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What makes Forensic and Applied Biology at Worcester special?

At Worcester you can study forensic science alongside the biological aspects that underpin it, deepening your understanding and enhancing your employment prospects. With the forensic content you can learn ‘what’ to do, but with the addition of biology you will also learn ‘how’ and ‘why’, thus gaining a more rounded body of knowledge highly valued by employers.

All of the modules are interactive and give you all important experience of applying theory in real world practical sessions. Students are taught and supported in comparatively small groups by experts in their field.

Key features

  • Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. The only undergraduate degree in the country to be accredited with them for the Forensic Archaeology Component Standard
  • Excellent facilities including research labs, crime scene simulation house, geophysical equipment for detecting concealed burials and crime scene investigation kits.
  • Strong industry links with West Mercia and Warwickshire police, and the Severn Area Rescue Association.
  • Highly experienced staff with over 100 years combined experience in the field, giving you access to realistic scenes and real cases.
  • Graduates successfully compete for both biological and forensic careers.
Students writing reports in the lab

"There is a very hands on approach which I find enhances the learning.

My personal favourite session was when the on-site crime scene house was set up for us to go and investigate, we managed to link it to a car and then to a ' body dump site' it was amazing!!"

 

Liz Webb, Forensic and Applied Biology student

Student views

Chloe, Joe and Becci share their experiences of the course.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

The points above are the new UCAS tariff, which will be used for courses starting from September 2017. See our new UCAS tariff page for more information.

Other information

Non-standard entry via the exploratory essay route is available.

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including Access courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com

Taster days

A Forensic and Applied Biology taster day gives you the opportunity to explore our facilities, take part in Forensic and Applied Biology taster activities, and find out about student life. This day is for those considering applying for the course, not those who have already applied or those who have been offered an interview.

The next taster day is on Thursday 12th January 2017, 10am-2.30pm. For further information or to request a place please email insiders@worc.ac.uk or complete this enquiry form.

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Introduction to Biological Chemistry           

Optional

  • Introduction to Human Nutrition
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Comparative Animal Physiology
  • Introduction to Human Biology and Disease
  • Human Origins
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Introduction to Biological Chemistry and Genetics

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Project and Career Development
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Medical Forensic Science
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology

Optional    

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Agents and Allergens
  • Plant Biology
  • Death and Burial
  • Human Systems Physiology
  • Integrated Human Metabolism
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Human Genetics
  • Work Experience

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Independent Study
  • Interpretation, Evaluation and Reporting of Evidence
  • Forensic Archaeology
  • Forensic DNA Analysis
  • Biological Indicators for Crime Reporting
  • Pharmacology

Optional

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Work Experience
  • Mammalian Reproduction
  • Parasitology
  • Extension Module
  • Research Methods & Research Project

Classes and experiences

Typical student experiences include investigating a sheep brain in the lab, skeletal detection and recovery field studies and work with local police forces. 

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

You will learn how to:

  • A variety of teaching techniques are used, including lectures, practicals, crime scene and evidence simulations, discussion groups, seminars, tutorials, videos, on-line and interactive resources and directed study
  • An emphasis on activities which allow you to develop practical and transferable skills to increase your employability
  • Some double modules to allow suitable development of the subject depth and for the delivery of important subject-specific and transferable skills
  • An extended induction to allow the development of the necessary study skills as and when you need to use them
  • The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences logoThree special, course-based weeks each year to support skills development and employability
  • Regular Academic Tutorials on a one-to one basis to help guide and support your studies
  • Easy access to teaching staff and course lead where required

Teaching approach

  • A variety of teaching techniques are used, including lectures, practicals, crime scene and evidence simulations, discussion groups, seminars, tutorials, videos, on-line and interactive resources and directed study
  • An emphasis on activities which allow you to develop practical and transferable skills to increase your employability
  • Some double modules to allow suitable development of the subject depth and for the delivery of important subject-specific and transferable skills
  • An extended induction to allow the development of the necessary study skills as and when you need to use them
  • Three special, course-based weeks each year to support skills development and employability
  • Regular Academic Tutorials on a one-to one basis to help guide and support your studies
  • Easy access to teaching staff and course lead where required

Meet the team

Here are a few of the current Forensic tutors and guest speakers. The biological aspects on the course will be taught by our specialist Biology tutors.

  • kate-unwin-institute-of-science-environment

    Kate Unwin

    Kate Unwin is the course lead for the Forensic and Applied Biology course. She has been a forensic Biologist since 2002 and throughout her time as an expert witness has worked on a full range of cases from violent crimes to sexual offences and murders. This wealth of first hand case work experience informs her teaching and allows her to set up real case examples are learning aids for her students. She is involved in training for local police forces (which her students are usually invited to get involved in) and delivering an exciting and valuable course. Over the years Kate has worked with a large number of experts for a range of forensic disciplines and this means the course always has a number of guest speakers and extracurricular opportunities. Her areas of expertise include Blood Pattern Analysis, forensic DNA profiling, damage assessments, scene work, courts and body fluids. Kate is a practitioner in the field as a consultant forensic biologist.

  • Beverley Adams-Groom

    Beverley Adams-Groom

    Beverley is Chief Palynologist at the University of Worcester, specialising in airborne pollen and fungal spores and melissopalynology (the study of pollen in honey). She is also Chief pollen forecaster for the UK and Ireland and a researcher into pollen and spore concentrations and dispersal in the atmosphere and soil.

  • keith-unwin-institute-of-science-environment

    Keith Unwin

    Keith became a Forensic scientist in 2000, shortly after graduating with honours in Applied Biology from Newcastle University. Since that time Keith has worked for two of the largest Forensic providers in the country.

    During his time as a court going Reporting officer, Keith has been involved in many high profile investigation and scenes. He has also been involved in the training of Forensic scientists and police officers in areas of scene examination and court reporting.

  • Tristram Elhirst

    Having spent nearly 30 years as a Crime Scene Investigator, latterly dealing only with major crime, Tristram Elmhirst brings these skills to the Crime Scene Investigation elements of the course.  The students are taken through a range of evidence types from fingerprints, DNA, footwear, fibres and other trace evidence types.  Tristram also covers how specific crime scenes are investigated, for example arson scenes or murder scenes and he gives real case studies to illustrate concepts and methodology.  The theories are then backed up with practicals based on forensic recovery and mocked up crime scene - based on real life scenarios.

  • Joe Butler

    Since completing his degree at the University of Worcester Joe Butler now works as Reporting Officer at LGC Forensic. He has specialised as in the analysis of drugs and related materials under government legislation.  He writes scientific findings in the form of court reports on a daily basis and can be asked to present evidence in court as an expert witness. Joe is a guest speaker / lecturer to students on the Forensic & Applied biology course offering insight into current practices in the industry as well as career advice on moving from university to employment in forensic science.

  • Rebecca_Woolridge_forensic_applied_biology

    Rebecca Woolridge graduated from the University of Worcester in 2015 with a degree in Forensic and Applied Biology. She began her career working as a Forensic DNA Analyst for one of the UK's leading private forensic providers, Cellmark. There she developed a keen interest in the analysis of data, which lead her to peruse a career within this field.

    Rebecca now works for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, where she interrogates crime and incident data as part of a continuous improvement process.

  • Dr Oliver Dalby is a reporting scientist at Cellmark Forensic Services, where he has worked since 2012. Oliver’s specialism is gunshot residue (GSR). As a reporting scientist his role encompasses; assessing cases, producing examination strategies, examining items for GSR, writing reports and statement and presenting evidence in court as an expert witness.  Oliver has a B.Sc. in forensic science and a Doctorate in analytical chemistry with ballistic applications.

Careers

Where could it take you?

This course provides you with the core biology skills and knowledge to make you suitable candidates for all the biological careers available to those students on the mainstream biology programmes as well as forensic areas. These include:

  • Research
  • Biological testing
  • Teacher training
  • Medical sales
  • Diagnostics testing
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Forensic science
  • Civil services
  • The police force
  • Further study – Masters / PhD.

There is a good employability rate for this course upon successful completion with our graduates going on to enjoy a variety of opportunities from Forensic toxicology, Forensic DNA analysis, Science based laboratory positions and further studies which include Phd/MSc/MRes in a number areas such as Genetics / Molecular studies, Forensic Anthropology and teaching qualifications.

Employability

This course prepares you for a range of careers in different fields and services, including the police force, fire service, local government and planning, laboratory and environmental research, Civil Service or teaching and all biology careers available to those on a traditional biology degree course (due to the unique combination of forensic and core biology course content).       

You will have opportunities to develop a wide range of intellectual, practical and social skills. These include primary research using both quantitative and qualitative techniques, data collection and analysis, oral and verbal communication, critical evaluation and laboratory techniques.

In addition to transferable academic skills, you will develop skills and the confidence to operate in both the forensic area and a wide variety of other work environments.

For example, Biologists who can look at evidence and make measured and reasoned arguments are not only required in scientific fields but also in the media, retailing and finance to ensure there is a balanced view relating to new technology and the estimation of risk.

There is also a need for people to be able to explain these scientific arguments in ‘lay’ terms, not only in teaching but also in a wide range of other vocations.

university-worcester-undergraduate-prospectus-cover-2017-small

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in 2017 will be no more than £9,250, subject to approval by Parliament.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in 2017 will be £11,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in 2017 will be no more than £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module, subject to approval by Parliament.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses.

You will also need a lab coat, which can be bought for around £13.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls, 358 of which were new in 2009. We offer halls of residence to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to the £153 per week 'En-suite Extra'.

For full details visit our accommodation page.

I am not surprised that the Introduction to Forensic Science module has just won a student’s choice award, my first year has been extremely exciting learning all about the different types of evidence that can be detected, collected and interpreted.

Liz Webb, Forensic and Applied Biology student

Apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Forensic and Applied Biology BSc (Single Honours) FC41 BSc/FSAB

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS CODE:

FC41

Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111
admissions@worc.ac.uk

Kate Unwin

Award Leader
01905 542211
kate.unwin@worc.ac.uk

ISE Academic Support Unit

01905 855201/02/03
ise@worc.acuk