Forensic biologists are crucial to crime scene analysis, helping to help identify victims and support criminal investigations. Forensic biologists also work in the field of endangered species, helping to identify illegal trading of fur and feathers, investigating disease that could threaten animal or human health.
Using our sophisticated lab and field equipment, you will collect and analyse biological evidence and write detailed logs and reports, so attention to detail is important. As part of this course you´ll take part in invaluable lab and fieldwork experience, including mock crime scenes and disasters and graduate with a broad set of forensic skills and be prepared for the anticipated demand within the sector. You also may have opportunities to work with our staff on their current forensic research projects.
96 - 100% of students on similar courses at BU think our staff are good at explaining things and make their subjects interesting, so do come along and meet us to find out for yourself!
104 - 120 tariff points including 3 A-Levels including 32 from one required subject (e.g. C at A-Level), or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.
For this course we are looking for students with:
An understanding of what archaeology and forensic sciences are
Enthusiasm for applying science to solve problems both in the study of the past and the present
An interest in both laboratory and field sciences
Good written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think analytically
AAFS Study Skills: Fundamental skills for any scientist are the ability to work with a range of field and lab data. This unit will provide you with the knowledge to perform statistical analysis, create charts, graphs & maps, and write clear and concise reports using appropriate software packages.
Cell Biology: Cells are the basic unit of life and hence knowledge of cell biology is fundamental to understanding wider concepts in biology. This unit introduces key themes in cell biology to provide a sound underpinning knowledge of cells and the way they function. The unit will equip you with an understanding of cell structure, function, control, basic molecular biology, the interaction of cells with viruses and the basic experimental techniques used to investigate cells.
Chemistry: You will be provided with an understanding of some aspects and processes within fundamental chemistry and analytical chemistry and develop your laboratory skills. The unit will predominately be delivered through lectures and practical laboratory sessions. The laboratory sessions will enable reinforcement of the theoretical concepts by dealing with experimentally generated data and will allow for one-to-one and small group discussions.
Diversity of Life: Gain an understanding of the origin and diversity of life on earth, how the environment and selection have shaped the patterns of distribution of plants, animals and micro-organisms since life first originated some 3.5 billion years ago, and how it is increasingly being influenced by humans.
Human Anatomy & Physiology: Giving you an overview of the structure and function of the human body, you will be introduced to the principal concepts underlying pathophysiological processes that disturb health.
Introduction to Forensic Investigation: This unit will provide you with a deeper appreciation of the legal aspects, command structure and operational procedures of UK forensic investigations and provide a deeper insight into a range of forensic sciences available. It will provide you with the theoretical understanding to enhance practical experience in the recovery of physical evidence.
Advanced Cell Biology: Building on the fundamental principles from year 1, you will examine the operation of cells, and the control, development and modification of cells in multicellular organisms. You will also discover more about stem cell technologies and therapeutic applications, cancer development and cell culture techniques.
Biochemistry: Developing your core knowledge from the first year units in biology and chemistry, you will gain an appreciation of systems biology through the introduction of metabolism interconnectivity, and an overview of macromolecules and their metabolism. Topics will include the structure and function of DNA and enzyme structure and kinetics.
Crime Scene: This unit aims to provide details on the legal aspects, command structure and operational procedures of UK scene of crime investigations and provide an introduction to a range of forensic sciences. It will also provide practical experience in the recovery of evidence from potential scenes of crime.
Forensic Law & Practice: You will critically consider the criminal justice system in England and Wales and engage with the central issues common to any major criminal justice system. You will be equipped with a greater knowledge of criminal procedure including a comprehensive coverage of the entire criminal process from police investigation through to trial process to appeals and rectifications of miscarriages of justice.
Forensic Science: The basic scientific and analytical principals underlying the practice of forensic science will be explored in this unit. You will be introduced to a range of basic case types and to the analytical techniques commonly employed in forensic casework.
Semester 2 (choose one)
Biology for Forensic Sciences
Case Studies in Forensic Science
Introduction to Toxicology
Year 3 (Placement)
You may choose to complete an optional 30-week minimum or a short 5 week industrial work placement. You´ll get an opportunity to include a period of academic study during this time. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.
Year 3/4 (Final year)
Advanced Forensic Science: You will enhance your knowledge and critical thinking skills associated with the scientific and analytical principals underlying the practice of forensic science in this unit. You will gain in depth knowledge of key areas of forensic science.
Advanced Topics in Genetics: You will consider how this modern discipline underpins all aspects of biology. You will be actively involved in discussions about the ethical issues of genetics as well as introduce bioinformatics analysis of data. We will consider the role of pharmacogenomics, epigenetics, endophenotypes and optogenetics plays in current research outputs as well as the classical model D. melanogaster now has in fundamental biology.
Independent Research Project: The Independent Research Project provides you with an opportunity to gain experience of research in a topic of your choice relevant to your degree and to demonstrate your ability to report that research. Such experience is considered essential for those students interested in pursuing academic and/or professional research at a higher level of responsibility and achievement.
Semester 1 (choose one)
Semester 2 (choose one):
Biological scientists and biochemists
Junior forensic examiner
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