About the course
If you choose to study for a Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons) with us you’ll get the benefit of career-focused teaching and a course that combines forensic science with the complementary area of analytical science, so you can equip yourself with knowledge and skills in the largest area of employment for graduates with chemical science-related degrees.
During the course, you’ll be able to focus not only on the theory that could set you up for a wide choice of careers, but also on gaining the practical skills that are so sought-after across a range of industries. You’ll get to grips with a wide spectrum of topics in lectures, problem-based tutorials, lab classes and purpose-built crime-scene facilities. We’ll also support you in getting experience of how things work in the real world of the profession through mock criminal court hearings and organised outdoor crime scenes. And if you’d like to extend your hands-on understanding, you can opt to complete a placement in Year 3.
Whether you choose to take the three or four-year study route on the course, it’s accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and you’ll be supported by academics and experienced practitioners in forensic science. Career prospects for graduates cover a broad range of fields from scene of crime officers (SOCO), forensic toxicologists and bloodstain pattern analysts to working in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals or analytical service laboratories and beyond.
I chose to study the Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons) course here at Huddersfield for the forensic science element of the course, as this covers the laboratory techniques used in the field of forensic science such as analysis of DNA, fingerprint and footwear analysis and examination of fibres. Plus, the course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, and the University is a respectable one and close to home.
Miranda Blackburn, Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons)
Practical Forensic Science 1
This module enables you to gain practical experience in many of the practical techniques used to analyse physical evidence. Techniques covered range from ‘spot tests’ for blood, drugs and firearm residues to the development of latent fingerprints, the identification of glass and paint fragments and the microscopic examination of hairs and fibres. Lectures support the practical work and place it in context. Assessment is by results sheets and an end of year poster.
Analytical Science 1
In this module you’ll be introduced to analytical science. In the first half of the module you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the basic statistical concepts important in analytical science before going on to an introduction to a series of physical and spectroscopic analytical techniques. The second half of the module focuses on the use of various spectroscopic methods for the characterisation of known compounds and for the identification of unknown compounds. You will be assessed by coursework and exam.
Inorganic Chemistry 1
This module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements including the earliest events in the universe and the formation of all the elements in stars. The module examines the structure bonding and properties of the elements and simple inorganic materials. You’ll also have the opportunity to investigate the main group elements in more detail. Your learning experience will be augmented by some introductory chemistry practical work, which will involve experimental techniques. Assessment is via practical reports, and MCQ test and a final examination.
Data Handling for Forensic Science
The aim of this module is to enable you to gain the basic IT and mathematics skills necessary for a science degree. For the mathematics part you’ll have the opportunity to learn scientific notation, basic algebra experimental functions, logarithms, differential calculations and integration techniques. For the computing part you’ll be encouraged to learn how to use Microsoft Word, Excel. You’ll be assessed on a mixture of coursework based tests.
Organic Chemistry 1
In organic chemistry, the focus is on the element carbon. The chemistry of carbon compounds is central to all living organisms. However, thousands of nonliving things (such as drugs, plastics and dyes) are also carbon compounds. This module focuses on the fundamental principles of organic chemistry including structure, bonding, functional groups and the basic language of chemical change. You'll have the opportunity to enhance your learning in a designated block of practical exercises (this element of the coursework is worth 20% of the module mark), which also helps you to develop your hands-on practical skills. Assessment is by coursework and exam.
Physical Chemistry 1
This module gives you an introduction to five key areas in physical chemistry: 1. Ideal and real gases and how temperature, pressure and volume affect the properties of individual gas molecules. 2. Energy changes in chemical reactions and physical processes. 3. Aqueous equilibria involving acids, bases, salts and buffer solutions. 4. Factors influencing the rate of a reaction such as reactant concentration, temperature and catalysts. 5. Applications and properties of catalysts. Lectures are backed up by a series of laboratory exercises. Assessment is via a combination of coursework (practical, multiple choice question test and assignment) and an end of module exam.
Crime Scene and Forensic Examinations
An overview of commonly encountered evidence types at crime scenes will be provided, with a focus on crime scene specific issues, such as location, recovery, packaging contamination, health and safety. In addition, the forensic significance of the evidence will be discussed reflecting the new roles of the crime scene practitioner in formulating submission strategies, as well as crime scene management. Crime scene examination strategies will be covered, along with strategies to preserve the continuity and integrity of the evidence and information obtained, as well as photography. An introduction to the legal system will be provided along with report production and defending witness statements in a mock court of law. A series of practical will also be provided where the students place the theory in to practice. You will also be introduced to Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime.
Biology for the Chemical and Forensic Sciences
This module provides an introduction to selected topics in modern biology suitable for students of forensic science and chemistry, and it provides a basis for further study for those whose interests lie at the interface of the biological and chemical sciences. Such topics include a review of fundamental biochemistry, physiology and an introduction to forensic genetics. In addition, you’ll be introduced to pharmacology and pharmacokinetics providing you with a solid foundation for potential toxicology routes. Assessment is by continual practical assessment and a final examination.
Practical Forensic Science 2
This module enables you to extend your practical skills in the analysis of physical evidence to include instrumental methods such as chromatography (gas, liquid and ion), spectroscopy (UV-Vis, IR, fluorescence and mass) and microscopy (optical and electron). Physical evidence types ranging from accelerants used in arson cases to explosive residues, poisons, inks, drugs and soils will be analysed. Other experiments include ballistics, bloodstain pattern analysis and gel electrophoresis of proteins. Assessment is by results sheets.
Analytical Science 2
This module builds on your knowledge of molecular and atomic spectroscopy techniques. You’ll have the opportunity to develop more in-depth interpretation skills for spectroscopic data and be introduced to a range of separation techniques. You’ll also examine the principles and applications of a range of instrumental methods such as differential scanning calorimetry, atomic absorbance spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence and polarography. The application of advanced statistical analysis to analytical data will also be introduced. The module is assessed on a mixture of coursework and a final exam.
Organic Chemistry 2
The module builds on the fundamental principles explored in the Organic Chemistry 1 module. The knowledge and ability to form carbon-carbon bonds under controlled conditions is an essential skill that all aspiring organic chemists should possess, and this is a major focus that you’ll have the opportunity to explore in this module. You’ll also delve into other aspects of synthetic chemistry, such as the use of a wide range of inorganic compounds that provide a valuable resource to the organic chemist. The skill of designing logical processes to synthesise target molecules is also introduced. A short series of related assessed practical exercises take place in term two. At the end of term one, a written assignment will be set. The module assessment culminates in a final exam.
Choose one from a list which may include-
Inorganic Chemistry 2
This module builds on your knowledge developed in the Inorganic Chemistry 1 module and introduces the chemistry of the transition metals (d-block). You’ll be introduced to how the d-block metals react to form complexes and how their bonding can explain the optical and magnetic properties observed, in addition to the stability of compounds. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about more advanced types of solid state structure and how to classify solids as semiconductors, metals or insulators. The lecture material is supported by laboratory practical sessions, which reinforce and aid understanding of the theory delivered in lectures. The module is assessed by coursework and formal exam.
Physical Chemistry 2
Building on Physical Chemistry I, you’ll study the behaviour of electrolyte solutions. This is followed by both equilibrium and dynamic electrochemistry and electrochemical processes. The second law of thermodynamics will be applied to chemical systems, describing the driving forces for reactions and the factors controlling chemical equilibria and phase equilibria. Colligative properties of solutions will be covered, as will the properties of colloidal systems. A major practical component is included to illustrate these topics. The module is assessed by exam (and coursework.
Supervised Work Experience
This optional placement year gives you the opportunity to experience employment within an organisation related to your chosen course. The placement is usually 48 weeks in duration. Placements may be available both within the UK and abroad.
Advanced Forensic Biology and Toxicology
In this module, you’ll be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained in the first two years and you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to utilise the principles of forensic interpretation, which bridges the gap between the analytical results and the presentation of evidence in a court of law. This module focuses predominantly upon the biological evidence types, including body fluid examination, DNA analysis and interpretation, including the analysis of DNA mixtures. There are substantial additional lectures on forensic toxicology and forensic entomology. This module is assessed by coursework and by a written examination.
Forensic Science and the Law
This module covers criminal law and the requirements of the Criminal Justice System and how forensic scientists fit in to this system. In the first term you’ll be required to sit in on a real case at Crown Court and produce a piece of coursework, critically discussing how forensic science could help in this case. The second term focuses on the presentation of evidence and the role of an expert witness. You’ll produce an expert witness statement as a piece of coursework.
You'll be asked to undertake an independent programme of experimental design and practical work in an area of analytical science. You'll be encouraged to integrate the skills acquired during the rest of the course and apply them to a novel investigation.
Advanced Crime Scene Sciences
This module builds upon your knowledge in crime scene investigation and provides you with hands on practical experience of the more specialised forensic disciplines, such as Blood Stain Pattern Analysis, forensic entomology and forensic archaeology and anthropology. These subjects are taught by forensic experts with real case work experience and will be crime scenes based. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to examine the crime scene from the specialists’ point of view and how to interpret the evidence. You’ll be assessed through a series of coursework.
Analytical Science 3
In this module, you’ll have the chance to learn advanced theory of chromatography, with a particular emphasis on techniques that are applicable to toxicological analysis. A range of different chromatographic methods will be presented, with examples of their uses. Principles of analytical toxicology will be introduced, including absorption, distribution and metabolism of drugs in the body and sample collection and preparation. The module is assessed by coursework and a final exam.
Analytical Science 4
This module builds on your knowledge of mass spectrometry, NMR, electroanalysis and sensors. You’ll consider a range of advanced experimental methods for enhancing the capabilities of both mass spectrometry and NMR. You’ll examine the principles underpinning several potentiometric and voltammetric techniques, which will lead into an explanation of how different sensors and biosensors operate. You’ll also explore the role of nanotechnology in the development of advanced sensing devices. The module is assessed by coursework and a final exam.
Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you’ll be encouraged to gain hands on experience of a wide range of experimental techniques and instrumentation. You’ll also have the chance to develop your problem solving skills through, for example, analysis of crime scenes. You may choose to spend the third year in industry, where you could have the opportunity to learn more about analytical and/or forensic science in the real world, or you can choose to go directly into the final year. The final year includes advanced topics in forensic and analytical science as well as a research project in this area.
34.7% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, tutorials, practicals/workshops etc.
You will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials and practicals/workshops. Assessment will include written exams, problem solving exercises, assessment of laboratory skills, multiple choice questions (mainly in your first year), oral and poster presentations and written reports.
Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
Huddersfield is the UK’s only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*
*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching
BBCat A Level including a minimum grade C in Chemistry. The endorsement for practical work is an essential part of Science A Level study, and is a requirement for entry to our degree course.
112 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a minimum grade C in Chemistry at A Level.
DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science . Alternatively a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care/Medicinal Science is acceptable but must be accompanied by an A Level in Chemistry at a minimum grade C.
- Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
- We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
- Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for three years running*.
- For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
- We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.
*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017 and 2018.
**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.
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.
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Changes to a course you have applied for
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.
Changes to your course after you enrol as a student
We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:
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 a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.
We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or 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), classes, 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; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. 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.
Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. 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.
Termination of course
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 and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.
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