Biological and Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: CF94
International Code: HLSU209

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

This exciting course blends the study of human biology with the rigorous scientific techniques used in forensic laboratories, using our ‘crime scene to court’ approach.

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB)
  • Well-equipped suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience using industry-standard techniques
  • 1 in the Midlands for career prospects in Biological Sciences in the Times Good University Guide 2021
  • Support applying for placements in laboratory and industrial settings to gain crucial real-world experience
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

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 the various disciplines within forensic science.

It aims to blend the study of human biology with the techniques used in forensic laboratories, including analysis of blood, fibres, particulates, fingerprints, drugs, documents, DNA, fire/explosives residue and other trace evidence.

In the human biology element of the course, a broad range of subjects are covered, including microbiology, molecular biology, medical genetics, cancer biology, physiology and cell biology. Throughout your degree, you will be taught the details of forensic science, the legal system and investigative practice, demonstrating a capability to maintain auditable records of your investigations.

We offer a range of practical classes, where you will have the opportunity to 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.

Our experienced staff aim to adopt a ‘Crime Scene to Court’ approach to their teaching, which should help you to understand forensic science, in particular the need to methodically collect samples, analyse them and present the results to the standard required by the courts. You’ll be taught by our experienced staff, many of whom can bring professional or research expertise to their teaching.

You’ll be based in our state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building, which provides an outstanding learning and research environment, featuring a video-linked ‘crime scene’ house, analytical laboratory facilities and one of the largest Class II containment teaching laboratories in Europe, specifically designed to accommodate microbiology, cell culture, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry and forensic science.

Laboratory sessions should help to develop the practical skills needed for a career in a variety of biology and forensic roles. You will be taught 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 gain hands-on experience of a wide range of laboratory techniques.

No. 1

in the Midlands for career prospects in Biological Sciences

Times Good University Guide 2021

Accredited by:

Royal Society of Biology

Royal Society of Biology

This course is accredited by Royal Society of Biology for the 2022/23 intake. If the accreditation of this course change, we would seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible.

Students are eligible to become Associate Members of the Royal Society of Biology (subject to application and additional costs may apply).


From crime scene to laboratory

Our Biological and Forensic Sciences students use our full-size community houses to simulate crime scenes. Nicoleta talks about the course and how our facilities prepare students for real life situations.

Coventry University is the place where interactive learning and practice combine together to give you the best student experience. The excellent facilities and the amazing tutors provide the best teaching environment and you really feel part of the Coventry University team. My experience here has helped me to achieve my best, developing my skills and knowledge in a large number of fields.

Andrei-Florin Sandu
Male student wearing a white lab suite taking forensic prints

What you'll study

Modules

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Modules

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Overview

Optional Enhancement Year

Modules

  • Professional Experience Sandwich Year
  • Study Abroad

 

Modules

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We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

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

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.

The university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include court room assessment, coursework, tests, essays, practical or project work, formal examinations, presentations and posters and group work.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


Job ready

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.

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.


International experience opportunities

Our sandwich degree option allows a full year work placement, which can be taken abroad, or you can undertake a study year abroad.* Previous 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, 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.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A Level BBC to include Biology. Excludes General Studies.
BTEC DMM in the BTEC Level 3 Extended National Diploma in a Biological Science subject.
IB Diploma 30 points to include a minimum of 5 points in Biology at Higher Level.
GCSE requirement 5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English, Mathematics and two Sciences.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

Fair Access Scheme

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Biosciences will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £16,650 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

The multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building is home to microbiology, cell culture, molecular biology/genetics, biochemistry and forensic science laboratories, allowing you to work in a professional environment from day one.

Forensic crime scene tape over an open door

Community houses

Immersive crime scene simulation houses, outdoor search and decomposition facilities.
 

 

 


 

superlab facilities

SuperLab

The Alison Gingell building contains a state-of-the-art SuperLab. The lab's facilities include equipment for microscopy, DNA analysis and forensic testing.
 
 


 

Female in a white lab coat holding a plastic beaker, with a male and female standing behind wearing lab coats

Analytical Chemistry suite

The Analytical Chemistry Suite is a dedicated space for chemistry-based teaching. Students can complete ‘wet’ chemistry and preparatory work, complemented by a comprehensive suite of analytical equipment which includes ICP-OES, uHPLC, HPLC, Fluorescence Spectrometers, UV Spectrometers, GC, and GC-MS.


Careers and opportunities

This degree provides students with the opportunity to take up roles in private sector forensic laboratory service providers or as police Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), although further training maybe provided within the police. Alternatively, you could pursue roles in fraud, customs and excise or as private investigators.

The biological modules also provide the opportunity to 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, as 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 Talent Team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

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.


How to apply


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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).