Are you fascinated by the science behind crime scene incident investigation, evidence recovery and analysis? Keen to develop your investigative and laboratory skills? Want the chance to apply your skills in a real-world setting as part of your degree?
This fascinating and challenging course teaches you skills that are attractive to employers in all fields as well as building a professional network through completing a placement year, giving you the best possible start towards your future career.
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.
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.
Tailor your degree to suit you with a professional placement where you’ll work in industry for a year, giving you the chance to put into practice the skills you’ve learnt and build important connections. Taken between your second and final years, a professional placement provides an excellent opportunity to gain relevant work experience in industry in the UK or abroad. During your placement you are paid by your employer and produce an independent research project.
You can also expand your horizons with our year abroad, where you'll study at one of our partner institutions for a year, or undertake a project with one of our research groups on our four-year MSci programme. Or you can also take our three-year Forensic Science degree, without a year abroad or a professional placement.
We also offer a foundation year, giving those without the relevant scientific background, or who don't meet the entry requirements, the knowledge and skills needed to take on any of our Forensic Science degrees.
Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee
We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.
*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
BBB in 3 subjects including Chemistry or Biology
Mathematics grade C
The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.
The University will consider applicants holding/studying BTEC Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) in a relevant Science subject at 180 credits or more, on a case by case basis. Please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.
30 points overall or 14 at HL including Chemistry or Biology 5 at HL and Mathematics 4 at HL or SL
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
Please contact the School for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of science ready for undergraduate study, we offer a Foundation Year programme which can help boost your previous scientific experience.
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
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Duration: 4 years full-time
After successfully completing stage 1 at your first attempt, with an average pass mark of at least 60%, you have the opportunity to spend a year in industry between Stages 2 and 3. We give advice and guidance on finding a placement.
Please note that acceptance onto the course is not a guarantee of a placement. The responsibility of finding a placement is on the student, with help and support from the department. If you cannot find a placement, you will be required to change your registration for the equivalent BSc programme without the Year in Industry option.
The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
At all stages in this programme, the modules listed are compulsory.
This module presents a unified understanding of the structure of matter, linking physical properties to bonding and energy, and providing the tools necessary to begin to describe and analyse chemical problems. Key concepts such as mass balance and bonding (ionic, covalent, metallic, and intermolecular) are linked to analytical methods to show how these fundamental ideas can be measured and used.
Organic chemistry underpins not only much of the chemistry of living things but also modern materials, dyes, medicines, and more. This module discusses the structure of organic molecules in detail, showing the shape of molecules dictates their properties, and how Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR) can exploit this to determine the structures and thus properties of unknown molecules. Fundamental modes of reactivity of organic molecules are discussed, showing how simple mechanisms can be used to build complex and useful compounds.
This module introduces students to the mathematical, physical, social and legal concepts that underpin academic study in the field of forensic ballistics.
Students will experience a broad overview of evidence categories and crime types commonly encountered within the criminal justice system. Students will also be taken through a range of techniques associated with the delivery of forensic science to support this system.
This module will provide forensic science students with some of the core understanding in inorganic and physical chemistry. These aspects will underpin students’ understanding of Analytical Techniques and the Chemistry related to various forensic processes, leading to an enhanced understanding of Forensic Chemistry.
This module introduces a range of forensically-relevant practical techniques from the initial processing of incident or crime scenes through to carrying out relevant laboratory analyses of evidence collected.
This module will provide an initial look into chemistry and the environment, introducing important concepts such as pollution and climate change. The effects of chemical disasters will also be considered.
An introduction to the core Mathematical skills required within the Chemical and Forensic Sciences. These core skills will be complemented with a variety of problem-solving applications in Chemistry and Forensic Science.
Analytical chemistry underpins all other aspects of the discipline, and covers not only how to find out what a thing is but how to design experiments and confirm results to quantify just how confident you can be that your answer is useful. This module takes a pragmatic, applications driven approach to sample preparation, analysis, and data validation.
This course will introduce students to the key ideas and fundamental molecular components of biochemistry. The course will cover simple biomolecules and non-covalent interactions, building up to biological oligomers. This will lead to introductory pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, illustrated with medicinal chemistry case studies.
This module will develop the students’ appreciation of a range of physical techniques applied, to the collection of bulk and trace evidence materials in forensic science. Students will look more deeply into aspects of physical evidence and will deal with the practical issues of item examination, legal process and general procedure associated with the collection and submission of a range of forensically-relevant materials.
This module introduces students to a range of scene investigation and evidence processing techniques through a combination of laboratory-based training exercises and simulated scene investigation scenarios.
This module offers students experience in a wide range of important forensic investigative and analytical skills relating to other taught and practical modules in the forensic programme. Students will also have the opportunity to build computational skills through the use facial composite software.
This module covers a range of techniques that can be applied to the discovery, aging and identification of buried and ancient remains or artefacts.
This module covers a broad range of established and emerging, computer based, forensic methods. It is organised into three units: Facial Identification Techniques, focusing on facial composite construction; Image Processing, Photo Forensics and Digital Forensics.
This module will give students a background in forensic ballistics, including the investigation of shooting scenes, firearms law and wound ballistics.
Students spend a year (minimum 9 months) working in an industrial or commercial setting, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme. The work they do is entirely under the direction of their industrial supervisor, but support is provided via a dedicated Placement Support Officer within the School. This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.
Students spend a year (minimum 9 months) working in an industrial or commercial setting, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme.
The report required for this module should provide evidence of the subject specific and generic learning outcomes, and of reflection by the student on them as an independent learner.
Analytical chemistry underpins all other aspects of the discipline. This module discusses modern methods in data analysis and processing, Cheminformatics and “Big Data”, and describes advanced analytical methods used for analysing complex systems.
This module covers a range of core chemical science that relates to fire and explosive events. The applied investigation of such events is also discussed to give students a wider appreciation of previous case studies and the complexities of post-fire and post-blast investigations.
This module discusses the legal processes associated with the submission of evidence in the courts of law alongside providing training in the delivery of expert witness testimony. Students will undergo a mock courtroom exercise in which they will deliver expert testimony in a courtroom environment.
This module intends to illustrate the contemporary topics, underpinning professional practice those students wishing to enter the forensic science profession. The indicative content draws upon much of the guidance, published by the Forensic Science Regulator, UKAS, ENFSI, CSOFS as well as academic and professional commentary. The module covers several broad topics – namely, evaluative reporting, Case Assessment and Interpretation (CAI), quality standards, ethics in forensic science and bias.
This module will provide Forensic Scientists with an understanding of the chemistry behind the analysis of trace evidence. Students will be introduced to how complex instrumentation is used in these analyses and provide the background concepts needed to understand and interpret data.
This module comprises a range of contemporary topics covering methods of analysis and the interpretational issues associated with forensic DNA profiling. The materials take students through the evolution of forensic DNA; RFLP, Quad and the progression of DNA multiplexes to the present day and the practical issues of sample collection, processing and storage, DNA theory and practical DNA processing. Students will appreciate the difficulties associated with mixed samples and the statistical interpretation associated with both single source and mixture interpretation. The module draws upon the latest materials published by the Forensic Science Regulator and the latest quality and legal standards associated with DNA profiling. The module is contextualised throughout using a range of contemporary case studies.
This module will provide students with the skills necessary to propose, develop, perform and report on a project. The emphasis of this module will focus on not only academic research projects but also on future employability skills related to working in industry.
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.
Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
There are approximately eight one-hour lectures each week, 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. The year in industry mark also counts towards your final degree result. Coursework assessments include incident analysis, evidence preservation, presentation skills and expert witness testimony.
Please note that there are degree thresholds at stage 1 that you will be required to pass in order to continue onto the next stages.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
The programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You gain intellectual skills in how to:
You gain the following subject-specific skills:
You gain the following transferable skills:
Forensic Science at Kent was ranked 8th in The Complete University Guide 2022.
You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:
This means that our graduates are well equipped for careers across a range of fields and have gone on to work for companies such as Pfizer, LGC, the Police, and the Forensic Explosives Laboratory which is part of the Ministry of Defence and provides scientific support to the Police and Crown Prosecution Service.
You can read their stories, and find out about the range of support and extra opportunities available to further your career potential.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.
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