Chemistry with Forensic Science

BSc, 3 years

This is for you if... you love chemistry and want to get first-hand knowledge of the chemistry needed in Forensic Science; do you have what it takes to be a chemistry crime fighter?

Course Description

Improvements in analytical techniques have led to advances in forensic science. Resonance Raman spectroscopy can be used to detect painting forgeries; DNA fingerprinting, discovered at the University of Leicester, can be used to place a suspect at a crime scene; modern chromatographic techniques combined with mass spectrometry can be used to detect steroids or their metabolites in urine. These are just some of the many examples of how improvements in chemical analysis have been applied to forensic investigations.

If you choose to study for a BSc or MChem degree in Chemistry with Forensic Science you will gain a good understanding of the applications of chemistry across the forensic science field. You will have the opportunity to learn about scientific investigations and the legal system alongside the fundamentally important aspects of chemistry. This will ensure that on graduation you will have the skills necessary for career prospects in both the forensic science and chemistry sectors.

On the BSc course you will learn about the procedures of a forensic investigation, from the collection of evidence through to the trial, with emphasis on the role of scientific evidence as well as the principles and practical experience of methods of analysis. In addition to the usual methods of learning and teaching, you will examine forensic case studies in which you will have to apply all your analytical expertise and justify your confidence, or otherwise, in your conclusion. You will also visit a crime scene house.

The Department of Chemistry at Leicester is one of the best in the UK for both teaching and research. We have a reputation as a friendly, supportive department that produces highly trained graduates with skills valued by employers. This is because we offer high quality courses that are designed to give you a wide range of employment opportunities, and are carefully structured to ensure you will cover all the relevant topics.

Whichever degree you study, you will always benefit from our excellent teaching, our well-equipped laboratories, our high-quality welfare provision and academic support. You will also reap the benefits of the cutting-edge research being carried out in the department by our academics – the same academics who teach you.

Our specialist research areas include atmospheric chemistry, chemical biology, materials and interfaces, spectroscopy and dynamics, and sustainable synthesis and catalysis. You can be sure of learning about the very latest breakthroughs in each area throughout your course. In your final year, you will carry out your own personal research project, working under one of our academic staff and applying the knowledge and practical skills which you have gained on the course – placing you at the cutting-edge of chemistry research.

What's the difference?

Study for a BSc and you will receive rigorous training in chemistry and related, transferable skills – which will put you in a strong position to apply for a range of different employment sectors. Or you may want to continue your studies by applying for a Masters degree (MSc).

If you specifically want to find work as a chemist, whether in industry or the public sector, you should consider an MChem. The extra depth of experience and knowledge you will gain is valued by prospective employers that use chemical processes, and will keep you competitive in the job market against graduates who may have studied for the longer degrees taught in some European countries. Alternatively, an MChem provides a solid basis for progressing to a PhD.

Each of our three MChem degrees share a common first two years with the respective BSc, during which you can switch between them (transfer from BSc to MChem is subject to satisfactory progress). Both the MChem and BSc degrees are taught and assessed to the same high standards. The difference is one of content, not quality.

Also please note that the Year in Industry and Year Abroad options are not available on our BSc degrees.

Key Facts
Typical offer
ABB-BBB
UCAS code
F1F4
Start date
September 2017
Department
Chemistry
Contact

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2100
chemadmiss@le.ac.uk

Department of Chemistry website



View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

ChemSoc is our friendly student Chemistry Society, organising social events, sports fixtures and other activities.

You will benefit from our high teaching standards and our high-quality welfare provision and academic support. Our aim is make sure each student has a chance to reach their full potential.

Some of our previous students have had their final year research projects published in leading scientific journals. 

Equipment in our spacious teaching labs includes FTIR and UV/Visible spectrometers and gas/liquid chromatographs (GC, GC/MS and HPLC). Access to high-field NMR spectrometers, atomic force microscopes, high-resolution mass spectrometers, and an X-ray diffractometer is also available.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

During your first year you will be taught a range of fundamental chemistry concepts and practical techniques. You will also study the fundamentals of forensic science and the legal aspects associated with it.

Modules

This is the same as the first year of the MChem.

NB. It is possible to switch at the end of your first year to a regular Chemistry degree, but not to a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry because of the specialised modules taught on that course.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

You will learn more advanced practical techniques, get to grips with analytical chemistry and begin to consider your career ambitions and options.

Modules

  • Bifunctional Molecules
  • Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry of Rings
  • Physical Chemistry of Colloids
  • Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
  • Kinetics and Mechanisms
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Science Communication and Career Skills
  • Chemistry Practical Parts A and B

This is the same as the second year of the MChem.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3

Year 3

Your final year is about choice. Having acquired the necessary skills that are essential to forensic science, you will be able to select some modules based on your specialist interests while developing advanced knowledge in core areas and pursuing a research project of your own.

Core modules

  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • General Chemistry Skills
Plus your Chemistry Project

Option modules

Choose one option module from:

  • Biological Chemistry
  • Metals in Organic Synthesis
  • Advanced Physical Chemistry

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Accreditation

This degree is accredited by Royal Society of Chemistry.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching is a mixture of lectures, tutorials, exams, lab reports, essays, oral presentations, poster design and problem based learning. A typical week might include nine hours of lectures, seven hours of lab work, and two or three workshops or tutorials. You will also be expected to spend several hours each week on private study which might include answering problem sheets, preparing for tutorials or writing up lab reports.

All of our courses are linked to Blackboard – a virtual learning environment that gives you access to lecture notes, self-test exercises, supplementary information and background literature about the course.

We place a strong emphasis on small group tutorials, in which half a dozen students meet with a member of staff to discuss questions arising from the lectures. Often you will go over a set of problems handed out a few days earlier. Tutorials are also an ideal opportunity to discuss any aspects of the course that you don’t fully understand.

Chemistry is, of course, a very practical subject, so strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of laboratory skills. In Years 1 and 2 you will spend about four to six hours each week in the lab. In your third year, work on your research project will increase your lab time to about 10-12 hours per week.

You are assessed on your performance through exams at the end of the semester or at the end of the year and through continuous assessment throughout your modules.

NB. All lab work is continually assessed - there are no practical exams.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Entry Requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB-BBB including Chemistry. (The lower offer is given to students studying two or more science subjects.) Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB-BBC + EPQ at grade B
  • GCSE: Grade A Maths (if Maths or Physics not held at A/AS-level)
  • Access to HE Diploma (Science): 60 credits overall with 45 credits at level 3, including some at distinction in relevant Chemistry modules. At least 15 credits of Chemistry at level 3.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points (with grade 5 in Chemistry).
  • BTEC Nationals: BTEC Diploma in Applied Science with DDD, plus A-level Chemistry.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC
provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • Starting in 2017

    An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.

    After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations.

    (*RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)

  • Starting in 2017

    • To be confirmed
    Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

Many of our graduates seek employment in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which are the largest employers of scientists in the UK and are among the country’s leading manufacturing exporters.

As well as gaining detailed knowledge of different aspects of chemistry you will gain a range of transferable skills from your degree in areas such as problem solving, data analysis, numeracy, computing and time management. This combination of chemistry knowledge and transferable skills means that after you graduate your job prospects are extremely good.

Each of our Chemistry degrees includes a specialist module with guidance on searching and applying for jobs, and on writing CVs and application letters. Plus we have a dedicated Careers Tutor organising careers events throughout the academic year.

Careers

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Chemistry with Forensic Science BSc 3 years full-time F1F4 Apply Now
Course
Chemistry with Forensic Science
Qualification
BSc
Duration
3 years full-time
UCAS Code
F1F4
Availability

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