Biological and Forensic Science BSc | 2018/19
CLOSE

Campus Map

Working with Coventry University

Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

View current job vacancies.

LOG IN TO THE COVENTRY UNIVERSITY SITE

Staff portal

Access the central point of information for all staff across the University.

LOG IN TO THE STAFF PORTAL

Student Portal

Check your assessments, access Solar and get course information.

LOG IN TO THE STUDENT PORTAL

Biological and Forensic Science BSc (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:

HLSU174

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018

 

Fees:

2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £13,015)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

You can learn the science of solving a crime with a Biological and Forensic Sciences degree taught in our new Science and Health Building.

This exciting course blends the study of human biology with the rigorous techniques used in forensic laboratories, including analysis of blood, fibres, fingerprints, drugs, documents, DNA and fire/explosives residue. Ideal if you are fascinated by the scientific investigation of crime.

Our experienced staff adopt a ‘Crime Scene to Court’ approach to their teaching, which really helps you to understand forensics, in particular the need to methodically collect samples, analyse them and present the results to the standard required by the courts.

We’re incredibly proud of the course’s excellent student satisfaction ratings – 92% overall and 98% for the quality of teaching. You’ll gain hands-on experience of a range of techniques in biology and forensic science in modern, well-equipped laboratories. You can also engage in multiple placement opportunities and the chance to conduct research alongside our experienced staff or the many professional organisations we have links with – such as Leicester Royal Infirmary, Key Forensic Services Ltd, Nemaura Pharmaceuticals Ltd and West Midlands Police.

See the facilities we have in our brand new Science and Health Building

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS)

Student Membership of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) is provided free-of-charge for all final year students.

What our alumni say...

My course has been exciting, interesting and, most of all, fun. The lecturers are experienced and enthusiastic which is reflected in the excellent teaching and the diverse topics covered.

Robyn Adams, BSc (Hons) Biological and Forensic Sciences, graduated with a first in 2014, now DNA analyst at Key Forensic Services Ltd

Course information

If you are interested in working in the fields of human bioscience or its application to forensic science, this course will prepare you to design, implement and evaluate appropriate investigative techniques. It has been purposefully designed to give you a thorough understanding of both modern human bioscience topics and their application to forensic science. You will cover key study and research skills in the areas of forensic science, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology and human physiology.

Many areas of human bioscience, such as the development of new antimicrobials or the manipulation of stem cells to treat inherited conditions, require graduates with good theoretical and practical knowledge alongside the skills to control, implement and evaluate these new developments. This is a varied, applied course, which recognises the multidisciplinary approach that is needed in modern sciences. Throughout your degree, you will study the details of forensic science, the legal system and investigative practice, demonstrating a capability to maintain auditable records of your investigations.

91%

of our students were satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Modules

Overview

The first year modules will introduce you to basic scientific principles, such as hypotheses development and testing, laboratory procedures and protocols, health and safety and data presentation and analysis across the range of bioscience disciplines studied. The essential bioscience principles begin from the molecular level building up to cellular processes and extending to organism physiology systems.  

Modules

  • Human Physiology in Health and Disease

  • Biochemistry and Microbiology

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Introduction to Forensic Science

  • Skills in Biomolecular Sciences 1 and 2

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

This process is continued throughout the second year where we develop your awareness of the structure and function of key biochemical molecules, such as DNA, RNA, proteins, enzymes and carbohydrates. You will also study the biology of cells – creation, differentiation and death; intra and inter cellular communication pathways; protein production and delivery and tissue integration.

Modules

  • Molecular Genetics

  • Cell Biology

  • Principles of Forensic Science

  • Contemporary Skills for Biomolecular Sciences 1 and 2

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Systemic Physiology
    • Infection and Immunity

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

Optional Enhancement Year

Modules

  • Professional Experience Sandwich Year

  • Study Abroad

  • Professional Training (placement)

Overview

As the course progresses, you have the choice to follow themes of either human physiology or microbiology. You can develop your interest in human physiology – studying whole body systems such as cardio-pulmonary, respiratory, reproductive, neurological and/or renal systems – or follow a more microbiological route, by studying prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, viruses, phagocytes, immune responses and epidemiology. In your final year, you can continue the microbiology specialisation by extending the second year module ‘Infection and Immunity’ to the third year module ‘Medical Microbiology’. For human physiology, you would extend the second year specialist module ‘Systemic Physiology’ to the third year module ‘Clinical Physiology’. You can further customise your degree by selecting either the ‘Cancer Biology’ module or the ‘Applied Human Genetics’ module.

Modules

  • Research Design for the Biomolecular Sciences

  • Independent Project in Biomolecular Sciences

  • Advanced Forensic Science

  • Forensic Identification

  • Optional modules

    1 from the following:

    • Clinical Physiology
    • Medical Microbiology



    1 from the following:

    • Cancer Biology
    • Applied Human Genetics

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

12th

Coventry University has climbed the rankings again to 12th in the UK Guardian University Guide 2018

In more detail...

  • Free student membership of The Chartered Society of Forensic Science for final year students.
  • Former guest speakers have included: Derek Forrest OBE, Interpol’s lead on Disaster Victim Identification; a former student now working as a DNA analyst and a forensic scientist with many years’ experience of presenting evidence in court.
  • Based in new £37 million state-of-the-art Science and Health Building provides facilities for teaching and research, featuring largest Class II containment teaching lab in Europe; state-of-the-art analytical chemistry laboratory; video linked ‘crime-scene’ house.
  • Hands-on experience of a wide range of laboratory technique techniques such as gene amplification using PCR, gene sequencing, cell culture, flow cytometry, tissue staining, protein detection and bacterial growth in our modern, well-equipped laboratories.
  • Support applying for short and long-term placements in laboratory and industrial settings to gain the experience employers desire. Past students have taken secondary school students on field trips to the science museum in London and developed forensic science teaching resources.
  • Many of our staff professionally recognised as accredited Biomedical Scientists by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS); Chartered Chemists by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Chartered Biologists by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and are professional members of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS).
  • Strong network of professional agencies and potential employers and excellent research links with Key Forensic Services Ltd and LGC Forensics Ltd, whose practising forensic scientists provide guest lectures and workshops to help students prepare themselves for the real-world experience of forensic science, as well as specific topics for final year research projects.

Scene of crime outfit, basic fingerprint kit, laboratory coat and safety spectacles provided for use.

Our main study themes are:

  • Human Biology: Biology related to human beings, covering the disciplines of human: physiology, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, immunology and oncology.

  • Forensic Science: Crime scene protocols for recovery, physical, biological and chemical techniques for analysis, statistical interpretation and legal aspects governing presentation of evidence for the criminal justice system.

  • Laboratory Competence: Generic and specialised skills in experimental biology, including experimentation and measurements on humans, anti-contamination and audit trail procedures, safety (eg. key laboratory skills and competencies, good laboratory practice) and ethical considerations.

  • Research Methods: Critical analysis, reflection, information searching and experimental design in the biological sciences. Data collection, analysis and presentation

This course is available as a full-time three-year or optional four-year sandwich course, the latter incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field.

You will be required to present work based on your experiences during the sandwich year. Previous students have spent a year working as Forensic Intelligence Operators for Maryland Police in the USA.

We offer a range of practical classes, where you will undertake measurements made on human subjects, such as electrocardiograph measurements on fellow students, identification of genetic markers for predisposition to smoking or sleep patterns and identification of your own DNA profile. These deliver a logical acquisition and development of laboratory skills.

Progression through the Professional Skills modules develops knowledge and skills including scientific communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, information retrieval, IT, data processing and presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development through these modules.

Each year, the School of Life Sciences organises a trip for students to go to Malawi, the UN identified ‘poorest country in the world’, to carry out charitable work in science education, environmental improvement, medical assessment and development and reconstruction.  

Throughout the course, you will receive insight from the latest research and input from current practitioners. Recent sessions have included Disaster Victim Identification (DVI), interpretation of mixed DNA profiles and continuity and traceability in the forensic DNA lab.

Teaching methods include:
lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, workshops, textbooks, module webs, journals (hard copies and electronic) within theory and laboratory-based modules.

Meet our staff

Andrew Reid

Meet the Course Director for Biological & Forensic Sciences BSc (Hons). He started his career working for the British Antarctic Survey as a Glaciologist collecting and analysing ice-cores from the Antarctic Peninsula for traces of climatic and pollution markers. Subsequently he was Quality Assurance manager for GlaxoWellcome (Now GSK) Pharmaceuticals and then spent 10 years working as a Scientist and Manager at the Forensic Science Service Ltd.

Read full profile

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include: practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks, project proposals and practical tests (laboratory competence and reports).

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework, tests, essays: 45%
  • Practical or project work: 25%
  • Formal examinations: 15%
  • Presentations and posters 10%
  • Group work 5%

In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Science (Honours), a student must satisfy the University requirements of 360 credits. A student who does not wish to progress to a subsequent year of study may apply for an intermediate award of Diploma of Higher Education if they pass a minimum of 240 credits. A Certificate of Higher Education may be awarded to a student with minimum of 120 credits.

25% assessed by practical or project work

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the theoretical, analytical and practical aspects and clinical applications of human physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology, genetics, forensic science and analytical science.
  • Be proficient in a range of molecular, cell, tissue, physiological, microbiological and forensic laboratory and investigation techniques
  • Develop appropriate investigative and scientific protocols to address real-world problems involving human biology and forensic investigations.
  • Work safely in the laboratory, undertaking advanced laboratory-based investigations based on competence in techniques for physiological measurement, pharmacological assays, analytical biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cellular physiology, microbiology and forensic processes.
  • Operate, lead and collaborate in a team in order to solve problems of a practical (experimental) nature and to provide appropriate solutions.
  • Apply appropriate presentation and evaluation tools to establish the significance of scientific data produced.

85%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 18 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 6 hours of workshops/online tutorials each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of workshops or seminars each week
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 18 hours of self-directed study each week eg. revising.

Our sandwich degree option allows a full year work placement, which can be taken abroad, or you can undertake a study year abroad. A number of students in our department have been successful in securing places to study in Spain, France, Canada and the US.

The Biological and Forensic Sciences course attracts many international students, particularly from Romania, Poland, Switzerland and the Middle East, providing a diverse learning experience. This enhances the discussion of issues such as genetic inheritance, criminal justice and biomedical interventions and provides all students with a global perspective of developments in both human biology and forensic science.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,101

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16



16,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

What our alumni say...

My course has been exciting, interesting and, most of all, fun. The lecturers are experienced and enthusiastic which is reflected in the excellent teaching and the diverse topics covered.

Robyn Adams, BSc (Hons) Biological and Forensic Sciences, graduated with a first in 2014, now DNA analyst at Key Forensic Services Ltd

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: HLSU174
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
BBC to include Biology. Excludes General Studies. DMM in the BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma in a Biology Science related subject. 30 points to include a minimum of grade 5 in Biology at Higher Level. Minimum 5 GCSEs at A*-C including English Language, Maths and two Sciences.

A-Levels

A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma.

We will accept Extended Diploma or Diploma in combination with another A Level equivalent.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our alumni say...

My course has been exciting, interesting and, most of all, fun. The lecturers are experienced and enthusiastic which is reflected in the excellent teaching and the diverse topics covered.

Robyn Adams, BSc (Hons) Biological and Forensic Sciences, graduated with a first in 2014, now DNA analyst at Key Forensic Services Ltd

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9250 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9250 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

2018/19 Fees - TBC* (2017/18 Fees - £13,015) (per year)


Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

What our alumni say...

My course has been exciting, interesting and, most of all, fun. The lecturers are experienced and enthusiastic which is reflected in the excellent teaching and the diverse topics covered.

Robyn Adams, BSc (Hons) Biological and Forensic Sciences, graduated with a first in 2014, now DNA analyst at Key Forensic Services Ltd

Career prospects

This degree provides students to take up roles in private sector forensic laboratory service providers or as police Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), although further training would be required, in the form of the CSI Learning Programme at the College of Policing, Harperley Hall. Alternatively, you could pursue roles in fraud, customs and excise or as private investigators.

The biological modules ensure that you can also access non-forensic careers, including pharmaceutical or food quality testing laboratories, medical and laboratory equipment sales and in more general scientific writing and/or teaching professions. This is an important element of our course design, since employment opportunities in forensics are limited and students need to be well prepared for a wide range of employment options.  

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

85%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates of this course have secured laboratory positions with forensic providers in both Government and private sector organisations, while others have secured posts in biology labs with companies such as The Binding Site and Severn Trent Water.

Graduates not wishing to work in laboratory based occupations have previously secured posts in scientific equipment and medical sales, where they can apply their scientific training to real-world problem solving. A number have also gone on to work in managerial positions where their numeracy and analytical skills have been of benefit, for example, as a workflow planning manager for a building supplies company in Cambridgeshire or team leader of the DNA reference samples team of Key Forensic Services Ltd.

£18k

The average salary of our graduates six months after studying the course (DHLE 2014/15)

What our alumni say...

My course has been exciting, interesting and, most of all, fun. The lecturers are experienced and enthusiastic which is reflected in the excellent teaching and the diverse topics covered.

Robyn Adams, BSc (Hons) Biological and Forensic Sciences, graduated with a first in 2014, now DNA analyst at Key Forensic Services Ltd
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement.

*Due to a delay in the UK Government's announcement of the Retail Price Index, the University is unable to set its fees for entrants in 2018 at this stage. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.