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Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons) 2013-14

At a Glance

UCAS code:

Start date:
23 / 09 / 2013

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Places Available:
30 (this number may be subject to change)

Course Type:
Full Time / Sandwich

Entry Requirements
260 points at A level with a minimum grade C in Chemistry.
•  We welcome applications from candidates with Edexcel/BTEC with grades of MMM/DMM or equivalent.
•  We consider all applications individually.

Admissions Assistant
Tel: 01484 473867

The course

If you are a devotee of forensic science dramas then you might think you know a lot about this subject. This degree will teach you the truth and looks at the essential science (forensic chemistry and biology) that is used to solve problems and provide compelling evidence for courts and the legal profession. Analytical science, which is the basis of forensic chemistry, is also widely used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and analytical service laboratories. So this course, which gives you a comprehensive grounding in analytical chemistry, provides you with a range of employment options. All the Nutrition and Health teaching staff are either Registered Nutritionists or members of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Course content

Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you will get hands on experience of a wide range of experimental techniques and instrumentation. Problem solving skills are developed through, for example, analysis of crime scenes from actual cases. You may select to spend the third year in industry, where you will 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.

Year 1

+ Practical Forensic Science 1

This module provides 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 are provided to support the practical work and place it in context. Assessment is by pro-formas (80%) and an end of year poster (20%).

+ Analytical Science 1

In this module you will be introduced to analytical science. In the first half of the module you will learn 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. The module is assessed through a series of tests (70 %), laboratory classes (15 %) and workshops (15 %).

+ Inorganic Chemistry 1

This module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements. This module discusses 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 will also investigate the main group elements in more detail in this module. Your learning experience will also be augmented by some introductory chemistry practical work which will involve experimental techniques. The practical reports make up 20% of the module assessment and half the coursework. A MCQ test completes the coursework (20% of modules mark) and a final examination covering material for the whole academic year (60% of module mark).

+ Data Handling for Forensic Science

This module covers the mathematical and computing skills required to support the rest of the degree. As well as fundamental skills in mathematics, word processing and the use of spreadsheets there is an emphasis on the key statistical methods used by forensic scientists including probabilities and Bayesian statistics. Throughout, data handling techniques are demonstrated using course relevant examples. Assessment is by short in-course tests.

Year 2

+ Crime Scene Investigation

This module introduces you to the principles of crime scene examination (such as anti-contamination and quality procedures) and you will learn about a wide range of different evidence types within the crime scene context, including fire investigation and crime scene photography. In addition to this, you will learn how to produce written reports and to defend them orally. This is assessed by a written exam (worth 50% of the module), a practical crime scene exercise (worth 40% of the module) and a practical mock court room exercise (worth 10% of the module).

+ Essential Biology for Forensic Scientists

This module provides you with 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.
You will cover the elements of cellular and molecular biology sufficient to understand such techniques as gene cloning, PCR and DNA fingerprinting.
The concluding part of the module provides coverage of the systems of the human body most relevant to students of forensic science and medicinal chemistry.
You will take part in practicals relevant to both these areas and assessment will be by writing up of these practicals (40%) and by examination (60%).

+ Practical Forensic Science 2

This module extends 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 pro-formas (100%).

+ Analytical Science 2

This module builds on your knowledge of molecular and atomic spectroscopy techniques. You will develop more in-depth interpretation skills for spectroscopic data and will be introduced to a range of separation techniques. You also will 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 be introduced. The module is assessed on a mixture of coursework (spectroscopy interpretation test, 10%, Excel exercise, 10%), practical reports (20%) and a final exam (60%).

+ 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 will explore in this module. You will 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 practical exercises take place in Term 2 (this is Coursework accounting for 25% of the module mark). At the end of Term 1, a written assignment (Coursework worth 15% of the module mark) will be set and the module assessment culminates in a final Exam (60% of the module mark).

Year 3 sandwich

+ Supervised Work Experience

The supervised work experience (SWE) is normally a 48 week placement in a suitable organisation. Placements are available both within the UK and abroad.

Year 3 full-time/Year 4 sandwich

+ Advanced Forensic Biology and Toxicology

In this module, you will build upon the knowledge gained in the first two years and you will 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 additional lectures on fibres and forensic entomology. This module is assessed by coursework (worth 25% of the module) and by a written examination (worth 75% of the module).

+ Forensic Science and the Law

In this module you will learn about criminal law and the requirements of the Criminal Justice System and how you as, forensic scientists, fit in to this system. In the first term you will 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 (worth 50% of the module). The second term focuses on the presentation of evidence and the role of an expert witness. You will produce an expert witness statement as piece of coursework (worth 50% of the module).

+ Analytical Project

The project module involves you developing independent research programme. Academic supervisors will outline the aims of the project and direct you to the most recent literature. You will plan their projects in light of the current state of the field of research and spend one day per week undertaking the research. There are a wide range of projects available, from developing finger print analysis or DNA fingerprinting to forensic entomology. The module is assessed by continual assessment (50%), project dissertation (40%) and an oral presentation (10%).

+ 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 will learn how to examine the crime scene from the specialists’ point of view and how to interpret the evidence. You will be assessed through a series of coursework (worth 100% of the module)

+ Analytical Science 3

In this module, you will learn advanced theory of chromatography, with a particular emphasis on techniques which 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 (in-class test, 25%) and a final exam (75%).

+ Analytical Science 4

This module builds on your knowledge of mass spectrometry, NMR, electroanalysis and sensors. You will consider a range of advanced experimental methods for enhancing the capabilities of both mass spectrometry and NMR. You will examine the principles underpinning several potentiometric and voltammetric techniques, which will lead into an explanation of how different sensors and biosensors operate. You will also explore the role of nanotechnology in the development advanced sensing devices. The module is assessed by coursework worth 25% of module marks and a final exam worth 75% of module marks.


We believe that the placement option of this degree is an invaluable experience as it provides that vital element of relevant work experience which so many employers demand. Many graduates have been offered full-time jobs by their placement employers. Equally importantly, over the years we have seen how it has boosted students’ self confidence and their performance in the final year.
We will provide guidance and support to help you secure a placement. Supervised, salaried placements are available in either forensic science or any area of analytical science, both in the UK and abroad.

Career opportunities

Graduates have gone on to work in what was previously the Forensic Science Service and also in private consultancies.

Analytical chemists are employed in almost all chemical companies, including pharmaceutical companies, fine chemical industries, food and drink manufacturers, water companies and the health sector.

Professional links and accreditations

This course is accredited by the Forensic Science Society. We are one of only 20 Universities in the UK that have an accredited course. Please see the website forensic science society This course is also recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry; satisfying the academic requirements for admission to the category of Associate Member (AMRSC).

Teaching and assessment

•  Contact hours are typically 10 hours lectures/tutorials and 7–11 hours practical/workshops per week. Additional learning materials are provided on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment.

•  The Academic Skills Tutor in the School of Applied Sciences can provide extra help with report writing, revision and examination technique and numeracy skills amongst others.

•  Modules are assessed by a range of methods, including written exams, problem solving exercises, assessment of laboratory skills, multiple choice questions (mainly in your first year), oral and poster presentations and written reports.

How much will it cost me?

At the University of Huddersfield, we have worked hard to ensure that we set a fair fee for undergraduate students that offers fantastic value for money. The University of Huddersfield is debt free, meaning every penny you spend on your education is re-invested in you.

In 2013/14, the tuition fee for students at the University of Huddersfield will be £7,950*. Your tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance, please see Fees and finance.

You can sign up to iHud here to make sure you keep up to date with the latest fees and finance information.

*In subsequent years the fee will be subject to inflationary increases. Please bookmark this page and refer back for up-to-date information. Information updated 22.1.13


For details of course fees please call the Student Finance Office on 01484 473904

Other information

* We know that sometimes students perform better at University than they did at A-level (or equivalent). If you start on the BSc (Hons) Forensic & Analytical Science course but would really like to be on the MSci in Forensic & Analytical Science with Industrial Experience degree you will be able to transfer to the MSci during the first two years, provided that you achieve a minimum academic standard.

*The laboratory facilities and equipment for undergraduate experiments in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry are on a par with many chemistry departments in the country. What really sets us apart from other departments is the range of equipment which is available for you to use in our analytical laboratories and you will have plenty of opportunity, particularly in the first two years of your degree, to see how the different instruments operate and can be applied in the analysis of forensic evidence.


We also have an exchange programme with a Department of Forensic Science in an American university, which offers the opportunity for you to spend your sandwich year doing a research project in the USA.

How to apply


Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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Last Updated: Tuesday 28 February 2012
Last updated Tuesday 28 February 2012
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