Forensic Science

UCAS codes

  • F410 -

Course contact

Dr Ciaran Ewins
0800 027 1000 (44 141 849 4101 outwith UK)

Qualifications and durations

  • BSc - 3 years
  • BSc Hons - 4 years
  • BSc Hons (Sandwich) - 5 years


Start date(s)

  • September

Tuition Fees

Additional costs
Please note that for some programmes of study there may be additional costs involved which are not included in the tuition fee advertised. These could be, for example, for study materials, fields trips or equipment. Programme leaders will be able to provide detail of any additional costs.

Forensic science is the application of science in support of the legal process and this degree, which offers paid placement opportunities, will equip you with the knowledge and skills in biological and chemical sciences that are essential for your career. 

BSc Forensic Science - University of the West of Scotland

Forensic Science - 100 percent for overall student satisfaction

SQA Highers: BBBC including Chemistry and 1 other science
GCE A-Levels: CCC including Chemistry, plus GCSE Biology
Irish Leaving Certificate: H3 H3 H3 H4 including Chemistry and 1 other science
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 26 points (including Chemistry, 1 other science plus 2 other subjects at HL)
Scottish Wider Access Programme: Access to Science BBB or Access to Health and Biological Science: BBB
SQA Advanced Highers: BBB including Chemistry and either Human Biology or Biology
GCE A-Levels: BBB including Chemistry and either Human Biology or Biology
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 30 points (including Biology or Human Biology and Chemistry at Higher and 3 other subjects at Higher)
SQA HNC / BTEC Level 4 HNC: Applied Science
Applications to Year 3 considered on an individual basis - contact
Recent advances in analytical sciences and genetics have greatly increased the power of forensic science, ensuring the scientist is central to solving many criminal cases.

Our well-equipped laboratories enable hands-on experience in techniques including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gel electrophoresis. The crime scene laboratory enables you to investigate typical crime scene scenarios in a realistic manner. Other teaching methods include site visits, workshops, role-play and presentations.

Year 1

Studies include fingerprint development and reviews of relevant high-profile cases. Transferable skills are fully integrated into the programme.

Year 2

Studies include classical and molecular genetics and analytical science. Science content is developed alongside programmes covering crime scene investigation and forensic probability.

Year 3

Specialist modules are undertaken alongside extensive hands-on experience of instrumental techniques used routinely in forensic science investigations.

Optional Industrial Placement

You may undertake a year’s paid work experience between years 3 and 4 as part of the Honours sandwich programme.

Year 4

Specialist modules will deepen your understanding of analytical sciences, toxicology, criminalistics and physical evidence. An individual project in a related area is undertaken over two trimesters. The skills gained makes graduates attractive to the forensic science sector and also to many employers in the biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
The police and customs and excise are the obvious employers. However, work in environmental protection, accident investigation, drug research, the chemical industry and biomedical sciences is possible. Graduates also continue studies in forensic science on taught MSc programmes and in postgraduate research.

For students interested in gaining practical experience, the optional sandwich degree award offers the benefit of a paid industry placement.

Study abroad

You may study abroad while gaining credit towards your degree at one of our 80 educational partner organisations.

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science graduates are eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC). Successful application is dependent on undergraduate module and project selection.

Marissa Smith graduated with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science from UWS in 2016. She is currently undertaking a MSc in Forensic Toxicology within the Forensic Medicine and Science department at the University of Glasgow a world renowned centre for the principles and practice of Forensic Toxicology. Her MSc research project is an investigation of the contents e-Cigarette liquids. Once she has completed the course she hopes to carry out a PhD within the Forensic Medicine and Science department at Glasgow University.

Marissa commented on the Forensic Science programme at UWS, “it provided a useful insight to the various branches of Forensic Science. Throughout my time at UWS I spent a great deal of time in the labs conducting various experiments using different analytical techniques. The practical aspects of the course were extremely beneficial as they allowed me to become much more confident in an analytical laboratory environment. The staff at UWS provided a great support network and operated an open-door policy, meaning that they were always willing to help resolve any issues or problems.”

Marissa Smith , BSc (Hons) Forensic Science 2016

Useful Information

  • 94% of students in work/further study six months after graduating (HESA performance indicator 2014/15)

    For course availability check UCAS