Sam Walker - BSc (Hons) Forensic and Analytical Sciences

Sam Walker at P&J Live
With a drive to learn and a childhood dream to become a scientist, Sam Walker’s BSc Forensic and Analytical Sciences degree has helped make that dream a reality.

Growing up, Aberdonian Sam Walker decided he wanted to become a scientist. After studying higher Biology and Chemistry at Hazelhead Academy and with the goal of university in mind, he attended North East Scotland College (NESCol), earning a HND in Applied Sciences before making his way to RGU in year three.

“Before leaving secondary school I had considered the idea of going into medicine but realised that wasn’t the setting I wanted to enter. Crime, law, and policing have always interested me, and so forensic science was a natural fit.

“I went through college with forensics in mind as a long-term goal and studying it at RGU through Degree Link offered me the chance to develop many of the lab skills I learned at NESCol while also developing some unique ones in areas such as crime scene work, fire investigation, and blood analysis.

Whilst at RGU, Sam experienced the full range of what the departments had to offer, including the chance to examine mock crime scenes, giving him vital experience and insight into what a career in forensic science might look like.

“Getting the chance to investigate mock crime scenes and follow the evidence from collection to courtroom was an amazing experience. Being able to get hands on experience with this, analysing blood patterns, and learning from experts both from the school and further afield has been brilliant.

“Planning, researching and defending my work in fourth year has not only given me a taste of what might lie ahead in postgraduate study, but has also given me more confidence and pride in my work.”

Now that he’s gained a first-class degree in Forensic and Analytical Sciences, Sam is looking ahead to postgraduate study and his future career.

“I’ve gained a great deal more confidence in my skills in the lab over these past two years, and the experience of planning and researching my honours project will hopefully be very useful going forward into a master’s degree.

“My current plans are to move on to further study in analytical science through a master’s degree, and following this, I may potentially pursue a PhD or perhaps begin searching for jobs in forensic science.

“Being taught by lecturers from a range of scientific backgrounds, as well as having guest lectures from police staff, and those from further afield has certainly made me more aware of the wide variety of possible careers this degree offers.”

During his time at university, Sam even had the opportunity to work with “real samples from the deceased” through supervised research with RGU staff, the James Hutton Institute of Environmental Science, and a team in Portugal.

Having started out at NESCol, he is delighted with his pathway and how far he has come.

“Coming up directly from NESCol, my tutors made me feel incredibly welcome and at ease in my first semester of third year. I’d highly recommend any potential direct entrants who are nervous about studying at RGU to just go for it.

“I’m very proud, to say the least. The past two years have been challenging, but extremely worthwhile, and I’ve made many friends here that I hope to stay in touch with from here onwards.”

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