Terms & Conditions

BSc with Honours in Forensic Sciences – 2023 entry

Duration of programme: 4 years (where students join the programme in year 1)

Award on successful completion: Bachelor of Science with Honours

Accreditation: Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Graduates are eligible to apply for Associate Members of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSoFS) upon graduation.

Location of delivery: Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee

Composition of the programme: 120 SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) credits in each academic year, delivered largely in modules of 20 credits each, with 3 modules taken in term 1, and 3 in term 2 each year. The first and second year of the programme includes a choice of microcredential modules worth a total of 20 credits per year. Students complete a 40 credit
independent project in the final year.

Contact hours and workload: Each academic year typically requires 1200 hours of student effort; on average across the 4 years of this programme, 29% of that time is in lectures, seminars, practicals and similar activities; the remainder is independent study.

Assessment methods: Assessment is by a variety of methods enabling students to demonstrate progress in different ways. Coursework typically includes laboratory reports, essays and oral presentations. Formal exams typically include questions that require either short answers or essays, coupled with problem-solving of forensic-related challenges.

Additional costs: Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

Academic staff: This programme is delivered by staff in the Division of Psychology and Forensic Science in the School of Applied Sciences. Staff profiles can be viewed at https://www.abertay.ac.uk/staff-search

Core modules in the programme:

  • Biology Principles & Practice
  • Foundations of Chemistry
  • Introduction to Forensic Science, Practice and Techniques
  • Being Successful at Abertay (5 credits)
  • Molecular Biology & Genetics
  • Investigative Analytical Science
  • Special Topics in Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Chromatography & Spectroscopy
  • Forensic Trace Evidence
  • Forensic Applications of DNA
  • Forensic Human Identification
  • Scene Examination and Management
  • Interpretation and Presentation of Evidence
  • Honours Project

Other modules that may be offered, but are subject to change over time:

  • Microcredentials (various)
  • Human Physiology
  • Substances of Abuse
  • Forensic Psychology: Understanding Offender Behaviour
  • Criminal Law, Quality and Evidence
  • Firearms, fires and explosions
  • Forensic Pharmacology & Toxicology

Developments in the discipline: It is important to note that the curriculum within all modules, including core modules, is expected to evolve over time, to maintain a real world connection as new scientific, medico-legal and diagnostic paradigms and tools come to the fore. This may, for example, include introduction of novel DNA techniques, alteration to teaching to reflect changes in levels of gun crime, or provision for competencies outlined by industry bodies.

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