The UWS Forensic Science degree course will prepare you for a career in a vital role in the UK and international criminal justice system through recent advances in analytical sciences and genetics.
This degree will help to prepare you for a career as a Scenes of Crime Officer (SOCO), a civilian forensic support role which assists the police / law enforcement to investigate serious crimes and obtain vital fingerprint or DNA evidence which is used to secure conviction at trial.
Our well-equipped laboratories enable hands-on experience in applied techniques including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and gel electrophoresis. Our crime scene laboratory enables you to investigate simulated crime scene scenarios in a realistic manner. Other teaching methods include site visits, workshops, role-play and presentations.
What qualifications do you need?
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience.
African WASSCE (WAEC): a pass in 5 subjects (minimum of 3 at Grade B) including Maths and Chemistry at Grade B
Applications to Year 3 considered on an individual basis
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for most courses
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
overall score 6.0
no sub-test less than 5.5
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)
IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 6.5
no sub-test less than 6.0
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 7.0
no sub-test less than 7.0
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
overall score of 5.0
no sub-test less than 4.5
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students. For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
C6 or above in English
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).
Forensic Science is the gathering and analysis of evidence that is impartial, expert and based on a solid scientific basis. Forensic evidence is regularly presented by the prosecution and defence lawyers during criminal trials in courts of law. Many convictions in serious criminal cases are based on forensic evidence including fingerprints, the presence of fibres and DNA evidence.
Advances in technology and science are assisting the development of new techniques such as DNA fingerprinting and helping to solve criminal cases.
The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science will equip you with the practical and transferable skills for a rewarding career as a forensic scientist in Scotland or abroad.
In year 1you will be introduced to concepts of forensic science including fingerprint development and reviews of relevant high-profile cases.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 25%
Independent study: 75%
Written exams: 16%
In year 2 you will complete modules on classical and molecular genetics and analytical science. You will also complete modules in crime scene investigation and forensic probability.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 28%
Independent study: 72%
Written exams: 43
In year 3 you will begin to specialise in the treatment and analysis of evidence through modules which include extensive hands-on experience of instrumental techniques used routinely in forensic science investigations. This includes the study of arson (fires and explosions), fibre analysis, DNA profiling, chemical and biochemical analysis, toxicology and drugs.
In year 3 you will also have the option to undertake a year’s paid work experience between years 3 and 4 as part of the Honours sandwich programme.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 27%
Independent study: 73%
Written exams: 48%
In year 4 specialist modules will deepen your understanding of analytical sciences, toxicology, criminalistics and physical evidence.
You will complete modules in forensic examination including forensic biology, toxicology and forensic evidence and advanced analytical chemistry.
You will also complete a supervised research dissertation in a subject area of your choice.
Learning and teaching:
Scheduled learning: 22%
Independent study: 78%
Written exams: 54%
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops.
You will also have the opportunity to take part in group work and independent learning to develop your transferable skills such as research, presentation, communication and working as part of a team.
This degree is assessed using a variety of assessment methods including:
Learn a Language (optional)
This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover multiple languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. The cost of your language module is included in the tuition fees. Find out more
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
Tuition Fees* & Living Cost Support
Tuition Fees & Additional Costs
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at undergraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All UK and EU applicants for undergraduate study, not applying through an agent or partner, should apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service)
The on-time application deadline for 2020/21 entry is 15 January 2020, 18:00 (UK time). For some courses it may still be possible to apply beyond this period, subject to suitable vacancies remaining. The final deadline for late applications via UCAS is 30 June 2020, 18:00 (UK time). Beyond this deadline, you may be able to apply via ‘UCAS Clearing’ if the course you are interested in has remaining places.
Students from non-EU/non-EEA countries can apply directly to UWS via our dedicated online application system. The latest we can process your application is 6 weeks before the course start date to allow for visa processing times. For more information on when and how to apply to study at UWS please refer to our International Undergraduate Application Guide.
For part-time & online study, you should apply directly to the University through our online application system, not through UCAS. Please select the part-time mode of study when submitting your application. Before you begin your application, it is important to read the part-time application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
To come to UWS as a visiting student on a study abroad or exchange programme, you must apply entirely through our online system.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Get in touch
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
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Life at UWS
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