Forensic Science - Liverpool John Moores University

2017 entry

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £12,660 per annum
Full-time industrial placement year fee: £1007 per annum*

*Subject to yearly increases

Course type

BSc (Hons)

UCAS info

Points required: 112

UCAS code: F410

Institute code: L51

Study mode

Three years full time, four years with sandwich year, four or five years with foundation

About your course

You will spend a large proportion of your time in the lab, carrying out drug spot tests, analysing fingerprints, processing crime scenes and analysing DNA while studying the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science at Liverpool John Moores University.

  • Opportunity to undertake a year's industrial placement
  • Option to focus on biological or chemical aspects of analysis
  • £6 million investment in teaching facilities, including specialist forensic analysis and scene-of-crime labs
  • Opens up careers in the police, analytical laboratories, insurance or legal firms, independent forensic laboratories and the teaching sector
  • Accredited by The Chartered Society for Forensic Sciences
  • International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more

Fascinating practicals and the right mix with lectures, I would recommend this course to anyone. It's hard work but it's really enjoyable.

Forensic Science graduate

Really interesting and varied course with a good balance of lectures and practicals.

Forensic Science graduate

Work-related learning

Translating your academic studies into essential professional experience.

We have links with local police forces and forensic providers, who may provide work placement opportunities. With the support of a placement tutor, you may be given the opportunity to do paid work with one of our local police force or forensics lab contacts where you will put into practice skills and knowledge gained in your first two years of study. 

As well as giving you a chance to develop personal skills and take a break from formal study, this experience will add real value to your CV and significantly boost your employability prospects.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support.

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of your studies at LJMU. They will hold small tutorials so you can discuss course material with fellow students. In Level 6, an academic supervisor will advise and guide you through your research project.

Should you opt to spend a year on placement, a placement tutor will liaise between you and potential employers and help you to find a suitable post. Once you are settled in your placement, you will have regular support from an academic staff member who will visit you in your workplace to check on progress.

Course details

Over the past 50 years the analytical methods employed by forensic scientists have become very powerful indeed and have made a significant impact on conviction rates.

Forensic science is all about using the power of scientific analysis to resolve legal disputes. It requires a sound knowledge of the analytical methods of biology and chemistry combined with training in crime scene investigation, as well as a basic knowledge of law and how to assess the value of evidence. You will be expected to have an attention to detail that is second to none for the microscopic analysis of hairs and fibres, DNA profiling and drug analysis.

This is a practical, hands-on course in which you will spend a large proportion of your time in the lab, carrying out spot tests for drugs, fingerprint and footwear analysis, crime scene processing, DNA analysis and forensic microscopy.

Throughout this professionally-accredited course you will be supported by our team of experts, with additional input from external speakers from all areas of forensics. There will also be plenty of opportunities for you to gain experience through work-based learning and/or on an optional sandwich placement.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 4

  • Forensic Science Research Methods 1
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Molecular Bioscience for Forensic Sciences
  • Forensic Field Skills

Level 5

  • Forensic Science Research Methods 2
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Analytical Forensic Science
  • Molecular Forensics
  • Forensic Methods 

The following options are typically offered:

  • Investigation Skills
  • Forensic Human Identification

Sandwich degree 

  • Year-long placement

Level 6

  • Research Project
  • Advanced Forensic Methods
  • Expert Witness

The following options are typically offered:

  • Advanced Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Drug Analysis and Toxicology
  • Forensic Bioscience
  • Forensic Anthropological Genetics

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course.

Programme specification document (PDF)

Teaching and learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources.

Teaching is via a combination of lectures, interactive workshops, fieldwork, laboratory sessions and small-group tutorials; the amount of time you spend in each varies according to the module and the level of study.

You are expected to do additional research around lecture subjects in your own time using the University Libraries and virtual learning environment, Blackboard. As the course progresses, the amount of practical and independent work increases, allowing you to develop workplace and research techniques and complete a research project.

Your lecturers

Expert tuition and support.

You will be taught by a dedicated research-active team whose expertise includes drug analysis, fingerprints, ballistics, DNA and anthropology. This research activity, together with regular lectures from professional practitioners, ensures that the curriculum is directly informed by the latest developments in the field and is relevant to the needs of employers today.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

We acknowledge that all students perform differently depending on the way they are assessed. This is why we use a range of assessment methods and a combination of exams and coursework for each module, though some practical modules are assessed by coursework only. 

  • Exams may include multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning and essay questions
  • coursework may be in the form of phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, podcasts, online or real-time group discussions, essays or practical skills evaluations

Some assignments are done in groups. Your final year research project will be assessed by literature review and scientific report plus an oral presentation.

Feedback is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Blackboard, face-to-face or as written comments. This is a vital part of the assessment process, as it gives you a chance to identify your successes and areas that may need further attention.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications

112

GCSE and equivalents

  • Applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English Prior to starting the programme

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Subject specific requirements: C or above in Chemistry and/or Biology at A Level.
  • Is general studies acceptable? No
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: BBC
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • BTEC certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • 90 credit diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D* if studied on its own or to the total of 112 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: DMM required if no other Level 3 qualification taken

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Access programme must have been taken be in a relevant subject area, minimum of 24 Distinctions and 12 Merits required

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 26 IB Diploma Points, specific grades are required from Science

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

Additional entry requirement information

​Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Yes

International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding available from LJMU as well as government grants and loans and targeted support for students with children/dependants or disabilities.

Different funding arrangements will apply if you are from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or other countries in the EU. If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will still be eligible for loans for tuition fees as well as grants and/or bursaries plus loans for living costs. It's just that the amounts available may be different to those stated here as these apply to applicants who live in England.

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, and if successful you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course worth between £1,000 and £10,000. This money does not need to be repaid and it's up to you to decide what you want to spend it on.

LJMU bursary

LJMU bursaries are means-tested, which means your household income must be below a certain level in order for you to qualify for this funding.

The money you receive does not have to be repaid and is intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student. You will receive a bursary for each year of your course providing you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Tuition fees

In line with most universities, LJMU charges an annual tuition fee of £9,250 for most of our degrees.

If you opt to complete a foundation year as part of your degree, your first year tuition fee will be £7,700.

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront when you enrol.

Instead you can take out a tuition fee loan, which doesn't have to be repaid until after you leave LJMU and start earning over the threshold. Currently the threshold is £21,000 for students resident in England.

As long as you have not been to University before and meet the residency rules both full and part-time students are eligible to apply for tuition fee loans.

For more information on tuition fee loans, go to: www.gov.uk/student-finance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at LJMU. Our programmes have no hidden costs and your tuition fee covers all expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • Safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • Uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placement students (if applicable)
  • UK field trips
  • Educational visits
  • Student exchanges
  • Criminal Records Bureau checks
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership
  • Governing body awards

Living costs

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible students can also choose to take out a maintenance loan for each year of your course to help you meet the costs of being a student.

The money will have to be paid back but only after you leave LJMU and starting earning over the income threshold, currently £21,000 for those resident in England.

Part-time students are not eligible to take out these loans.

For more information on student loans, go to:www.gov.uk/student-finance

Image of lab

Paying back your student loans

Any loans you take out while studying will be added together into one loan account. This means that when you start paying back your student loans, you will only make one affordable monthly payment. This monthly repayment will be the same regardless of how many loans you have taken out. That’s because your repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you borrowed from the Student Loans Company.

The current threshold for students normally resident in England is £21,000. Once your income goes over this threshold your employer will start taking repayments from your salary just like tax and national insurance. If your income falls below £21,000 your repayments will stop.

Career prospects

Once you graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science you will be qualified to work in independent forensic analysis.

Graduates are qualified to work in forensic analysis, such as police scientific laboratories, independent forensic science providers, pharmaceutical companies, the chemical industry and hospital laboratories. You could be based in a variety of locations, such as a laboratory, office, in the field or on crime scenes. Trading standards, working for insurance companies, environmental monitoring and legal firms are other options.

Graduates from this course pursue careers in education at schools, colleges and universities and also progress to postgraduate study. Graduates are highly employable due to the transferable skills they acquire during their studies at LJMU.

New for 2017 – CareerSmart programme

All students in their first year of study will have an opportunity to engage with the CareerSmart programme as an integral part of a core module of study. Once you have completed this, a wide range of other career-related provision and services will be available to support your development throughout your studies.

The new CareerSmart e-learning tool will introduce you to the steps involved in making informed choices about your career. It will enable you to consider your strengths and development areas, your career motivators, the options available to you and the necessary steps to take to achieve your career goals.

Professional accreditation / links

The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree is accredited by the Chartered Society for Forensic Sciences. Graduates are also eligible for associate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).

We have links with local police forces and forensic providers, which may provide work placements for LJMU students. Such connections ensure that the curriculum is constantly updated to meet the needs of employers.

accreditation logo

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

Each year, LJMU offers a range of prestigious international scholarships. Further details of the scholarships offered to applicants wishing to study at the University from September 2017 onwards will be available on this page in the coming months.

For the most up-to-date information about studying at Liverpool John Moores University, and the International Scholarship programme, please visit the International pages.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU.

Please note: your specific course requirements may differ.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry Requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers (www.ljmuisc.com/) or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fees

International students are liable to pay a minimum of 50% of their tuition fees when they complete their enrolment at the University. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of your enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. The UKVI requires that students studying outside London must have £7,200 to pay for their living costs (or £800 per month).

LJMU’s undergraduate courses run over an academic calendar of nine months so you will need to show that you have at least £7,200. If your course lasts 6 months you will need to demonstrate you have £4,800.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Highly Trusted Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team (int-admissions@ljmu.ac.uk)for guidance.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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