Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDFRNSCI - BSc Forensic Science

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Biosciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The principles of forensic science is developed through an integrated programme of teacher-led lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory based practical sessions, and through the guided use of student centred learning activities such as problem solving exercises, case studies, directed reading and e-learning. Level 4 provides a solid foundation of general subjects underpinning forensic science including chemistry, molecular and cell biology and genetics. In-depth studies of analytical techniques and criminalistics are the focus of the level 5 programme and at level 6 emphasis is placed on advanced and applied aspects of forensic science. Opportunities to explore the ethical dimensions of the discipline are available at all levels. Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Students have access to the SuperLab in the Science Centre which will provide them with a cutting edge experience of learning about science through practical investigation. Students have access to the library which has specialised group study areas. Students have access to a comprehensive range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. Open areas have also been provided on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge at Benwell Road. All these areas have comfortable seating and access to IT and wireless facilities.

Course aims

This course has been designed to produce graduates with a sound knowledge base and a high standard of cognitive, practical and transferable skills, who will be equipped to take up employment in forensic scientific analysis and research, in public and private analytical laboratories. The analytical, numerical and communication skills developed by forensic science graduates are also in demand in wide range of careers such as the financial sector, journalism, teaching and marketing. The aims of the single honours Forensic Science course are to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of forensic science. This will allow students to experience the scope and limitations of the subject through facts, theories, technologies and applications. Students will use a wide range of scientific techniques to examine problems of a biological or chemical nature within the context of forensic science. Students will develop skills that will enhance their understanding of professional responsibilities associated with reliable scientific analysis. The course will enhance employability awareness, professional performance and transferable evaluative skills, problem solving skills and communication skills.

Course learning outcomes

On the BSc Forensic Science, the QAA outcomes for Biosciences have been referred to generate the generic area(s) for each specific outcome.
By the end of the course the student is expected to:
1. assess and explain the biological and chemical analytical procedures which support forensic science.
2. identify the diversity of forensic science and how an interdisciplinary approach may be employed to solve analytical problems.
3. question the ethical issues associated with forensic science.
4. demonstrate higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to critically evaluate and integrate information and develop ideas on issues, methodologies and processes within a scientific analytical context such as would be required for forensic science.
5. construct logical and reasoned arguments to support their position on the social and ethical impact of forensic science analyses.
6. demonstrate higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to undertake self-reflection and demonstrate the skills of self-management, self-presentation and decision making.
7. communicate concepts, principles and information effectively by oral and written means with clarity and confidence.
8. identify and work towards targets for personal, academic and career development, and implement strategies for updating, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills.
9. plan and execute the collection and analysis of scientific data with due regard to validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and reproducibility.
10. devise and execute an independent project in a responsible, safe and ethical manner, and interpret and contextualise the findings within a contemporary understanding of forensic science.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code
Laboratory Science BC4001
Anatomy and Physiology BC4004
Cell and Molecular Biology BC4003
Chemistry (for Biosciences) BC4051
Biochemistry BC4052
Criminalistics BE5006
Metabolism BE5058
Microbiology BE5059
Molecular Biology BE5060
Human Immunity BE5061
Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences BE5007
Inference from Biological Remains BE6008
Biochemical Pathology BE6005
Project BC6P01
Advanced Bioanalytical Science CY6061
Medical Genetics BC6055
Genomics BC6059
Work Placements BC6W54

Learning Outcomes 1 - 10

Principle QAA benchmark statements


Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation. The choice of assessment instrument chosen to test the specified learning outcomes and to support students’ different learning styles. These methods are aligned with the School assessment strategy and the assessment is the responsibility of the academic staff delivering the module. Assessment is part of the learning process and confirms the outcomes of the learning process. It also provides formative feedback on curriculum design and delivery and, via the on-going iterative process of module monitoring, makes a significant contribution to the continued development and improvement of the courses that links in with the School learning and teaching strategy. In light of this a variety of assessment methods will be used (see syllabi) including unseen written examinations, individual and group assignments.
Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.
Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops. Laboratory and computer based investigations, poster and oral presentations and a level 6 project giving students the opportunity to show the knowledge understanding and skills they have developed.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes the option to take either a 15 credit Work Placement module at level 5 or a 30 credit Sandwich Placement module between level 5 and level 6. Students are not allowed to register for both these modules.

Modules required for interim awards

CertHE Biosciences

BC4004 Anatomy and Physiology
BC4003 Cell and Molecular Biology
BC4051 Chemistry
BC4052 Biochemistry
BC4001 Laboratory Science

DipHE Forensic Science

BE5058 Metabolism
BE5059 Microbiology
BE5060 Molecular Biology
BE5061 Human Immunity
BE5006 Criminalistics
BE5007 Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

BC6P01 Project
BE6005 Biochemical Pathology
BE6008 Inference from Biological Remains
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Undergraduate Skills which constitute much as the substance of personal development planning. Students will undertake to produce their personal development plan (PDP) during their undergraduate career or in the workplace. PDP can include other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life.
By way of modules: Laboratory Science (Level 4); Microbiology (Level 5); and, Research Project (Level 6) students will progressively develop their PDP which will culminate in a CV and graduation statement. Students will take part in tutorials at all levels designed to facilitate discussion on what has been learnt in order that reflective learning will contribute to identifying objectives, success criteria, and action plans that can be included in PDPs. In addition at level 6 in the research project module, the supervisor will initially assist with clarifying the terms of the research project, establishing a timetable for the research and subsequent meetings, directed background reading as well as report format and writing and statistical analysis and students will also develop their graduate statement. PDP is designed to allow students to articulate the skills developed during their undergraduate career and encourages them to critically reflect on their learning experience, to set new personal and academic goals and evaluate progress made in achieving those goals. The option exists for students to undertake an additional 30 credit module BC6W04 Sandwich Placement module to enhance employability. This would normally be undertaken between level 5 and 6, this would extend the period of study to four years.
Progress with Undergraduate Skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. This process assists students in developing as independent learners, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This will be of benefit throughout their future career.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

After graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Graduates from the BSc Forensic Science programme are equipped to take up employment in forensic science laboratories, analytical laboratories in the health sector, pharmaceutical, food and agricultural industries. Their analytical, numerical and communication skills are also in demand in a wide range of careers such as the financial sector, journalism, teaching and marketing.

Career opportunities

After the course you'll be equipped to pursue a career in forensic science and closely related work in pharmaceutical analysis, consumer product analysis or hospital laboratories. You'll also develop analytical, numerical and communication skills, which are in demand in other careers such as accountancy, journalism, marketing and teaching.

This course is also an excellent preparation for further research or study, with previous students having gone on to work in academia.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades CCD in three A levels, including biology and chemistry (or a minimum of 88 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with MMM)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Entry from appropriate foundation/access courses will also be considered.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Forensic Science Extended Degree BSc (Hons).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
JACS codes F410 (Forensic Science): 100%
Route code FRNSCI

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC4001 Laboratory Science Core 30        
BC4003 Cell & Molecular Biology Core 30        
BC4004 Anatomy & Physiology Core 30        
BC4051 Chemistry (for Biosciences) Core 15        
BC4052 Biochemistry Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BE5006 Criminalistics Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
BE5007 Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
BE5058 Metabolism Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
BE5059 Microbiology Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
BE5060 Molecular Biology Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
BE5061 Human Immunity Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC6P01 Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
BE6005 Biochemical Pathology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
BE6008 Inferences from Biological Remains Core 30 NORTH AUT TUE PM
          NORTH AUT TUE AM
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
BC6055 Medical Genetics Option 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BC6059 Genomics Option 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
BC6W54 Work Placement Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA