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BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day

Introduction to our Forensic Science degree

A person in a hazmat suit in a dark room shining a special torch on the wall Learn more about our Forensic Science degree with our students and staff

Studying Forensic Science at ARU

Our degree will teach you the principles of forensic science, from crime scene to court room. With a focus on chemical and biological analysis, you’ll find out what that evidence means. We look at ways to ‘read’ data, interpret the results and present your evidence in court.

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Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Forensic Science at ARU?

  • Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the professional body for forensic practitioners, meaning you'll have maximum opportunity to gain essential skills for a career in this field.
  • Designed and led by an international, multidisciplinary teaching team with expertise in analytical chemistry, forensic anthropology, toxicology, forensic genetics and crime scene examination.
  • Bring the world of work to life through Live Briefs; take on real-world challenges and present modern solutions that directly impact and benefit prospective employers.
  • Obtain hands-on experience working in forensic scenarios in our crime scene rooms and using the latest specialist equipment in our SuperLab, and gain courtroom experience during a mock court session.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of our expert staff and prepare for employment opportunities spanning law enforcement, forensic science, and other parts of the scientific sector.

Based in our £45m Science Centre in Cambridge, you’ll be able to analyse and investigate a range of evidence in crime scene rooms and our forensic lab. Under the guidance of our expert tutors, you’ll get hands-on with specialist analytical equipment such as gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography (LC) instruments with different detection systems.

You’ll learn outside the classroom too, with visits to law courts and a local mortuary, and opportunities to work with local police forces and forensic labs.

Our course was ranked third in the country for Learning Opportunities (Source: subject ranking for Forensic and Archaeological Sciences, National Student Survey 2022), so we’re confident you’ll graduate with advanced skills in chemistry, biology and laboratory analysis – ready to start a career as a forensic scientist.

Get a sneak preview of our Forensic Science degree: try your hand at online quizzes, solve a crime, hear about our latest research and tackle a chemistry word search.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry Requirements


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Fees and Paying for University


People in lab coats and gloves working in a forensic lab

Specialist labs

At ARU you’ll be based in our Science Centre in Cambridge, which features:

  • authentic crime scene rooms
  • specialist equipment such as gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography (LC) instruments with different detection systems
  • biological analysis instruments including a Nanodrop 1000 spectrophotometer, Qubit fluorometer and a Lightcycler 96 real-time PCR system
  • comparison, polarizing light and confocal microscopes
  • the opportunity to get hands-on experience of analytical techniques including Raman spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy, and microspectrophotometry.

Take a guided tour and meet our students.

Judge, solicitors and onlookers in a law court

Learn outside the classroom

All our forensic science students can take part in:

  • visits to the Magistrates' Court and Crown Court
  • guest lectures from visiting professionals
  • an optional work placement year.

There’s also the opportunity to conduct your dissertation in collaboration with Cambridgeshire Police or a forensic laboratory.


The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences logo

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Studying this accredited course qualifies you to become a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


What can you do with a Forensic Science degree?

As a forensic science graduate you’ll be ready to work in a range of careers including laboratory analysis, quality control analysis, crime scene investigation and policing.

In fact, having gained a number of transferable skills, you’ll find you can explore roles in broader scientific and analytical-based jobs. Or you can consider a career in areas such as research, teaching or further education.

Recent graduates have found work in a variety of settings, including:

  • local police forces
  • laboratories at companies such as LGC, Chemtest, Treatt, Anglian Water and Cellmark
  • Counter-terrorism police
  • National Crime Agency
  • Royal Air Force
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Prison and probation services
  • NHS

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a range of postgraduate courses including MSc Forensic Science. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023), and ranked third in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We're also in the top 15% in the country for graduates who agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

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Volunteering opportunities with Locate International

In the second year of your BSc (Hons) Forensic Science degree, you can apply to volunteer with Locate International's Cold Case Unit, gaining valuable workplace experience and developing a wide range of transferrable skills. Some of our past students have led teams or projects such as media appeals or active search sessions.

Forensics student wearing protective clothing and gloves

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science student

"I enjoy the wide variety of lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials which enable me to explore my particular areas of interest, while also knowing that I am receiving a fully rounded education. The lecturers are enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable and put the wellbeing of their students as a priority."

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science student

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Forensic Science

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Life in Cambridge

Our friendly, bustling campus is a stone’s throw from the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore Cambridge

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

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Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements
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