Biomedical science students examining a petri dish

Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BSc Forensic Science

Gain practical experience of crime scene investigation, laboratory analysis and how to present evidence in court.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Typical offer

N/A

See requirements

UCAS code

F410

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

At Hull, we teach you much more than just the theory of forensic science. Here we’ll take you from crime scene to court room going beyond the lecture theatre to gain practical experience in crime scene investigation, analyse evidence in the laboratory and learn how to be an expert witness in court.

Forensic science is one of the fastest growing sectors and this course prepares you for a range of careers.

You'll gain the essential knowledge and fundamental skills to become a competent and confident forensic scientist with a significant focus on practice to application. We'll support you to develop critical thinking skills and teach you how to present clearly supported/evidenced opinions as you progress through the course. You'll also be able to make use of our excellent links with local police forces.

Taking part in our programme, you’ll be taught by internationally respected experts including experienced Forensic practitioners using the most advanced concepts and methodologies to develop your scientific knowledge. Our teaching team includes active researchers who are recognised as ‘world leading’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

If you are fascinated by forensic science and its impact in solving crimes and are looking for a career that makes a difference, our course has been carefully designed to equip you with developing specific subject knowledge and the practical skills to succeed. We embed transferable skills across the course to boost your employability while providing opportunities for personal and professional development to ensure our graduates leave with the ability to tackle complex scientific problems with confidence, skill and maturity.

Our Forensic Science degree equips you for a range of career options to work as a forensic scientist, an academic researcher, commercial scientist, crime scene investigator, scientific sales, or teaching – to name just a few possible destinations.

This course gives you the valuable skills and experiences that employers actively look for. It’s our way of putting you – and your career – at the heart of what we do.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session

Forensic Science

forensic-science-subject-session

Six reasons to study Forensic Science at Hull

  1. Excellent links with local police forces
  2. Practical experience from crime scene investigation to courtroom
  3. Our research is 'internationally excellent'
  4. Become proficient with the forensic laboratory techniques and methods
  5. Course designed and taught by expert forensic practitioners
  6. Option to boost skills on a Foundation Year

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

  • Core

    Introduction to Forensic Science

    The forensic science fundamentals. Explore crime scene protocol and preserving evidence; fire and firearms investigation; scenes of explosion; and DNA and bodily fluids.

    Introduction to DNA and Chromatography

    On this module, you’ll explore the concepts of DNA and how scientists characterise DNA, and you’ll learn how to explain concepts in chromatography.

    Skills for Forensic Science

    Learn the essential skills to engage with forensic science. You’ll gain the necessary theory and practice to be able to use scientific principles in the field.

    Biochemistry

    How does metabolism work? On this module, we illuminate the biochemical pathways that utilise sugars, proteins and lipids for energy generation by our cells and our bodies.

    Cell Structure and Function

    Gain an understanding of cell organisation. In practical sessions you’ll learn how to use a light microscope, produce clear scientific figures and measure the size and number of cells.

    Human Physiology

    Explore topics including the circulatory system, blood and cardiac and skeletal muscles; the nervous system; reproduction; respiration; the gastro-intestinal system; and the endocrine system.

Second year modules

  • Core

    Human Anatomy

    This module introduces you to the human anatomy in detail. You’ll explore topics including: the structure of the human skeleton, major landmarks, and joints and classification.

    Forensic Science in Practice

    Learn the problem-solving approaches used in forensic science. You'll get practical experience of the techniques used in forensic labs as well as studying real forensic and toxicology cases.

    Crime Scene to Courtroom I

    This module introduces you to the skills forensic scientists use in criminal cases. Exploring socio-legal and criminological theory, you’ll learn how to translate crime scene findings into evidence.

    Professional Skills for Forensic Scientists

    Alongside developing your research skills in biological disciplines, you’ll complete assessments such as applying for a job by submitting a CV and cover letter.

    Molecular Cell Biology and Histopathology

    ​Discover the important role histopathology plays in the diagnosis of disease, prognosis and treatment. Explore the journey that tissue biopsies take from the patient to the microscope.​

    Crime Scene to Courtroom II

    Follow the full crime scene to courtroom process via the laboratory. You’ll examine simulated evidence recovered from crime scenes in the laboratory and report your findings in court, developing authentic skills employed in forensic science.

Final year modules

  • Core

    Advanced Forensic Science

    Explore the methods for investigating and solving forensic cases. You'll look at extracting information from forensic data and the effect of toxic compounds and drugs on the body. 

    Current Topics in Forensic Science

    Develop your science communication skills for different audiences whilst researching a contemporary topic in forensic science. You’ll also develop your inquiry and critique skills.

    Forensic Analysis of Drugs

    Explore the challenges of drugs of abuse and their analysis for the forensic scientist within the context of the legal system. You will also consider the physiological and societal impact of them.

  • Compulsory

    Forensic Science Independent Research Project (40 credits)

    A unique opportunity to work on an independent project alongside researchers. You’ll input into experimental design and will analyse your findings before writing it up in your dissertation.

  • Optional

    Forensic Psychology

    Learn about the psychological origins of crime, how psychology can inform crime detection and what psychologists can do to reduce offending.

    Cellular Pathology

    Explore the pathological presentation of several major diseases and their impact on society. Input from NHS clinical staff allows you to explore the benefits of population screening. 

    Human Genetics

    Examine human disease and the underlying genetic causes. Learn about cytogenetics and genetic counselling, as well as the inheritance of recessive and dominant diseases.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

Indicative assessment proportions

55%
45%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

Indicative assessment proportions

38%
7%
55%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

Indicative assessment proportions

27%
8%
65%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Claire Densham Forensic Science

"I have enjoyed the teaching throughout the whole course, specifically how supportive and welcoming all the lecturers are both during and after each lecture they present."

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades N/A

  • BTEC grades N/A

  • Points required N/A

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

At Hull, you’re a name not a number. During Clearing, we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades. We may be able to offer you a place whatever your situation.

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 466100 or complete our online form to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Take a 360-degree look at one of our laboratories where you'll gain the skills to become a competent forensic scientist.

Fees and funding

UK

£9,250 per year*

EU/International

£17,550 per year

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2021 entry. The fees for 2022 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,488 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Forensic scientist
  • Academic researcher
  • Commercial scientist
  • Scientific sales
  • Teacher
  • Consultancy
  • Crime scene investigator

You’ll study the subject in a forensic science context, giving you the skills to work or undertake further study within a range of scientific fields. These may include toxicology, forensic biology and trace evidence. These skills would also be relevant to other careers within the criminal justice system such as crime scene investigation and the police. There are also opportunities in teaching and research.

Graduates from our department go into a diverse range of other careers with employers such as ConocoPhillips, RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), the Civil Service, pharmacies, various hospitals and the NHS.

Our Forensic Science degree equips you to work as a forensic scientist, as an academic researcher, as a commercial scientist, in scientific sales, as a data analyst or in education or teaching – to name just a few possible destinations.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Complete University Guide, 2018

†Research Excellence Framework, 2014