If you are fascinated with human biology and the scientific investigation of crime, our degree will enable you to learn all about human physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology/genetics, microbiology and how each of these disciplines can be applied in forensic science.
You’ll be based in our new Alison Gingell Building Building, which provides an outstanding learning and research environment, which features a video-linked ‘crime scene’ house, outstanding analytical laboratory facilities and the largest Class II containment teaching laboratory in Europe, specifically designed to accommodate microbiology, cell culture, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry and forensic science.
You’ll be taught by our experienced staff, many of whom bring professional or research expertise to their teaching. They have held roles as quality assurance managers in major pharmaceuticals companies, such as GSK and British Biotech, as forensic scientists in the Forensic Science Service or as analytical scientists in government laboratories. They continue to provide consultancy and expert commentary in areas of safety and efficacy testing for the BBC, most recently on illegal skin bleaching products on sale in the UK.
Coventry has an excellent reputation for evidence-based scientific research; our faculty possess expertise and have published in biochemistry, cell biology, genomic and molecular biology, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology. In your final year, you have the opportunity to collaborate on a research project, which in the past has led to students winning prizes at the Forensic Institute Research Network (FIRN) Midlands regional conference, attend the international Forensic Research and Teaching (FORREST) conference and publish articles in academic journals.
Throughout your studies, you will find that the course is underpinned with practical experience. Laboratory sessions will help to develop the practical skills needed for a career in a variety of biology and forensic roles. You will learn key experimental techniques and develop essential experimental, data handling, reporting and broader scientific skills, such as literature researching, information technology, bioinformatics, data processing and the use of statistics.
You’ll have the opportunity to apply to undertrake short and long-term placements. Previously students have worked on revolutionary technologies for Cambridge Scientific Solutions, such as the removal of biofilm formations which foul beer lines in pubs, or the formulation of drug products for transdermal patch applications for Nemaura Pharmaceuticals.
In your final year, we tackle a simulated investigation to solve a ‘real-world’ problem, which involves the production of an expert witness statement and culminates in the presentation of evidence in a mock courtroom scenario. You could find yourself being called upon to establish whether the glass found on a suspect’s jumper indicates that he was implicated in smashing a window at an alleged burglary scene or whether blood found on the broken window matches the DNA profile of the suspect’s blood. Other scenarios include an assessment of whether the paint found on a suspect’s keys matches the paint from a damaged vehicle and an assessment of the significance of this match.