2022/23 entry

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science with Foundation Year

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

4 years, 5 years with placement

UCAS code:

F411

Points required:

88

Campus:

City

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
£9,250
International (full-time):
£16,600
Placement (home student):
£1,850
Placement (international student):
£3,650
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Science:

0151 231 2888

ScienceAdmissions@ljmu.ac.uk

International enquiries

international@ljmu.ac.uk

Send a message >

Why study Forensic Science with Foundation Year 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 of Forensic Sciences
  • International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Forensic Science with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.

About the Foundation Year

The Forensic Science with Foundation Year course is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly onto the honours degree programme. Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

About the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree
   
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.

"I enjoy the diversity of the course - one day you could be learning about biology and the next about mobile phone forensics, it’s amazing!"

Hazel-Rose Cubbage, student

Professional accreditation/links

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

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students

Fees

The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)

Money

  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)

Funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Employability

Once you graduate you will be qualified to work in independent forensic analysis.

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. 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.

Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Applicant key information

Course review and revalidation.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

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

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy. Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

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

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 3

Core modules

Introductory Chemistry and Cell Biology
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with an overview of key concepts in both biology and chemistry in preparation for degree-level study. Atomic theory will be introduced and used to understand concepts of chemical bonding and reactivity. The structure of living systems will be discussed in terms of biologically-relevant molecules, cells and subcellular organelles.

Fundamentals of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
20 credits

This module provides an introductory understanding of thermodynamics, kinetics and the states of matter. It also serves to introduce concepts associated with simple molecular orbital theory, radioactivity, oxidation states/redox chemistry and the properties and chemistry of selected main group elements.

Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
20 credits

This module is intended to introduce the structure and bonding of simple organic molecules. The properties, preparation, reactivity and reaction mechanisms will be explored for a number of functional groups. The relevance of organic chemistry to everyday life and biological processes will also be developed.

Skills and Perspectives in Biomolecular Sciences 1
20 credits

This module will enable you to develop a range of underpinning skills to aid further study in your chosen academic programme and introduce you to a wide range of topics within the molecular bioscience areas. It also provides a structured tutorial component that will encourage you to engage with personal development planning and employability. 

Skills and Perspectives in Biomolecular Science 2
20 credits

This module will enable you to further develop a range of underpinning skills, especially in data and statistical analysis. It will aid study in your chosen academic programme and provide a structured tutorial component that contains both academic and personal development planning and employability material. 

Human Anatomy and Physiology
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic structure and function of key physiological systems and metabolic processes. It will also introduce the concepts of human physiology and their inter-relationships.

Level 4

Core modules

Forensic Science Research Methods 1
20 credits

The aim of the module is to enable you to develop a range of academic, research and transferable skills such as: data handling, IT, laboratory techniques and skills related to Forensic Science.

Crime Scene Investigation
20 credits

This module introduces you to crime scene investigation so you can develop skills such as: analysis and problem solving, written communication and team work. The basic crime scene skills of photography, note taking, and sketching are taught along with the concept of recovery, enhancement and comparison of fingerprints.

Forensic Chemistry
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide a basic knowledge of chemistry and chemical analysis important in forensic science. The course aims to provide core material in chemistry relevant to forensic analysis.

Forensic Science
20 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce you to a wide range of scientific areas and methods used in forensic science.

Molecular Bioscience for Forensic Sciences
20 credits

This module will introduce you to biomolecular science providing the building blocks for further study in this area.

Forensic Field Skills
20 credits

Within this module, you will be introduced to basic legal concepts, rules of evidence handling, basic archaeological techniques and outdoor crime scene protocols.

Level 5

Core modules

Forensic Science Research Methods 2
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with tutorial and Personal Development Profile support, theoretical knowledge and practical experience of some key laboratory techniques and will prepare you for the Biomolecular Science Project at level 6 by the study and practice of essential research skills.

Trace Evidence Analysis
20 credits

This module will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the use of microscopy in trace evidence analysis examining methodologies employed in the laboratory.

Analytical Forensic Science
20 credits

The aims of this module are to build on the theory, and provide further practical experience of the forensic analytical techniques taught in the forensic chemistry module at level 4. In addition to this, the module aims to provide more experience of interpreting different types of chromatograms and spectra and further analytical chemistry knowledge to provide background information for the chemistry based modules offered at level 6.

Molecular Forensics
20 credits

The module focuses primarily on DNA techniques and their impact on forensic science. Skills developed during this module include: analysing and solving problems, teamwork, initiative, creativity, written and oral communication, numerical reasoning, personal planning and organisation, information and communication technology, as well as subject-specific skills.

Forensic Methods
20 credits

This module develops practical skills in crime scene investigation and extends the knowledge of forensic analysis and concepts introduced at Level 4. You will also develop knowledge of the court system and the legal context of the discipline.

Optional modules

Investigation Skills
20 credits

The module aims to develop your understanding of the legislative and policy framework which sets out the parameters for the investigation of criminal offences and provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate and explain investigative procedures through the use of case studies and crime scene practical's. It will also provide an opportunity to critically explore the range of regulatory processes and professional values which inform practice, theories of team work, communication, issues of professional status and power and working across organisational boundaries.

Forensic Human Identification
20 credits

Within this module, you will examine the causes and extent of genetic and phenotypic variation in modern human populations and also examine the methods used to reconstruct life patterns and individual identification from skeletal remains.

Level 6

Core modules

Research Project
40 credits

The Research Project will equip you with the necessary transferable skills to investigate a research topic and present it using appropriate methods of scientific communication.

Advanced Forensic Methods
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with thorough knowledge of advanced types of crime scene investigation and to introduce new and novel research in forensic science and to be able to use advanced statistical methods for evaluating forensic evidence.

Expert Witness
20 credits

This module looks at forensic science and related professions and the role of the expert witness. The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and practical experience of the role of an expert witness within the context of Forensic Science.

Optional modules

Advanced Pharmaceutical Analysis
20 credits

The module is designed to provide you with the concepts and practical experience necessary to pursue a career in an analytical role in the pharmaceutical industry, and to be aware of the limitations of analytical techniques upon which you may rely for information.

Drug Analysis and Toxicology
20 credits

Within this module, you will develop knowledge and practical experience of toxicological and controlled drug analysis within the context of forensic science.

Modern Technology in Forensic Science
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide technical and theoretical knowledge and the practical skills relating to state of the art modern technologies as applied to forensic science. Typical content will include current and emerging forensic technologies such as photography, audio, cybercrime, and drone surveillance.

Forensic Bioscience
20 credits

Within this module, you will learn about the applications of biological techniques in forensic science and be able to review how biological evidence can contribute to a wide range of forensic investigations.

Forensic Anthropological Genetics
20 credits

This module will explore the uses of genetic techniques in the field of forensic science and anthropology from a theoretical and practical perspective. It also focuses on DNA techniques in the fields of Forensic Science and Forensic Anthropology.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching is via a combination of lectures, interactive workshops, fieldwork, laboratory sessions, online activities 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, Canvas. 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.

Work-related Learning

Work-related learning is a crucial element of your studies, and there is no better way to experience the world of forensic science than to spend a year on industrial placement between levels 5 and 6.

With the support of a placement tutor, you may have 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 at LJMU.

Alternatively, any placement requiring analytical skills is appropriate and many students also go into pharmaceutical or toxicology laboratories. 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 also 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.

The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has a Disability Support Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.

Assessment

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

  • 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
  • Some practical modules are assessed by coursework only

Your Level 6 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 Canvas, 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.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Helen Burrell

Dr Helen Burrell

Programme Leader

Helen has worked at LJMU since 2007 and is involved in all aspects of the programme, including module leadership, level tutoring and programme leadership. Helen's PhD is in Cell Biology and she has also completed postdoctoral work on cardiomyocytes, as well as stem cells. She has written a number of book chapters within the Biochemistry area. Helen's research interests are in ATP signalling - particularly in the skin and how it controls proliferation, differentiation and cell death. Her other focus in the forensic world is on the implementation of new technology in forensic science, such as how to un-smudge fingerprints.

"Teaching is highly rewarding for me, particularly when a student has that 'lightbulb' moment when they suddenly realise they can do it with a little hard work and perseverance"

Facilities

What you can expect from your School

You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university’s City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. Our state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching spaces will ensure you enjoy a first-class study environment. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 88


GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:

  • 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
  • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
  • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 1
  • Subject specific requirements: 1 A2 Level in a relevant science subject
  • Is general studies acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: CCD
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: DD in a relevant science if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMM in a relevant science if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Overall Pass

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 IB Diploma Points

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: 88 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

NVQ

  • Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications

Alternative qualifications considered

​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) or equivalent English language proficiency test.

International entry requirements

Find your country

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

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because 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. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.