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C10387v1 Bachelor of Forensic Science

Award(s): Bachelor of Forensic Science (BForSc)
UAC code: 607020 (Autumn session, Spring session)
CRICOS code: 092381J
Commonwealth supported place?: Yes
Load credit points: 144
Course EFTSL: 3
Location: City campus

Overview
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Pathway course
Assumed knowledge
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Honours
Professional recognition
Other information

Overview

The Bachelor of Forensic Science prepares students for professional and specialist work in the discipline of forensic science. Students build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in the enabling sciences, complemented by an in-depth understanding of forensic science in the context of their chosen discipline. Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills is a focus of the degree, with graduates in high demand from a diverse range of industries and organisations.

This course provides students with a thorough understanding of how forensic science can solve and prevent crime. This is a hands-on course using world-class facilities that are modelled on operational laboratories.

The aim is to produce professional forensic scientists with highly adaptable scientific skills accompanied by a thorough grounding in theory and practice. This is a well-regarded course with strong links to industries such as the federal and state police services, national and international forensic institutions, and government laboratories.

Students choose one from the following four majors (and also combine this course with international studies (C10388), creative intelligence and innovation (C10389), or law (C10391):

  • chemistry – students gain knowledge and skills on how to analyse and exploit chemical and non-biological traces found at crime scenes. They learn a range of analytical and chemical techniques and methods of analysis to process their samples. They also learn how to document their findings by incorporating informative data, intelligence and analysis to support criminal investigations.
  • biology – students gain knowledge and skills on how to exploit biological traces, such as blood, saliva, hair, bones, insects and animal/human remains to support criminal investigations. They gain experience in using a range of techniques and methodology using advanced technology.
  • crime scene investigation – students gain knowledge and skills on how to process a crime scene systematically. They learn how to examine and access a crime scene, and analyse and process traces at the crime scene including recording and collection techniques, fingermark detection, blood splatter examination, and shoe and tyre impressions. In addition, students use a range of portable crime scene technologies to aid in their investigation and documentation of crime scenes.
  • digital forensics – students gain knowledge and skills in collecting, analysing and reporting of data and digital information related to cyber-crime. As lives are more exposed online through social media, online banking and shopping, digital traces are left in the form of data. In the event of a crime, such as identity theft, cyber attack or terrorism, a digital forensic scientist can use data to help investigators identify suspects or gain intelligence on criminal activities. This major gives students the skills in networking, programming and understanding of cybercrime. Students gain knowledge of how these attacks occur, and how to investigate and prevent them.

Career options

Career options vary according to the chosen major.

Chemistry: criminalist, trace evidence specialist, explosive specialist, analytical chemist, toxicologist, clinical or regulatory toxicologist, analytical technician.

Biology: DNA specialist, forensic scientist, molecular research scientist, hospital scientist, pathology technician, forensic anthropologist, forensic pathologist.

Crime scene investigation: scene-of-crime officer, team leader in investigations, fire investigator, trace evidence specialist, forensic scientist, analyst.

Digital forensics: digital forensic scientist or analyst, e-Discovery analyst, cyberthreat intelligence analyst, fraud investigator, information security analyst, malware analyst.

Graduates of these majors could find employment with organisations such as the Australian Federal Police, state policing agencies, ASIO, CSIRO, ANSTO, customs, immigration, banks and financial institutions, consulting and accounting firms, private forensic agencies, and cybersecurity firms.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.0 An understanding of the nature, practice and application of the chosen science discipline.
1.1 Demonstrate knowledge of forensic science practice, collection of traces and integration of the derived information with the security and legal system, including the use of current and emerging techniques in forensic science.
1.2 Apply the forensic investigative process of crime scene investigation, imaging of traces, laboratory analysis, interpretation and presentation of evidence.
1.3 Apply the principles of forensic intelligence for the linking of forensic traces.
1.4 Demonstrate knowledge of core areas of biology (microbiology, molecular biology, next generation DNA sequencing, biochemistry), and how they relate to the analysis and interpretation of forensic science traces.
2.0 Encompasses problem solving, critical thinking and analysis attributes and an understanding of the scientific method knowledge acquisition.
2.1 Apply the scientific method, formulate hypotheses from chemistry or forensic-based questions, and experimental methods to test these hypotheses and incorporate results in scientifically defensible arguments.
2.2 Develop investigative and problem-solving skills through realistic forensic case scenarios, case studies laboratory exercises.
3.0 The ability to acquire, develop, employ and integrate a range of technical, practical and professional skills, in appropriate and ethical ways within a professional context, autonomously and collaboratively and across a range of disciplinary and professional areas, e.g. time management skills, personal organisation skills, teamwork skills, computing skills, laboratory skills, data handling, quantitative and graphical literacy skills.
3.1 Collect, analyse, interpret and report forensic science traces using scientific instrumentation and procedures that translate directly to professional practice, both individually and in teams.
3.2 Demonstrate time and project management skills through the investigation of forensic science scenarios and short research projects.
3.3 Apply your understanding of professional ethics, quality management and legal considerations to the handling of practical scenarios and classroom discussions.
4.0 The capacity to engage in reflection and learning beyond formal educational contexts that is based on the ability to make effective judgments about one’s own work. The capacity to learn in and from new disciplines to enhance the application of scientific knowledge and skills in professional contexts.
4.1 Independently research, assess the reliability of, utilise and apply new information and techniques to solve problems related to forensic science.
4.2 Collaborate in peer learning through discussion, demonstration of laboratory techniques, reflection and implementation of feedback.
5.0 An awareness of the role of science within a global culture and willingness to contribute actively to the shaping of community views on complex issues where the methods and findings of science are relevant.
5.1 Understand role of forensic science within law enforcement, the legal system and the wider community.
5.2 Understanding of appropriate workplace health and safety practices, particularly in a laboratory setting.
6.0 An understanding of the different forms of communication - writing, reading, speaking, listening - including visual and graphical, within science and beyond and the ability to apply these appropriately and effectively for different audiences.
6.1 Use various methods to document and communicate crime scene observations, experimental results, ideas and expert opinion.
6.2 Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills for expert, scientific and non-scientific audiences.
7.0 An ability to think and work creatively, including the capacity for self-starting, and the ability to apply science skills to unfamiliar applications.
7.1 Apply theoretical knowledge and available resources to solve unfamiliar and complex case-based scenarios.
7.2 Proactively anticipate and apply creative solutions to problems.
7.3 Self-expression in a scientific context is developed throughout the course, as students develop their analytical skills culminating in research projects in the final stages of the degree.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed an Australian Year 12 qualification, Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma, or equivalent Australian or overseas qualification at the required level.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64; or CAE: 176-184.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.

Pathway course

Successful completion of the Insearch:

  • Diploma of Science guarantees entry into the course (Chemistry, Biology and Crime Scene Investigation majors) with 48 credit points of recognition of prior learning
  • Diploma of IT guarantees entry into the course (Digital Forensics major) with 42 credit points of recognition of prior learning.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics, any two units of English; any two units of Science.

Chemistry; Mathematics Extension 1; Physics is recommended.

Course duration and attendance

Students can complete the course over three years, full time or six years, part time. Part-time students are required to attend some classes in daytime hours.

Course structure

Students must complete 144 credit points of study made up of 48 credit points of core subjects, a 72-credit-point major choice and 24 credit points of electives.

The Digital Forensics major is only offered for Autumn session entry.

Industrial training/professional practice

Students studying this course have an opportunity to undertake an internship subject and receive academic credit for their placement off campus (an external business or research institute) or on campus (UTS research institutes or departments), in a capacity relevant to their academic studies.

Course completion requirements

STM91180 Core subjects (Forensic Science) 48cp
CBK91225 Major choice 72cp
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG) 24cp
Total 144cp

Course program

Typical course programs are shown below.

Biology major, Autumn commencing
Year 1
Autumn session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
91314 General Microbiology   6cp
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
91320 Metabolic Biochemistry   6cp
Spring session
91132 Molecular Biology 1   6cp
91137 DNA Profiling   6cp
Select 12 credit points from the following:   12cp
91138 Investigation of Human Remains 6cp  
65320 Forensic Genetics 6cp  
91140 Bionanotechnology 6cp  
91326 Analytical Biochemistry 6cp  
91330 Epidemiology and Public Health Microbiology 6cp  
91400 Human Anatomy and Physiology 6cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG)   24cp
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65318 Forensic Genotyping Technologies   6cp
Biology major, Spring commencing
Year 1
Spring session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Summer session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
91314 General Microbiology   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
91132 Molecular Biology 1   6cp
91137 DNA Profiling   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
65320 Forensic Genetics 6cp  
91140 Bionanotechnology 6cp  
91330 Epidemiology and Public Health Microbiology 6cp  
91400 Human Anatomy and Physiology 6cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
91320 Metabolic Biochemistry   6cp
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
65319 Biological Criminalistics   6cp
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65318 Forensic Genotyping Technologies   6cp
Year 4
Autumn session
Select 24 credit points from the following:   24cp
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG) 24cp  
Chemistry major, Autumn commencing
Year 1
Autumn session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
65202 Organic Chemistry 1   6cp
65306 Analytical Chemistry 1   6cp
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
Spring session
65409 Analytical Chemistry 2   6cp
65508 Organic Chemistry 2   6cp
65544 Chemical Criminalistics   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
65644 Fire and Explosion Investigation 6cp  
65411 Inorganic Chemistry 1 6cp  
65001 Medicinal Chemistry 6cp  
68070 Introduction to Materials 6cp  
91400 Human Anatomy and Physiology 6cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
Select 24 credit points from the following:   24cp
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG) 24cp  
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
65643 Chemistry and Pharmacology of Recreational Drugs 6cp  
65644 Fire and Explosion Investigation 6cp  
65411 Inorganic Chemistry 1 6cp  
65001 Medicinal Chemistry 6cp  
68070 Introduction to Materials 6cp  
91400 Human Anatomy and Physiology 6cp  
Chemistry major, Spring commencing
Year 1
Spring session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Summer session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65202 Organic Chemistry 1   6cp
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
65306 Analytical Chemistry 1   6cp
Spring session
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
65508 Organic Chemistry 2   6cp
65409 Analytical Chemistry 2   6cp
Year 3
Autumn session
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
Select 12 credit points from the following:   12cp
65545 Forensic Toxicology 6cp  
68070 Introduction to Materials 6cp  
65643 Chemistry and Pharmacology of Recreational Drugs 6cp  
65644 Fire and Explosion Investigation 6cp  
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65544 Chemical Criminalistics   6cp
Year 4
Autumn session
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG)   24cp
CSI major, Autumn commencing
Year 1
Autumn session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
68101 Foundations of Physics   6cp
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
65202 Organic Chemistry 1   6cp
Spring session
65321 Homicide Investigation   6cp
65322 Major Scene Investigation   6cp
91138 Investigation of Human Remains   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
65544 Chemical Criminalistics 6cp  
65644 Fire and Explosion Investigation 6cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
Select 24 credit points from the following:   24cp
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG) 24cp  
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65323 Advanced Imaging and Specialist Recovery   6cp
CSI major, Spring commencing
Year 1
Spring session
65111 Chemistry 1   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
60001 Principles of Scientific Practice   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Summer session
65212 Chemistry 2   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
68101 Foundations of Physics   6cp
65202 Organic Chemistry 1   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
65322 Major Scene Investigation   6cp
91138 Investigation of Human Remains   6cp
65321 Homicide Investigation   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
Year 3
Autumn session
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
91161 Cell Biology and Genetics   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
65544 Chemical Criminalistics 6cp  
65317 Document Examination and Counterfeiting 6cp  
65644 Fire and Explosion Investigation 6cp  
65306 Analytical Chemistry 1 6cp  
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65323 Advanced Imaging and Specialist Recovery   6cp
Year 4
Autumn session
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG)   24cp
Digital Forensic major, Autumn commencing
Year 1
Autumn session
31268 Web Systems   6cp
65242 Principles of Forensic Science   6cp
48023 Programming Fundamentals   6cp
33190 Mathematical Modelling for Science   6cp
Spring session
41092 Network Fundamentals   6cp
41900 Security Fundamentals   6cp
35255 Forensic Statistics   6cp
65312 Forensic Imaging   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
65342 Crime Scene Investigation   6cp
48730 Cyber Security   6cp
65316 Criminalistics   6cp
65325 Digital Trace and Identity   6cp
Spring session
48436 Digital Forensics   6cp
65326 Digital and Cyber Crime   6cp
31275 Mobile Networking   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
31338 Network Servers 6cp  
41891 Cloud Computing Infrastructure 6cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
CBK90232 Electives (Science UG)   24cp
Spring session
65313 Forensic Intelligence   6cp
65314 Complex Cases   6cp
65315 Forensic Research Project   6cp
65327 Web Monitoring and Investigations   6cp

Honours

The Bachelor of Forensic Science (Honours) (C09100) is available to eligible students from 2020 with an additional one year of full-time study.

Professional recognition

Graduates of the Chemistry major are eligible for membership of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society.

Other information

Further information is available from:

UTS Student Centre
telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
or +61 2 9514 1222
Ask UTS