Our course was the first in Scotland to be accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS). It is accredited in all three of the Society’s Component Standards – Laboratory Analysis, Crime Scene Investigation, and Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence.

The role of Analytical Science in forensic investigations is becoming increasingly important due to the major developments in Analytical Chemistry and advances in Molecular Biology. Forensic Science involves the analysis of Biological Chemical or physical samples collected as evidence during a criminal investigation.

Our course is delivered by highly experienced Forensic Practitioners and Analytical Scientists who are focused on providing you with the scientific and investigative skills you will need to succeed in this highly competitive profession.

You are trained to withstand cross examination as you give oral evidence in a mock court setting based on the evidence you have analysed. A wealth of hands-on experience is featured, with the types of sophisticated equipment used in modern analytical laboratories.

Award

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

F410

Course Dates

September

Course Length

4 years

Mode of Attendance

Full-time

Overview

Year 1

You will develop an understanding of the basic principles of Chemistry, Biology and Analytical Science together with the broad principles of Forensic Science. You will also learn basic laboratory skills appropriate to chemical and biological analysis and forensic investigation.

Year 2

You will further develop knowledge of analytical techniques in Chemistry and Biology and acquire an understanding of more complex instrumentation, reinforced through practical work. You will also develop an underpinning legal knowledge through a study of the legal framework.

Year 3

You will increase your competence in laboratory practice through specialist areas of Forensics including Forensic Toxicology; Fire, Explosions and Firearms. You will undertake group practical exercise in trace forensic analysis, and present data appropriate to a court of law.

Year 4

You have the option to spend one year in a scientific laboratory between Years 3 and 4 of the course, subject to availability. Successful students will then be awarded a degree with an additional 120 credit module.

Year 5

You will cover advanced analytical and DNA techniques and further develop key forensic investigation and presentation skills in a court of law.  You will also undertake an individual Research Project and demonstrate scientific writing and presentation skills.


Modules

Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes.

The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course Disclaimer for more information.

Full-time

Year 1 -- Semester 1
  • Introduction to Crime Scene and Forensic Techniques.
  • Applied Microbiology
  • Chemistry For Life Sciences
  • Biology for Life Sciences
    Semester 2
  • Introduction to Crime Scene and Forensic Techniques.
  • Biomolecular Science
  • Analytical Techniques for Life Sciences
  • Practical Skills for Life Sciences
    Year 2 -- Semester 1
  • Forensic Biology
  • Analytical Science 1
  • Forensic Examination & Analysis
  • Legal Framework
    Semester 2
  • Anthropology
  • Analytical Science 2
  • Forensic Examination & Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
    Year 3 -- Semester 1
  • Forensic Genetics
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Fire, Explosions And Firearms
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
    Semester 2
  • Fire, Explosions And Firearms
  • Forensic Toxicology And Substances Of Abuse
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Spectral Analysis and Interpretation
  • Semester 3
    Route A - On completion of Stage 3 students have the option to undertake a one year industrial placement. The placement module will be undertaken between Stages 3 and 4.
  • One Year Sandwich Placement
    Year 4 -- Semester 1
  • Advanced Analytical Techniques
  • Project
  • DNA Technologies
    Semester 2
  • Project
  • Interpretation, Evaluation And Presentation Of Evidence
    Choose 1 option module from the following group:
  • Oilfield Chemicals
  • Criminology
  • You will study the equivalent of four 15 credit modules during each of the two Semesters per Academic Session. A normal workload should involve 12 hours of lectures and tutorials and up to six hours of laboratory work (all in class sizes of approximately 35) per week. Laboratory activities include crime scene and recovery of evidence exercises, Forensic and Analytical Chemistry, Biology laboratory work, project work and courtroom training. The crime scene exercises involve group working and in the latter stages of the course, part of the assessment takes place within the Moot court.

    Year 4 activity summary

    Lectures

    • Approximately 35 students per group
    • Seven hours per week

    Tutorials

    • Approximately 35 students per group
    • Two - three hours per week

    Project Supervision

    • Approximately three students per group
    • 24.5 hours per week for six weeks

    Practical class or workshop

    • Approximately 35 students per group
    • Three hours per week

    Independent study summary

    Independent learning enables you to acquire an increased breadth of understanding and develop a critical approach to practice and thus attain scientific competence in a forensic science context. Each module includes an allocation of directed and self-study to enable this, with a total average of 41 hours per week.

    Staff delivering this course

    The course is delivered by highly experienced forensic practitioners and analytical scientists who are focused on providing you with the scientific and investigative skills you will need to succeed in this highly competitive profession, or in analytical laboratories. 

    Staff on this course also include: visiting lecturers, industry experts, E-learning advisors and study skills staff.

    Facilities

    • Mock crime scene area
    • Forensic Imaging Suite
    • Analytical Science Lab

    How you are assessed

    Typically students are assessed each semester:

    • One Written Exam with an average time of two and a half hours
    • Two Written Assignment, including essay
    • One Project Output
    • One Report
    • Two Oral Assessment
    • One Set Exercises

    Feedback

    We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.

    Academic Support

    The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

    Study Skills Support

    The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

    • Academic writing
    • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
    • Maths and statistics
    • English language
    • Information technology support

    More on Study Skills

    SQA Higher: BBBC to include Chemistry and one further science from Biology/Human Biology, Maths or Physics. Biology, English and Maths are required at National 5 grade B or above if not held at Higher.

    GCE A Level: BCC to include Chemistry and one further science from Biology/Human Biology, Maths or Physics. Biology, English and Maths are required at GCSE grade 6 or above if not held at A Level.

    Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H2H3H3H3 to include Chemistry and one further science from Biology/Human Biology, Maths and Physics. Biology, English and Maths are required at grade O2 or above if not held at Higher.

    IB Diploma: 28 to include Higher Level Chemistry at grade 5 plus one further science from Biology, Maths or Physics at Higher Level. Biology, English, Maths are required at a minimum of Standard Level grade 4 if not held at Higher Level.

    Alternative Qualifications: We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

    Applicants from Partner Colleges: A relevant HNC or HND from one of our partner colleges will be considered for entry into Year 2 or 3. Find out more about Degree Link

    Advanced Entry: All other applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis.

    International students who do not meet our direct entry requirements for this course can gain additional entry points through our International College at Robert Gordon University.

    English Language

    Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.

    We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

    English Language requirements

    * All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.

    Optional 12 month placements can be sourced either by yourself or through liaison with the Placement Officer. These may or may not be paid subject to availability.

    Professional Accreditation

    This course is accredited by the Chartered Society for Forensic Sciences. Additionally, you will also satisfy the criteria for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

    If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

    Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

    Scholarships

    For Academic Year 2018/2019

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £13,270 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2017/2018

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,880 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2016/2017

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £13,300 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2015/2016

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,800 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2014/2015

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,400 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2013/2014

    Scottish/EU Students

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £12,000 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2012/2013

    Scottish/EU Students

    Full-time

    • £1,820 per academic year

    Rest of UK Students

    Full-time

    • £6,750 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,600 per academic year

    For Academic Year 2011/2012

    UK/EU Students

    • £1820 per academic year

    International Students

    • £11,300 per academic year

    Disclaimer

    Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

    For further information see Student Finance pages

     

    Home, EU and Rest of UK applicants to Robert Gordon University must apply online at www.ucas.com/students/apply.

    It is important that you keep track of your application process using the UCAS website, as it will update you on whether you have been offered a place from the University. It is also where you should respond to offers and receive confirmation of your place within your chosen course, rather than contacting the institution in the first instance.

    International fee paying students have the option of applying either via UCAS or direct using our application form.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions

    The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

    Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

    A diverse range of opportunities within the Scottish Police Services Authority and Forensic Science Laboratories are available, including scene examination, fire investigation, laboratory analysis and health and safety. Alternatively, a number of students opt for careers in industry (including pharmaceutical, oil and biotechnology), for which employment prospects are particularly good, and police graduate entry.

    Postgraduate study in specialist forensic disciplines and teaching are other routes many of our graduates choose to take. There are also opportunities for students to pursue forensic and analytical research at the University, for example in anti-fraud technology, advances in DNA technologies and drugs and toxicology.

    The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

    Other Fees and Charges

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