusiasm for forensic science, an appreciation of its application in different contexts.
  • Provide a broad and balanced foundation of the science and law that underpins forensic practice and methodology in a modern society.
  • Develop the ability to apply knowledge and skills to the solution of forensic problems.
  • Teach you the use and understanding of a variety of scientific and quantitative techniques applied to forensic science problems.
  • Provide a knowledge and skills base from which you can proceed to further studies in the forensic and scientific area or in aspects of chemistry, physics or bioscience that are relevant to forensic and related practices.
  • Provide a stimulating, research-active environment for teaching and learning.
  • Provide an understanding of scientific methodology and the ability to undertake and report on an experimental investigation.
  • Generate an appreciation of the importance of forensic science and its practice in a judicial, industrial, economic, environmental and social context, and of the importance of chemistry in an industrial, economic, forensic, and social context.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBSc (Hons)How you will study find outHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Kent to prepare for your chosen course:

What students think about University of Kent

    Inspirational teaching - Patrique Tanque from Brazil is studying for a BSc in Forensic Chemistry.

    “Choosing Kent was an easy decision. The forensic programmes are ranked among the best in the UK and have a high graduate employment rate.

    “The teachers bring fresh ideas and up-to-date materials from real cases to enrich the lectures. They are keen to help out and always make sure we are getting plenty of support.

    “I was very fortunate to be awarded an International Scholarship, which meant I could dedicate myself to my studies.”

    Academic excellence - Stephanie Bourgeois from France is studying for a BSc in Biochemistry.

    “I like the approach to teaching here; academics are happy to answer questions and to interact with students. I find the lectures very motivational, they pique your curiosity and for me the exciting bit is going to the library and pursuing the things you are interested in.

    “The lecturers at Kent are excellent. You get to know them well and, as you move through the course, they are able to guide you towards projects, ideas or career paths that they think you will like.”

    Specialist research - Sally Gao from China is studying for a PhD in Electronic Engineering.

    “I have been very lucky with my supervisor, Professor Yong Yan, who is a world-class expert and the first IEEE Fellow in the UK in instrumentation and measurement.

    “Professor Yong Yan has helped me to become a better researcher. I am inspired by his novel ideas and constructive suggestions. Under his supervision, my confidence has grown through such milestones as my first set of experiments, writing my first research paper and attending my first conference.”

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