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Chemistry with Forensic Science BSc(Hons)

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  2. Your learning will take place in purpose-built crime scene facilities and labs, home to a range of instruments for chemical and forensic analysis.
  3. You'll have the chance to put your knowledge into practice and spend a year in industry or research.

Keen to get involved in a real, crime-scene investigation? Or perhaps you’re intrigued by how science can be applied to support the legal system? Our Chemistry with Forensic Science BSc(Hons) degree may give you the chance to explore both these areas of the subject. You’ll see chemistry in action, building a broad range of skills – including critical thinking and observational skills - for a potentially rewarding career ahead.

Why study Chemistry with Forensic Science BSc(Hons)

As employers are looking for graduates to hit the ground running when they begin work, we’ve designed this course as much as possible around practical experiments. In our purpose-built facilities and labs, you’ll have the opportunity to get to grips with a range of instruments, with the aim of becoming skilled in chemical and forensic analysis. You could have the chance to try out spot tests for blood, drugs, and firearm residues, for example, or you might find yourself identifying glass and paint fragments and examining microscopic hairs and fibre.

This Royal Society of Chemistry-accredited course includes:

  • A range of modules, covering organic and inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, analytical science, and practical forensic science.
  • A placement year in industry or research in year three, giving you a golden opportunity to your knowledge to the test and help boost your employability post-graduation.
  • You’ll be taught by top academics here at Huddersfield and you’ll be encouraged to achieve your best.

Upon successful completion of this Chemistry and Forensic Science course, you could consider a career in crime science investigation, forensic pathology, or toxicology, as well as roles in chemistry and analytical chemistry.

Course detail

Core modules:

Inorganic Chemistry 1

This module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements. Starting with the earliest known chemical events in the universe, this module discusses the elements, their origin, structure and properties before looking at the structure and bonding in and reactions of chemical compounds and encompasses a number of areas of (mostly) main group chemistry including, but not limited to, the constituents of the earth's crust and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

Organic Chemistry 1

This module teaches you to recognise a range of functional groups and to name systematically compounds that contain them. Structure and bonding in organic compounds are discussed, as are the concepts of the octet rule, orbital hybridisation, formal charge, bond polarisation and resonance. The importance of molecular geometry is introduced and the basic principles of molecular conformation and of stereochemistry are covered. In preparation for the chemistry to follow, an integrated treatment of the 'language of chemical change' is presented. The ideas of mechanism and reaction intermediates are met, together with the curly arrow symbolism which chemists use to represent the electron movement inherent in chemical reactions. In the second half of the module, the chemistry of the principal functional groups is considered, using the ideas developed earlier. The lecture programme is reinforced by regular tutorials in which problems are worked. Running parallel to the lecture programme is a continuously assessed practical course that introduces you to the basic techniques of preparative organic chemistry.

Physical Chemistry 1

This module covers four areas of physical chemistry: Units, Conversions and the Properties of ideal and non-ideal Gases, Solution Chemistry of Acids, Bases and Salts, Reaction Kinetics and Catalysis, and Introductory Thermodynamics

Analytical Science 1

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the range of skills required in modern analytical science and illustrate how analytical methodology underpins scientific investigation across the conventional discipline boundaries. The module will build on and develop your prior knowledge of analysis whilst not assuming any particular area of expertise and will also endeavour to improve your numerical, IT and communication skills by illustrating analytical methodology in the context of these key skill areas. This module also aims to develop your ability to obtain and interpret a wide range of spectroscopic data in a systematic and logical fashion. In this way you'll be taught to apply your knowledge to a wide range of new problems and in so doing develop your general problem solving skills. The module will be taught primarily by lectures and tutorials with illustrative practical work to highlight salient points from the lecture material.

Practical Forensic Science 1

This module is an introduction to basic forensic techniques and the scientific principles underlying them. Techniques used include fingerprint development (chemical and physical), spot tests for blood stains, identification of glass fragments by density, refractive index and x-ray fluorescence, microscopic examination of hairs and fibres and methods for determining alcohol and drugs in the blood. Practical work is supported by lectures on forensic awareness and how forensic scientists interact with the police force and other bodies.

Data Handling for Forensic Science

This module provides an introduction to the use of computers for scientific data handling and networking. It will also consolidate the mathematical ability of students entering the course from a variety of backgrounds and provides the essential groundwork in this subject area together with an introduction to probability and statistics.

Entry requirements

To find out if you’re eligible to start this course in September 2024 and get more information on how to apply, please see our Clearing pages or call our Clearing Helpline on 0333 987 900001484 472777.

If you’re interested in studying this course in September 2025, please view the 2025-26 course information.

Meet our students


In her film, you can watch Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons) student Miranda explore the crime scene facilities at the University of Huddersfield. She also talks about her 'fantastic' placement with West Yorkshire Police. 

Placements


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on an optional placement year working for an organisation related to your areas of interest. This is when you’ll really be able to see your knowledge in action, pick up invaluable skills for your future career and boost your employability to help you hit the ground running after graduation.

You could stay to do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Previous students in the Chemistry subject area have undertaken placements with Chemfix, Kemira, Lonza, Stephenson Group, Thornton & Ross and University of Huddersfield. Previous students in the Forensic and Analytical Science subject area have undertaken placements with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Chemfix, Surfachem, Thornton & Ross, University of Huddersfield and Yorkshire and Humberside Scientific Support Unit.

During my placement year, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of technicians that taught me the value of teamwork.  My confidence grew massively, and I learnt so many new skills that I will carry with me forever.

None

Orica Taylor-Cameron, Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons), placement with The University of Huddersfield as a Laboratory Technician.

Your career


As a graduate of this course, you may consider a career in crime scene investigation, forensic pathology, toxicology, clothing damage analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic technology or forensic anthropology, as well as roles in chemistry and analytical chemistry within sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink manufacturers or health.

Previous graduates from courses in this subject area of Forensic Science have gone on to work in roles such as Analytical Scientist at Minerva Scientific Ltd, Offshore Chemist at Benchmark Animal Health, Scientist at Broughton Nicotine Services and Analytical Scientist at RB (Reckitt Benckiser).**

*85% of graduates from this subject area were in work or further study 15 months after graduation (HESA Graduate Outcomes 20/21, UK Domiciled).

**LinkedIn.

85% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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