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Employment in the Forensic Science Sector has grown at an unprecedented rate over the last ten years, due largely to advances in technology such as the National DNA Database, and an increased reliance on forensic techniques by police forces for minor crimes.
For information on the University of Kent Forensic Science degree course see the Undergraduate Prospectus. Most entrants begin as assistant scientists, moving on to become a forensic scientist and then a reporting officer, who has to go to court as an expert witness.
There are about 3,400 Forensic Science practitioners in the UK, of which the Forensic Science Service employs 2,500, LGC 700, Forensic Alliance 140, the Police 900, Fire Service 190 and Educational Institutions 60. Forensic Science Service was closed in 2012 and its work will in future be done by Independent forensic contractors (see below). MSc MSc Research Chemistry - Kent (14), Forensic Science - Kent, MSc Forensic Chemistry - Kent, Southampton, MSc Physics- Kent (4), MSc Digital Forensics - Univ. Skills developed by a forensic science degree include analytical and problem-solving skills and technical skills such as pipetting and spectrometry.
The main selection criteria for forensics jobs focus on technical, analytical, teamwork and communication skills. When applying, make sure that you clearly state your modules, projects, and technical skills gained, as forensic science degrees vary widely in content, and employers may not realise the strong scientific basis of the Kent degree unless you make it clear. Some police forces require a minimum five GCSEs with English, maths and a science subject preferred. Forensic photographers take photographs at scenes of crime and hospitals for use as evidence in court. Forensic toxicologists deal mainly with medico-legal aspects of drugs and poisons, their main responsibilities are to establish and explain the circumstances of legal cases where drugs or other chemicals are implicated.
Analytical chemists are involved in work as diverse as chemical or forensic analysis, process development, product validation, quality control, toxicology, drug formulation and development. Forensic degrees include a substantial amount of legal study and it is possible for a forensic scientist to become a solicitor or barrister, although this would normally require two years further full-time study. These include patent work, food science, medical sales, information science, scientific publishing and many others.
As you can see, University of Kent Kent Forensic Science graduates are very employable and can enter a wide range of careers. Smaller investigative departments may have a single forensic scientist that takes on a number of roles throughout the day. Criminalistic: A person who works in criminalistics is what most people associate with a forensic scientist. Toxicologist: A forensic toxicologist screens bodily fluids, hair, and nails for any substances that may be present in either the victim or the suspect.
Odontologist: An odontologist in a forensic setting requires you to analyze bite marks, tooth fragments, and jaws to existing x-rays or photographs to help identify a victim or suspect.
Pathologist: A forensic pathologist conducts autopsies in order to determine time of death, how they died, and their identity. Physical Anthropologist: Forensic anthropologists tend to focus on identifying human bones and discover who they were and how they died. Behavior Scientist: Also known as a forensic psychologist, they assess the suspect or victim to determine their mental health.
Typical tasks will include analyzing different specimens from blood, bullet fragments, and different clothing fabrics. You could work in the field to collect evidence and analyze a crime scene, yet you should expect to work primarily in a lab at the beginning of your career. Forensic investigation requires teamwork from a diverse group of professionals with highly specialized skills and duties. Crime Scene InvestigatorSome forensic professionals work primarily in the field, collecting and preserving evidence for analysis. Forensic PhotographerPolice and prosecutors depend on crime scene photographs to help them investigate an incident days or even months after the fact. Forensic AnalystAfter evidence is collected, it's taken back to the lab, where forensic analysts -- also called forensic technicians -- perform scientific tests on it.

While pop culture may indicate forensic science jobs are limited to working in a laboratory running tests on bodily tissues and fluids, there are many others worth considering as well. Of all the forensic science jobs, the medical examiner may be subject to the most gruesome type of work.
The forensic engineer works with very technical types of investigations to determine causes and manners of incidents. Moldova-I also wanted to add that forensic engineers, forensic accountants and computer forensics investigators are also different jobs in forensic science.
A forensic engineer studies the scene of an accident and determines the cause of the accident. Forensic accountants are usually certified public accountants that are also Certified Fraud Examiners as well.
University of Kent Forensic Scientists have an excellent employment record because of the strong chemistry base to their course, and are also very employable in many other science careers as well as forensics - in particular analytical chemistry, and also of course in the wide range of jobs open to graduates of any discipline. Currently the Forensic Science Service has nearly 90% of the market share of the Forensic Science sector, with LGC about 6% and Forensic Alliance about 4%. In Scotland, police carry out analysis of forensic evidence in their own laboratories whereas in England and Wales it is usually contracted out to the Forensic Science Service or the independent forensic contractors (see below). LGC is an independent company: the UK's leading independent provider of analytical and diagnostic services offering chemical, biochemical, DNA, drug and forensic analysis.
Real forensic case examples, giving students a good understanding of the complexities of cases and an insight into the different areas of forensics. Test athletes and racing animals as part of forensic doping control processes and provide research and testing services on behalf of pharmaceutical, food, consumer products and healthcare clients. See the Placements and Summer Work tab on our Science Careers page for many other work experience opportunities.
The main elements of the work are photography, fingerprinting, forensic examination and the collection of evidence such as blood samples, hair, fibres and paint samples. Because of the strong chemistry base of their course, University of Kent forensic science graduates have an excellent chance of gaining employment in this. It's not that difficult to obtain a place on a science PGCE provided that you can show some evidence of interest in teaching such as voluntary work at a school. The Society is now becoming a professional body and is leading a new accreditation scheme for academic institutions to build a list of suitable courses for people who want to pursue a career in Forensic Science. Includes infomation on forensic science, forensic medicine, forensic psychology and forensic accounting. The profession has seen unparalleled interest over the past decade, making it a great time to look into what careers might be available.
They typically work on either postmortem, human performance, or drug testing (drug testing for sports, probation, etc.) cases. They also typically have some background in archaeology, since they sometimes must assist in digging up bones from a crime scene and not damaging them any further. Their analysis is used to decide if the victim or suspect is fit for court, and if the forensic psychologist recommends further actions (treatment plans, testing) they will document it in their report to be submitted to court. Forensic photographers specialize in documenting a scene through photography, allowing police to recreate the crime and giving jurors a visual representation of the evidence presented to them in court by prosecutors. They specialize in firearms analysis, and may run tests on bullets or bullet fragments to determine the type of gun used in a crime. Please fill in the following information so we can alert the Work editorial team about a factual or typographical error in this story. In addition to being a laboratory analyst, a medical examiner, a crime scene examiner, or a forensic engineer are also possibilities. Testing bodily fluids and tissues, and then identifying who they belong to, is key to solving many types of crimes.
While all forensic science jobs require a great attention to detail, this one requires even more thoroughness to avoid compromising or destroying evidence. For example, someone in this forensic job may need to determine if a traffic collision, or home fire, was intentional or the result of an accident.

The Forensic Science sector recruits about 200 graduates a year, but there are currently about 1500 forensic science graduates being produced each year by UK universities, so there is strong competition for jobs (source Forensic Science Degrees: The Higher Education Perspective). Violent crimes such as murder, GBH and rape makes up most of the case types encountered and the majority of examinations involve swabs of blood and other body fluids, hair and clothing fibres. LGC is experiencing a sharp rise in employment, while the Forensic Science Service is consolidating.
Services include analytical science, consumer protection, pollution and health, consultancy, validation, training and knowledge transfer.
Scientific recruitment agencies also offer paid laboratory work - CPL, Cranleigh, Labstaff, Sci-temps and Technology People Solutions have had vacancies for forensic scientists in the past.
It is a type of scientific photography and forensic photographers use a range of specialised equipment including infrared and ultraviolet films, and microphotography equipment. Remember that you can also teach science in Colleges of Further Education, private schools and the Armed Forces. A relevant Master's degree in Forensic Science should strongly increase your chances of getting a job in the forensics field, but remember that these courses cost a lot of money and that funding may not be easily available. You can browse in the Careers Centre as you would a library or ask at reception if you need help.
Forensic scientists work with crime scene investigators, police forces, detectives, coroners, and more to solve cases.
A growing industry in the forensic science field is forensic computer examiners or digital forensics analysts.
Keep all of this in mind before deciding to become a forensic scientist, and definitely don’t let it deter you from chasing the career of your dreams. No matter what career path is chosen, the ultimate goal of all forensic science jobs is to cooperate with other law enforcement specialists to piece together as much of the crime scene as possible. From rape to murder, this job in forensic science plays a key role in finding the perpetrator in many cases. Without it, those in the other forensic science jobs will never get a chance to make the important discoveries that could break the case. Graduates normally start as DNA analysts and move on to become forensic examiners analysing crime scenes.
Let’s take a look at the career options available in this field after you graduate with a forensic science degree. This type of job includes collecting and analyzing data to solve cyber-crimes such as electronic fraud, online scams, and identity theft. To do that, the forensic engineer must backtrack, often looking at each cause and effect, to come up with a conclusion. They determine from the crime scene whether assistance from specialists, such as a forensic scientist, is needed.
While less hands on than work in the field or a laboratory, these forensic computer examiners must adhere to the same strict procedures of gathering and maintaining the integrity of evidence.
They may have a degree in forensic science, or may start out as police officers before specializing in crime scene investigation. Several colleges and universities offer forensic photography degree programs, and some law enforcement agencies train current officers or investigators in crime scene photography.
They need a degree in criminology, criminal justice or forensic investigation, along with knowledge of math and physics to help them determine factors such as bullet trajectory.
They usually have to identify the victim. Some forensic anthropologists focus on biometrics. Like crime scene investigators, forensic analysts frequently come in contact with potentially dangerous substances and must wear protective clothing and follow strict safety protocols. Recently merged with Forensic Alliance which had expertise in forensic entomology, botanical profiling and forensic palynology.

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