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BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology (with Foundation Year option)

Whether it’s working on criminal investigations to analyse crime scenes and identify victims, working in the field of endangered species to identify illegal trading, or investigating diseases, Forensic Biologists are in growing demand

  • UCAS Code:
    F3B7
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

With foundation year: F3B8

Why study BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology at BU?

  • Taught by leading academics, experienced practitioners and a range of professional guest lecturers, you will develop a comprehensive grounding in forensic biology 
  • Take part in invaluable lab and fieldwork experience, including mock crime scenes and disasters 
  • Use sophisticated lab and field equipment to collect and analyse biological evidence, write detailed logs and reports, and even collaborate with staff on current forensic research projects 
  • Take part in live fire exercises in your final year 
  • Pick from subject modules that suit your own interests, passions, and career goals in your second and final year
  • Gain valuable work experience on your placement if you choose to take one and improve your chances of gaining employment after you graduate. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

Foundation year: We have a foundation year option for UK students who do not meet the entry requirements for the degree course. This additional year of study will give you a grounding in the scientific skills required for this course, building your confidence, knowledge and skills for further study. After successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the full degree.

Course accreditation

Accreditation by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences provides an indicator of quality as well as showing continual improvement to develop graduate employees. 

Key information

Next start date:

September 2022, September 2023

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years full-time with an optional short placement or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement. Foundation year: 4 years full-time with a 5-week placement or 5 years with a 30-week minimum placement.

Accreditations:

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: 104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. Foundation year: 48-72 UCAS tariff points. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

For September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams.  The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Download the programme specification (pdf 1.7mb)Download the foundation year programme specification (pdf 338kb)

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

You can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

If you do not meet these requirements, you may want to consider our foundation year, a one-year course that will prepare you for degree-level study.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2022 entry

Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs) GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.
A-level and AS levels 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Access to HE Diploma 102–118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/ 90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/ Subsidiary Diploma: This qualification is accepted as part of the overall tariff.
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 28–31 points.
Scottish Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable). 

Foundation year entry requirements

Numeracy and literacy requirements There are no GCSE requirements. The foundation year will cover these skills in preparation for degree study.
For September 2022 entry 48–72 UCAS tariff points.

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2021 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 61-71%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 60-70%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 60-70%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6 or 7. Grade depends on the course

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2022 entry: IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

This course will be suited to students with:

  • An understanding of what archaeology and forensic sciences are
  • Enthusiasm for applying science to solve problems both in the study of the past and the present
  • An interest in both laboratory and field sciences
  • Good written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think analytically
  • An interest in archaeology, and forensic science (e.g. by attending an excavation, visiting museums, entering science competitions, school project work, or relevant volunteer work).

How to apply

Careers

This is a new course and it has been designed to give you all the experience you need to enter the field of forensics, which can include biological, conservation, criminal and healthcare settings, among others. You'll gain a wealth of practical experience in labs and through fieldwork that will give you an edge when you begin searching for work.

Although we don't have any graduates from this course yet, students who have completed one of our other forensics degrees have performed well once they leave BU. 

You’ll be career-ready with 90% of our graduates in employment after 15 months.

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.  You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.