BSc in Applied Chemistry (Honours) in Forensic Science
"At Information Day, I was running forensic labs tours and a lot of people ask 'is it like CSI?' And I say, 'not at all'."
"You have to start with physics, biology, chemistry and maths - it is a good degree for you if you are interested in chemistry. I could still walk into a chemistry lab and start working."
"By the end of the degree you are doing forensic and law subjects. And a lot of it is ethics - they don't get you to memorise chunks of laws, they get you to understand why something is wrong or test your own ideology."
"The practical projects on the course are really good. They prepare you for the real world. I did some work at the police laboratories this semester for my Honours project, which was to try to find a screening system for trace DNA. Certain objects fluoresce if you excite them with light, and I wanted to find a laser light system that you could apply to a crime scene so that instead of just swabbing blindly, you could swab the places the light system showed you to look. So I set up my own mini fake crime scenes, just 10 x 10 centimetres, and applied diluted blood, saliva and fingerprints to see whether I could see them. I randomly got people to put DNA and fingerprints on different surfaces and then I had to try to find them, which was really fun!"
"I demonstrated Crime Scene Investigation last semester, which is a class where they set up a small crime scene and you have to write notes and pretend you are on the scene and photograph and collect all the evidence - we even have fake blood. They are preparing you to go to the scene and it is basically quick training for a Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) job. It is good experience and a lot of people go off and get a SOCO job. We also have lots of guest lecturers - A LOT of them! We get lectured by police so that's been really interesting. It makes you aware of what you are heading into."
"I also did Medical Science subjects as part of my electives and found that I liked the human part of it. We saw an autopsy in forensic toxicology and I am now going on to do a postgraduate medicine degree. I could work as a police pathologist, work in medicine with patients or go into forensics research – it's all building blocks."