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Our research environment is rated 100% world leading

Investigate. Analyse. Solve the case. 

Are you fascinated by forensic science and its impact on crime-solving? Are you looking for a career that makes a difference? Developing fundamental knowledge and skilled laboratory techniques, you will graduate from this course with the ability to tackle complex scientific problems with confidence, skill and maturity.

If you opt to study a Forensic Science university degree at Northumbria you will develop the essential and fundamental skills required to enter the professional world of forensics. Tasks, including DNA analysis and trace evidence examination, will be matched with teaching from experienced forensic practitioners, developing your scientific knowledge.

This degree is designed to support and inspire you to high achievement and professionalism in your future career. Building on fundamental knowledge and laboratory skills, you will develop into an independent graduate who can tackle complex problems with confidence, skill and maturity.

Why choose Northumbria to study Forensic Science BSc?

  • Forensic Science at Northumbria is ranked 4th in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2024, rising 4 places since last year.  

  • Chartered _Society _Of _Forensic _Science _Northumbria _UniversityChartered Society of Forensic Sciences accreditation means the course is always up-to-date and relevant.
  • Forensic Science at Northumbria is ranked top 15 in the UK for Teaching Quality & Student Experience (Guardian University League Table, 2024).

See other similar courses you may be interested in: BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Science

Course Information

UCAS Code
F410

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Applied Sciences

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

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Book an Open Day / Experience Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Forensic Science. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

Applicants will need Grade B in A-Level Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science, or recognised equivalents.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: £9,250

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: £19,750

International Fee in Year 1: £19,750


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

Laboratory equipment such as spatula, lab book, marker pens and a scientific calculator are required and should cost no more than £25. You may be required to print some documents this should be no more than £10 per academic year. If a student chooses to undertake their research project with an external company, there may be travel costs associated with this. If the "Students in to Schools" module is still being offered, you will also need to pay up to £55 for a DBS check.

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AP0400 -

Practical Skills in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will cover the basic scientific knowledge and practical skills required of a scientist. Topics will include microscopy, required mathematical calcllations, basic laboratory skills such as use of Gilson pipettes, practices of documenting forensic examinations, scientific report writing and referencing and presentation skills.

More information

AP0401 -

Process and Practices in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an understanding of the key principles, practice and processes of forensic science. You will gain an understanding of the role of a forensic scientist and appreciate the types of evidence that they examine as well as other key stakeholders. You will understand the importance of the continuity and integrity of exhibits from scene to court, understand the deposition and transfer and persistence of materials and you will develop your practical skills with search and recovery techniques. You will also develop observational and note taking skills aligned to a forensic examination. Unseen examination and a practical assessment will assess your knowledge, understanding and skills associated with the key principles of forensic science.

More information

AP0402 -

Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry (Core,20 Credits)

This module will cover the following:
• An introduction to the fundamental principles of analytical chemistry.
• Consolidation of the knowledge of empirical formulae and balancing of chemical equations.
• An introduction to the theory and practice of titrimetry, gravimetry, flame photometry and spectrophotometry for analysis.
• Theory and hands on experience of chromatographic techniques for separation and analysis of mixtures.

More information

AP0403 -

Principles of Chemical Structure (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn about the theoretical building blocks of structural chemistry and the tools and rules that enable us to predict structure and reactivity in chemical compounds. This is the keystone for much for the language and understanding of chemistry required at a higher level where structural chemistry informs the properties and behaviours of more complex chemical systems such as drugs and medicine, materials and plastics, and many more. The learning journey for this module starts at the atomic level and moves through to the molecular level taking in the following broad topics and their related competencies.

• Atomic and electronic structure, isotopes, electron configurations, the periodic table and the importance of valence electrons
• Bonding theories, covalent and ionic bonding, ionic and covalent structures
• Lewis and VSEPR approaches to structure prediction for main group compounds
• Acid and base chemistry
• Coordination chemistry of the metals, structures and geometries, isomerism, basic reactions
• Organic structures, isomerism and nomenclature
• Organic stereochemistry, geometric and optical isomerism, Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules and definitions, chirality and the language of stereochemistry.
• Electron movement and structural consequences, resonance and tautomerism
• Basics of structural transformation in organic systems, intro to organic mechanism and curly arrows, electrophiles, nucleophiles and common reaction types and functional groups transformations
• Introduction to organic synthesis, oxidation and reduction, common reagents and pathways.

More information

AP0404 -

Cell Biology and Genetics (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the diversity of life and the unifying cell theory including, DNA as the universal information store and the central dogma of molecular biology as the unifying mechanism in all life. You will learn the structure and function of cells and the organelles they contain along with their life cycle, division, self-replication and eventual death.

You will learn the basic principles of heredity, including molecular, classical , human and microbial genetics. You will learn the structure, function, regulation of genes and genomes. You will also learn the fundamentals of applied genetics including an introduction to clinical genetics and the identification of genetic mutations and polymorphisms and their influence on disease processes.

Underpinning these theoretical concepts and principles covered in the lecture course you will be trained in basic techniques of handling DNA in the laboratory.

More information

AP0405 -

Scientific Support (Core,20 Credits)

You will explore the roles of the scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners involved in contemporary forensic investigations, as well as the scientific and technical processes that they may employ. You will build on your existing knowledge of the importance of undertaking a thorough and conscientious examination of a crime scene and the importance of appropriate detailed recording and the subsequent handling of exhibits in the laboratory within the context of the specialist scientific discipline studied. You will have the opportunity to apply the theory delivered in lectures to practical work both at our crime scene facility and in the laboratory using simulated crime scenarios. Throughout this module you will also consider the Forensic Science Regulator quality assurance oversight and the accreditation and validation of processes employed by scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners.

More information

JE5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Applied Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AP0501 -

Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

Your learning on this module will be situated within the ethical, social and legal implications associated with forensic science’s contribution to crime investigation and research. You will learn how to effectively design, conduct and review academic research – skills that are relevant and transferable to 2nd and final year academic study.

As part of the module you will learn how to:
• effectively search and use e-literacy techniques to enable you to critically analyse academic literature relevant to forensic science and associated disciplines.
• undertake methods of research (quantitative and/or qualitative) such as experimental data and statistics, interviews, focus groups and observations.
• effectively communicate your opinions whilst also acknowledging the work of others through appropriate citation and evidence of wider reading.
• review and consider the requirements and expectations of a scientist to ensure your own research is ethical, safe, peer reviewed and statistically supported.

Your learning will take place within the practice and research of forensic science. As such, you will be required to demonstrate an appreciation of the differing ethical implications associated with real world crime investigation and the constraints that impact and influence laboratory based and desk-based research.

More information

AP0502 -

Trace Analysis (Core,20 Credits)

Traditional areas of forensic science such as fibres, glass and paint can be overlooked in forensic investigations despite having strengths that other evidence types, such as DNA, don’t have. In this module you will develop your understaning of the theory underpinning fibres, glass and paint and learn how knowledge of their strengths can can be exploited to solve criminal cases. You will learn how to apply your knowledge to determine when and how each evidence type may or may not be appropriate in a given case scenario and in doing so develop a case strategy. Your practical skills will be developed to enable you to search, recover and analyse trace evidence using appropriate techniques. Armed with hard evidence you will then apply your knowledge within the context of the case scenario to evaluate its significance. By the end of this module you will have developed an understanding of the role of trace evidence within forensic investigations, how trace examinations are performed and how to interpret significant findings within the context of a specific case scenario.

More information

AP0503 -

Body Fluids and Blood Pattern Analysis (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the theory, practical application and laboratory skill to locate and identify a range of body fluids including blood, semen and saliva. You will cover the identification, documentation, analysis and subsequent interpretation of these body fluids within the context of a forensic investigation. You will gain an appreciation of the complexity of differing case types, such as murder or burglary, and understand that each requires a different forensic strategy that is bespoke to the individual case, depending on what exhibits are available for examination and what needs to be established. Your knowledge and experience will be further developed to understand the dynamics that underpin blood pattern analysis and how they can be interpreted to provide information on the actions that have taken place and an individuals participation or otherwise. You will review blood patterns from a crime scene right through to the consideration of clothing and weapons. By the end of this module you will have an overall comprehension on the role of a forensic biologist and what value they bring to the forensic aspect of crime investigation.

More information

AP0504 -

Drugs and Toxicology (Core,20 Credits)

The module is divided into themes relating to forensic toxicology and includes:
• evaluation and application of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse to forensic science
• laboratory blood drug analysis - extraction and detection
• critical evaluation of current issues in forensic science, for example, roadside drug testing
• interpretation of results

Throughout the module, the focus is orientated to existing, current and future research practices and draws on research experience from the module team i.e. post-mortem drug redistribution, tolerance, genotoxicity, analysis and interpretation . The module team may be expanded to include guest speakers as appropriate.

More information

AP0505 -

Specialist Applications in Criminal Investigation (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how the core disciplines of forensic science (biology and chemistry) can be complemented by additional specialisms in a criminal investigation. You will discover the impact and evaluate the effectiveness of these additional resources on an investigation. By using case studies you will explore how science and technology has been used to further assist the investigative process from the crime scene through to additional investigative tools and scientific interpretation. Presentation and communication of scientific evidence in the courtroom will also be evaluated.

Topics may include:
• Digital evidence: e.g. data recovery from PC/mobile technology/ethical hacking
• Other ‘ologies’ e.g. pathology, palynology, entomology, archaeology, ecology
• Fire investigation – cremains, application to destruction of evidence
• Surveillance : e.g. GIS/crime mapping/CCTV/surveillance

More information

AP0551 -

DNA Profiling (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will build on your existing knowledge of biology and genetics by introducing the specific laboratory methods and DNA markers used in contemporary forensic genetics. You will gain a thorough knowledge of the fundamental science underpinning key stages in the laboratory to facilitate effective communication of the methodology to the lay person via a written statement. During the course of the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the range of methods and genetic markers available in the context of forensic sample types, which may be of poor quality and low quantity. Key topics covered are listed below:

• DNA extraction from a variety of sample types
• DNA quantity and quality analysis
• PCR based analysis of forensic DNA markers
• Interpretation of forensic DNA profile data in the context of a case
• Statistical assessment of the strength of DNA evidence

More information

AP0536 -

Study Abroad (Optional,120 Credits)

This study abroad module is designed for standard full-time undergraduate programmes to provide you with the option to take an additional one year study abroad within your programme.

Study abroad provides an opportunity to develop personal skills in a different learning environment with a partner university. The module does not affect the classification of your degree, but if successfully passed the study abroad year is recognised in your transcript and degree certificate. There is a competitive selection process for placements and places cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AP0550 -

Academic Exchange Semester Study Abroad (Optional,60 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 60 credit module. You will undertake a semester abroad at a partner university equivalent to 60 UK credits on a negotiated programme of study related to the award subject. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

More information

AP0552 -

Industrial Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Industrial Placement Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a Industrial Placement year which is taken as an additional year of study between levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of Industrial Placement at an approved placement partner. This broadens your overall experience of learning by embedding your current and future learning of your discipline within a regimented and target-oriented work environment. The course of Industrial Placement will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your Industrial Placement year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Industrial Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Industrial Placement Year)”.

More information

AP0600 -

Forensic Science Research Project (Core,40 Credits)

This module comprises the research project for level 6 of the Forensic Science programmes. It is 40 credit module and aims to utilise your subject specific skills, both in terms of knowledge and laboratory skills, in an area of forensic science that is of interest to you.

You will identify and define a research topic in a chosen field of forensic science, plan a strategy for its implementation (in conjunction with an appointed supervisor) and be responsible for its implementation. It will engender in you a spirit of enquiry and curiosity in both practical and theoretical aspects of the topic. You will develop your information retrieval and critical appraisal skills, and encourage and require you to apply knowledge gained in other parts of the academic programme. It will enable you to develop the ability to evaluate experimental methods and data, and to provide the means to present findings and data in oral, poster, and written formats, and enable you to develop and practise skills relating to word-processing, spreadsheets, and other scientific and IT software packages and methods.

More information

AP0601 -

Complex Casework (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with the practical attributes of forensic science from the onset of a case through to the presentation of evidence in a court of law. It expands upon core forensic science disciplines and processes taught in previous years and focuses upon the strategy setting, examination and the delivery of interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence within the context of complex case situations. You will study the importance of working together with key stakeholders (police, forensic pathologists, crime scene managers) in determining forensic strategy and prioritisation of key exhibits prior to commencing their practical examination. Whilst the emphasis on this module will be practical based with you undertaking the examination of forensic exhibits, it will be underpinned through taught lectures and seminars.

By the end of this module you will have gained an understanding of the difficulties of complex casework and conveying complex scientific information to the lay person.

More information

AP0602 -

Contemporary Issues in Forensic Science (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn how scientific strategies associated with crimes and challenges facing the police and criminal justice system are complemented by criminological theory. You will discover the impact these advancements have upon both society and upon forensic science. By understanding crime, contemporary policing, prisons and imprisonment within the criminal justice system, crime prevention strategies will be evaluated for their effectiveness for particular crime types. For example, you will explore current research and innovation strategies that combine innovative science and technological advances with criminological research in response to existing, new and emerging crimes and challenges. You will address key themes such as:
• Crime/policing – e.g. the prevention and detection of drugs in society, volume crime, human trafficking
• Security and counter terrorism – e.g. prevention and detection of terrorism activities (domestic versus international), radicalisation and
• Policing/identity management – e.g. surveillance in society, crime mapping and the role of biometric identification

More information

AP0603 -

Advanced Forensic Investigation (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how advances in forensic interpretation can be applied to support the Criminal Justice System in decision making. You will learn how to use the Casework Assessment and Interpretation (CAI) model in the evaluative stage of crime investigation, as well as the use of the Bayesian approach to evaluate the strength of evidence and the conclusions/limitations that can be drawn from the analytical results. Embedded throughout the module will be case studies from violent, sexual and major crime used to supplement and underpin your learning.

More information

AP0604 -

Advanced Analytical Chemistry (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will examine advanced modern techniques for the analysis of a variety of compounds commonly encountered in chemistry and forensic science. Modern hyphenated separation techniques e.g. chromatography-mass spectrometry, for separation, identification and quantitation of compounds will be discussed. New approaches for separation based on ion mobility e.g. capillary electrophoresis and capillary electro-chromatography will be explained, and the latest advances in in the chemical analysis field will be described using relevant examples. The syllabus will also focus on modern and advanced spectroscopic techniques for drug identification and analysis, including NMR and MS methods. Sampling protocols for the detection of drugs and alcohol in body fluids and alternative matrices will be studied as well as strategies and practice in analytical method development for a varietry of different compounds.

More information

AP0642 -

Forensic Biology (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will follow on from the body fluids and BPA and DNA profiling modules introduced at level 5 on this programme, applying the knowledge gained to more complex case-based scenarios and interpreting challenging data, e.g. complex mixtures. The limitations of current methodology will be reviewed in detail, including a thorough examination of DNA profile artefacts, analytical thresholds and alternative statistical approaches to data analysis. In addition to existing methods, you will also be introduced to a range of alternative methods that use different genetic markers including RNA to build a more complete picture of the sample type under examination and the identity of the sample donor. New materials will introduced in the fields of anthropology and forensic taphonomy to provide a good coverage of methods used in forensic biology. Key topics covered are listed below:

Interpretation of complex DNA profiles, including mixtures
The effect of mutation on DNA data, including kinship analysis
Genetic tissue identification
DNA sequencing applications
Genetics of externally visible characteristics
Biogeographic ancestry

More information

ML6001 -

Unilang - Languages for All - Level 6 Placeholder (Optional,20 Credits)

The 20-credit yearlong Unilang modules (stages 1 – 5 depending on language) aim to encourage a positive attitude to language learning and to develop and practise the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing introducing the basic/increasingly complex grammatical structures and vocabulary of the spoken and written language (depending on stage) and developing your ability to respond appropriately in spoken and written form in simple and increasingly complex everyday situations.

These modules also introduce you to the country and the culture of the country. In doing this, Unilang modules are intended to encourage and support international mobility; to enhance employability at home and abroad; to improve communication skills in the foreign language and in English as well as cultural awareness.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AP0400 -

Practical Skills in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will cover the basic scientific knowledge and practical skills required of a scientist. Topics will include microscopy, required mathematical calcllations, basic laboratory skills such as use of Gilson pipettes, practices of documenting forensic examinations, scientific report writing and referencing and presentation skills.

More information

AP0401 -

Process and Practices in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an understanding of the key principles, practice and processes of forensic science. You will gain an understanding of the role of a forensic scientist and appreciate the types of evidence that they examine as well as other key stakeholders. You will understand the importance of the continuity and integrity of exhibits from scene to court, understand the deposition and transfer and persistence of materials and you will develop your practical skills with search and recovery techniques. You will also develop observational and note taking skills aligned to a forensic examination. Unseen examination and a practical assessment will assess your knowledge, understanding and skills associated with the key principles of forensic science.

More information

AP0402 -

Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry (Core,20 Credits)

This module will cover the following:
• An introduction to the fundamental principles of analytical chemistry.
• Consolidation of the knowledge of empirical formulae and balancing of chemical equations.
• An introduction to the theory and practice of titrimetry, gravimetry, flame photometry and spectrophotometry for analysis.
• Theory and hands on experience of chromatographic techniques for separation and analysis of mixtures.

More information

AP0403 -

Principles of Chemical Structure (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn about the theoretical building blocks of structural chemistry and the tools and rules that enable us to predict structure and reactivity in chemical compounds. This is the keystone for much for the language and understanding of chemistry required at a higher level where structural chemistry informs the properties and behaviours of more complex chemical systems such as drugs and medicine, materials and plastics, and many more. The learning journey for this module starts at the atomic level and moves through to the molecular level taking in the following broad topics and their related competencies.

• Atomic and electronic structure, isotopes, electron configurations, the periodic table and the importance of valence electrons
• Bonding theories, covalent and ionic bonding, ionic and covalent structures
• Lewis and VSEPR approaches to structure prediction for main group compounds
• Acid and base chemistry
• Coordination chemistry of the metals, structures and geometries, isomerism, basic reactions
• Organic structures, isomerism and nomenclature
• Organic stereochemistry, geometric and optical isomerism, Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules and definitions, chirality and the language of stereochemistry.
• Electron movement and structural consequences, resonance and tautomerism
• Basics of structural transformation in organic systems, intro to organic mechanism and curly arrows, electrophiles, nucleophiles and common reaction types and functional groups transformations
• Introduction to organic synthesis, oxidation and reduction, common reagents and pathways.

More information

AP0404 -

Cell Biology and Genetics (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn about the diversity of life and the unifying cell theory including, DNA as the universal information store and the central dogma of molecular biology as the unifying mechanism in all life. You will learn the structure and function of cells and the organelles they contain along with their life cycle, division, self-replication and eventual death.

You will learn the basic principles of heredity, including molecular, classical , human and microbial genetics. You will learn the structure, function, regulation of genes and genomes. You will also learn the fundamentals of applied genetics including an introduction to clinical genetics and the identification of genetic mutations and polymorphisms and their influence on disease processes.

Underpinning these theoretical concepts and principles covered in the lecture course you will be trained in basic techniques of handling DNA in the laboratory.

More information

AP0405 -

Scientific Support (Core,20 Credits)

You will explore the roles of the scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners involved in contemporary forensic investigations, as well as the scientific and technical processes that they may employ. You will build on your existing knowledge of the importance of undertaking a thorough and conscientious examination of a crime scene and the importance of appropriate detailed recording and the subsequent handling of exhibits in the laboratory within the context of the specialist scientific discipline studied. You will have the opportunity to apply the theory delivered in lectures to practical work both at our crime scene facility and in the laboratory using simulated crime scenarios. Throughout this module you will also consider the Forensic Science Regulator quality assurance oversight and the accreditation and validation of processes employed by scientific support personnel and specialist practitioners.

More information

JE5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Applied Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AP0501 -

Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

Your learning on this module will be situated within the ethical, social and legal implications associated with forensic science’s contribution to crime investigation and research. You will learn how to effectively design, conduct and review academic research – skills that are relevant and transferable to 2nd and final year academic study.

As part of the module you will learn how to:
• effectively search and use e-literacy techniques to enable you to critically analyse academic literature relevant to forensic science and associated disciplines.
• undertake methods of research (quantitative and/or qualitative) such as experimental data and statistics, interviews, focus groups and observations.
• effectively communicate your opinions whilst also acknowledging the work of others through appropriate citation and evidence of wider reading.
• review and consider the requirements and expectations of a scientist to ensure your own research is ethical, safe, peer reviewed and statistically supported.

Your learning will take place within the practice and research of forensic science. As such, you will be required to demonstrate an appreciation of the differing ethical implications associated with real world crime investigation and the constraints that impact and influence laboratory based and desk-based research.

More information

AP0502 -

Trace Analysis (Core,20 Credits)

Traditional areas of forensic science such as fibres, glass and paint can be overlooked in forensic investigations despite having strengths that other evidence types, such as DNA, don’t have. In this module you will develop your understaning of the theory underpinning fibres, glass and paint and learn how knowledge of their strengths can can be exploited to solve criminal cases. You will learn how to apply your knowledge to determine when and how each evidence type may or may not be appropriate in a given case scenario and in doing so develop a case strategy. Your practical skills will be developed to enable you to search, recover and analyse trace evidence using appropriate techniques. Armed with hard evidence you will then apply your knowledge within the context of the case scenario to evaluate its significance. By the end of this module you will have developed an understanding of the role of trace evidence within forensic investigations, how trace examinations are performed and how to interpret significant findings within the context of a specific case scenario.

More information

AP0503 -

Body Fluids and Blood Pattern Analysis (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the theory, practical application and laboratory skill to locate and identify a range of body fluids including blood, semen and saliva. You will cover the identification, documentation, analysis and subsequent interpretation of these body fluids within the context of a forensic investigation. You will gain an appreciation of the complexity of differing case types, such as murder or burglary, and understand that each requires a different forensic strategy that is bespoke to the individual case, depending on what exhibits are available for examination and what needs to be established. Your knowledge and experience will be further developed to understand the dynamics that underpin blood pattern analysis and how they can be interpreted to provide information on the actions that have taken place and an individuals participation or otherwise. You will review blood patterns from a crime scene right through to the consideration of clothing and weapons. By the end of this module you will have an overall comprehension on the role of a forensic biologist and what value they bring to the forensic aspect of crime investigation.

More information

AP0504 -

Drugs and Toxicology (Core,20 Credits)

The module is divided into themes relating to forensic toxicology and includes:
• evaluation and application of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse to forensic science
• laboratory blood drug analysis - extraction and detection
• critical evaluation of current issues in forensic science, for example, roadside drug testing
• interpretation of results

Throughout the module, the focus is orientated to existing, current and future research practices and draws on research experience from the module team i.e. post-mortem drug redistribution, tolerance, genotoxicity, analysis and interpretation . The module team may be expanded to include guest speakers as appropriate.

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AP0505 -

Specialist Applications in Criminal Investigation (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how the core disciplines of forensic science (biology and chemistry) can be complemented by additional specialisms in a criminal investigation. You will discover the impact and evaluate the effectiveness of these additional resources on an investigation. By using case studies you will explore how science and technology has been used to further assist the investigative process from the crime scene through to additional investigative tools and scientific interpretation. Presentation and communication of scientific evidence in the courtroom will also be evaluated.

Topics may include:
• Digital evidence: e.g. data recovery from PC/mobile technology/ethical hacking
• Other ‘ologies’ e.g. pathology, palynology, entomology, archaeology, ecology
• Fire investigation – cremains, application to destruction of evidence
• Surveillance : e.g. GIS/crime mapping/CCTV/surveillance

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AP0551 -

DNA Profiling (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will build on your existing knowledge of biology and genetics by introducing the specific laboratory methods and DNA markers used in contemporary forensic genetics. You will gain a thorough knowledge of the fundamental science underpinning key stages in the laboratory to facilitate effective communication of the methodology to the lay person via a written statement. During the course of the module you will be encouraged to evaluate the range of methods and genetic markers available in the context of forensic sample types, which may be of poor quality and low quantity. Key topics covered are listed below:

• DNA extraction from a variety of sample types
• DNA quantity and quality analysis
• PCR based analysis of forensic DNA markers
• Interpretation of forensic DNA profile data in the context of a case
• Statistical assessment of the strength of DNA evidence

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AP0536 -

Study Abroad (Optional,120 Credits)

This study abroad module is designed for standard full-time undergraduate programmes to provide you with the option to take an additional one year study abroad within your programme.

Study abroad provides an opportunity to develop personal skills in a different learning environment with a partner university. The module does not affect the classification of your degree, but if successfully passed the study abroad year is recognised in your transcript and degree certificate. There is a competitive selection process for placements and places cannot be guaranteed.

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AP0550 -

Academic Exchange Semester Study Abroad (Optional,60 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 60 credit module. You will undertake a semester abroad at a partner university equivalent to 60 UK credits on a negotiated programme of study related to the award subject. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

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AP0552 -

Industrial Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Industrial Placement Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a Industrial Placement year which is taken as an additional year of study between levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of Industrial Placement at an approved placement partner. This broadens your overall experience of learning by embedding your current and future learning of your discipline within a regimented and target-oriented work environment. The course of Industrial Placement will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your Industrial Placement year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Industrial Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Industrial Placement Year)”.

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AP0600 -

Forensic Science Research Project (Core,40 Credits)

This module comprises the research project for level 6 of the Forensic Science programmes. It is 40 credit module and aims to utilise your subject specific skills, both in terms of knowledge and laboratory skills, in an area of forensic science that is of interest to you.

You will identify and define a research topic in a chosen field of forensic science, plan a strategy for its implementation (in conjunction with an appointed supervisor) and be responsible for its implementation. It will engender in you a spirit of enquiry and curiosity in both practical and theoretical aspects of the topic. You will develop your information retrieval and critical appraisal skills, and encourage and require you to apply knowledge gained in other parts of the academic programme. It will enable you to develop the ability to evaluate experimental methods and data, and to provide the means to present findings and data in oral, poster, and written formats, and enable you to develop and practise skills relating to word-processing, spreadsheets, and other scientific and IT software packages and methods.

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AP0601 -

Complex Casework (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with the practical attributes of forensic science from the onset of a case through to the presentation of evidence in a court of law. It expands upon core forensic science disciplines and processes taught in previous years and focuses upon the strategy setting, examination and the delivery of interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence within the context of complex case situations. You will study the importance of working together with key stakeholders (police, forensic pathologists, crime scene managers) in determining forensic strategy and prioritisation of key exhibits prior to commencing their practical examination. Whilst the emphasis on this module will be practical based with you undertaking the examination of forensic exhibits, it will be underpinned through taught lectures and seminars.

By the end of this module you will have gained an understanding of the difficulties of complex casework and conveying complex scientific information to the lay person.

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AP0602 -

Contemporary Issues in Forensic Science (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn how scientific strategies associated with crimes and challenges facing the police and criminal justice system are complemented by criminological theory. You will discover the impact these advancements have upon both society and upon forensic science. By understanding crime, contemporary policing, prisons and imprisonment within the criminal justice system, crime prevention strategies will be evaluated for their effectiveness for particular crime types. For example, you will explore current research and innovation strategies that combine innovative science and technological advances with criminological research in response to existing, new and emerging crimes and challenges. You will address key themes such as:
• Crime/policing – e.g. the prevention and detection of drugs in society, volume crime, human trafficking
• Security and counter terrorism – e.g. prevention and detection of terrorism activities (domestic versus international), radicalisation and
• Policing/identity management – e.g. surveillance in society, crime mapping and the role of biometric identification

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AP0603 -

Advanced Forensic Investigation (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn how advances in forensic interpretation can be applied to support the Criminal Justice System in decision making. You will learn how to use the Casework Assessment and Interpretation (CAI) model in the evaluative stage of crime investigation, as well as the use of the Bayesian approach to evaluate the strength of evidence and the conclusions/limitations that can be drawn from the analytical results. Embedded throughout the module will be case studies from violent, sexual and major crime used to supplement and underpin your learning.

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AP0604 -

Advanced Analytical Chemistry (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module you will examine advanced modern techniques for the analysis of a variety of compounds commonly encountered in chemistry and forensic science. Modern hyphenated separation techniques e.g. chromatography-mass spectrometry, for separation, identification and quantitation of compounds will be discussed. New approaches for separation based on ion mobility e.g. capillary electrophoresis and capillary electro-chromatography will be explained, and the latest advances in in the chemical analysis field will be described using relevant examples. The syllabus will also focus on modern and advanced spectroscopic techniques for drug identification and analysis, including NMR and MS methods. Sampling protocols for the detection of drugs and alcohol in body fluids and alternative matrices will be studied as well as strategies and practice in analytical method development for a varietry of different compounds.

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AP0642 -

Forensic Biology (Optional,20 Credits)

In this module, you will follow on from the body fluids and BPA and DNA profiling modules introduced at level 5 on this programme, applying the knowledge gained to more complex case-based scenarios and interpreting challenging data, e.g. complex mixtures. The limitations of current methodology will be reviewed in detail, including a thorough examination of DNA profile artefacts, analytical thresholds and alternative statistical approaches to data analysis. In addition to existing methods, you will also be introduced to a range of alternative methods that use different genetic markers including RNA to build a more complete picture of the sample type under examination and the identity of the sample donor. New materials will introduced in the fields of anthropology and forensic taphonomy to provide a good coverage of methods used in forensic biology. Key topics covered are listed below:

Interpretation of complex DNA profiles, including mixtures
The effect of mutation on DNA data, including kinship analysis
Genetic tissue identification
DNA sequencing applications
Genetics of externally visible characteristics
Biogeographic ancestry

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ML6001 -

Unilang - Languages for All - Level 6 Placeholder (Optional,20 Credits)

The 20-credit yearlong Unilang modules (stages 1 – 5 depending on language) aim to encourage a positive attitude to language learning and to develop and practise the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing introducing the basic/increasingly complex grammatical structures and vocabulary of the spoken and written language (depending on stage) and developing your ability to respond appropriately in spoken and written form in simple and increasingly complex everyday situations.

These modules also introduce you to the country and the culture of the country. In doing this, Unilang modules are intended to encourage and support international mobility; to enhance employability at home and abroad; to improve communication skills in the foreign language and in English as well as cultural awareness.

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To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

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