UNIVERSITY of Bradfordschool of Life Sciencesdivision of Chemical and Forensic

UNIVERSITY of Bradfordschool of Life Sciencesdivision of Chemical and Forensic

UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORDSchool of Life SciencesDivision of Chemical and Forensic SciencesProgramme/course title: Forensic and Medical Sciences

Awarding and teaching institution: / University of Bradford
Final award: / MSci; [QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Level M]
BSc (Honours); [QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Level H]
Programme title: / Forensic and Medical Sciences
Duration: / MSci (4 yr, full time);
BSc (3 yr, full time and 4 yr, sandwich)
UCAS code: / MSci [FBL9 MsCI/FMS4]
3 yr BSc [FB49 BSc/FMS]
4 yr BSc [FBK9 BSc/FMS4]
Subject benchmark statement: / Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences
Date produced: / Original – July 2002
Last updated : / July 2010


The Division of Chemical and Forensic Sciences in the School of Life Sciences is a UK pioneer in the development of education and training in the forensic sciences in undergraduate courses. Our courses have acquired a strong reputation and they derive benefit from the successes of contributing departments including the Department of Biomedical Sciences, and the Department of Archaeological Sciences. Forensic investigation draws on virtually every branch of science including all of the disciplines of chemistry, biology, physics andmathematics, and those derived from them, such as medicine, computing, engineering and archaeology. The discipline also encompasses subjects which are better defined within the humanities and arts including for example psychology, ethics and law, and a great many vocational subjects such as profiling, photography, nursing and reconstruction. By far the greatest requirement of the professional forensic and police scientific sectors in addressing crimes against a person (serious crime) and identifying individuals are skills in the biosciences, and for crimes against property (volume crime), the skills of the chemical scientist. The Bradford course in Forensic and Medical Sciences has been designed to deliver education and training in the essential core biomedical and forensic sciences to meet these requirements, especially the former, to integrate forensic investigation within each year of the course, to deliver a wide range of transferable skills, many of which are embedded within the scientific programme as well as being acquired through modules in professional development, and to provide you with opportunities to focus on topics of particular interest in your final year of study.Degrees based on the biosciences prepare graduates for a wide range of careers including those in the professional medical and forensic sectors because of their broad basis and application.

Programme Aims

The programme is intended:

A1To provide you with a comprehensive knowledge and systematic understanding of aspects of the Biomedical Sciences and Forensic Investigation and Interpretation, and enable you to apply these to forensic examination and analysis;

A2To provide you with a supportive and structured environment in which you are encouraged to develop the independent study skills required for lifelong learning;

A3To develop your abilities for both team-working and autonomous learning, through directed study, through dissertative and practical forensic investigation and project work, and prepare you for life-long learning;

A4To provide you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate critical thinking and interpretative skills through independent investigation of a forensic topic and the underlying biomedical sciences;

A5To enable you to develop skills in a range of analytical techniques essential in analytical, biomedical and forensic investigation;

A6To provide you with the opportunity to enhance your learning and professional and scientific skills by applying your knowledge and understanding in employment through a sandwich placement year;

A7To provide you with opportunities to develop a wide range of transferable skills of value in medical and non- medical employment, and to prepare you for careers to meet the needs of the professional forensic and police sector employers;

A8To provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to proceed to further studies in specialised areas of forensic investigation or multi-disciplinary areas involving the chemical and/or biomedical sciences, and to provide you with the opportunity to study beyond Masters level.

Programme Learning Outcomes

When you have completed the programme you will be able to:

B1Subject Knowledge and Skills

B1.1Integrate and appraise core principles underlying biomedical sciences, including cell biology, physiology, microbiology, immunology, human genetics, biochemistry, and pathology, and forensic investigation and Interpretation (including examination and analysis of physical evidence and interpretation and presentation of forensic evidence) and apply them to forensic casework. Optionally, describe and explain the molecular and genetic basis of disease, the fundamentals of gene expression, biotechnology, and genomics, and apply archaeological and anthropological principles to forensic investigation;

B1.2Explain the principles and procedures used in the analysis and the characterisation of biological substances. Interpret analytical data;

B1.3Plan, coordinate and carry out forensic search, recovery, comparison, analysis and interpretation with due regard to the issues of contamination, health and safety, continuity, quality assurance and professional practices and procedures, and to explain the scientific principles underpinning forensic investigation to a lay audience; apply forensic and biological principles and skills to a variety of physical evidence types in forensic investigation;

B1.4Plan and undertake independent practical investigation of an unfamiliar nature with due regard to personal, and laboratory safety in handling bio-hazardous materials, in maintaining integrity of sample and in addressing issues of contamination and quality assurance; design and implement research strategies for practical biomedical and/or forensic investigation and analysis.

B1.5Carry out appropriate statistical evaluation and interpretation of data; critically analyse scientific data and interpret context-based information;

B1.6Analyse and assess errors and their sources, and formulate strategies to minimise errors and bias in practical biological and forensic investigation and in the manipulation of numerical data.

B1.7Present scientific information and sustain arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences.

B1.8Present and defend expert testimony, in writing through expert witness statements and orally in evidence-in-chief and under cross-examination.

B2Core Academic Skills

B2.1Demonstrate critical thinking in the interpretation of scientific and forensic evidence, using it to support conclusions/recommendations, and review the reliability, validity and significance of evidence.

B2.2Identify and define complex problems and apply appropriate knowledge and skills to their solution.

B2.3Analyse new data and situations using a range of techniques appropriate to the subject.

B2.4Integrate data and concepts for a given purpose and formulate solutions to problems, which recognise the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.

B3Personal & Key Skills

B3.1In accordance with the Benchmark Statements for Biomedical Sciences, you will be able to demonstrate skills in: numeracy; information-retrieval (in relation to primary and secondary information sources); independent learning and research; team working; IT; written and oral communication, time management; problem-solving; study skills (needed for continuing professional development).

B4Placement Learning

B4.1These will depend to a large extent on the particular activity undertaken whilst on placement but could include the ability to use state-of-the-art analytical equipment, to acquire and interpret data, to evaluate biomedical processes and trouble-shoot problems in a technical environment.

B4.2Demonstrate communication skills through ability to present results both in reports and orally to laboratory and senior managers.

B4.3Work independently and as part of a team and work to tight deadlines.

B5MSci (Master in Science)

On successful completion of the MSci you should also be able to:

B5.1Explain and critically evaluate areas of advanced biological or forensic investigation and pursue an independent, practical investigation in considerable depth in one of these disciplines.

B5.2Plan, design and execute practical investigations, from the problem-recognition stage through to the evaluation and appraisal of results and findings.

B5.3Select appropriate techniques and procedures, independently interpret conflicting and uncertain results generated both in your experimental project and by others.

B5.4Critically appraise published work.


The curriculum is designed to provide for a core programme in the biomedical sciences and forensic sciences through core modules and options. Professional skills are embedded in the curriculum. Irrespective of option choices in prescribed topics, the final year provides you with an opportunity to investigate a forensic topic or topics of your own choice through dissertative and practical research activities. Development of a broad range of professional and transferable skills is designed to assist your progression from the university to your chosen career or further study, and to provide a basis for continuing lifelong learning. Except for those acquired through placement experience, the attributes of knowledge and understanding, discipline skills and personal transferable skills outlined above are acquired through study of the core components of the course.

On the BSc course, you may undertake a year of industrial placement between Stages 2 and 3. On successful completion of the year in industry, which is supported through visits of academic tutors to the workplace, you will be awarded the Diploma of Industrial Study. It is quite clear that students who complete a placement not only gain valuable experience, but also often enhance their career prospects and do better in their final year of academic studies.

On the MSci course, you will spend all four years of the course in full-time academic study. This route is particularly suited to students who aspire to a career in a research environment; indeed as part of your Stage 4 studies you will undertake a significant research project on a subject of your own choosing over the entire second semester.

The curriculum may change, subject to the University's course approval, monitoring and review procedures, as improvements are made each year. More detail, including learning outcomes, is available for each unit.

Code / Module Title / L / S / C / FRMEDS
Stage 1 / Semester 1
CT1011M / Scientific Practice I / 1 / 1 / 10 / core / core / core
CT1009L / Principles of Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation / 1 / 1+2 / 20 / core / core / core
BM1010M / Human Physiology 1 / 1 / 1 / 10 / core / core / core
BM1111M / Cell Biology / 1 / 1 / 10 / core / core / core
BM1113M / Introduction to Biological Molecules / 1 / 1 / 10 / core / core / core
BM2107M / Human Genetics / 1 / 1 / 10 / core / core / core
Stage 1 / Semester 2
CT1507M / Scientific Practice II / 1 / 2 / 10 / core / core / core
BM2108D / Introductory Microbiology / 1 / 2 / 20 / core / core / core
BM2109M / Biochemistry / 1 / 2 / 10 / core / core / core
BM1011M / Human Physiology 2 / 1 / 2 / 10 / core / core / core
Stage 2 / Semester 1
MAN1060M / English Legal Systems 1 / 2 / 1 / 10 / option / option / option
MAN1051L / English Legal Systems 1 & 2 / 2 / 1+2 / 20 / option / option / option
CT2009M / Personal Professional & Expert Witness Skills / 2 / 1 / 10 / option / option / option
CT2015L / Forensic Examination and Analysis of Physical Evidence / 2 / 1+2 / 20 / core / core / core
BM2007D / Medical Microbiology / 2 / 1 / 20 / core / option / core
BM3102M / Clinical Biochemistry / 2 / 1 / 10 / core / option A / core
BM3103M / Immunology / 2 / 1 / 10 / option A / option A
BM2005M / Pathophysiology and Pharmacology of Systems 1 / 2 / 1+2 / 20 / option B / option B / option B
Stage 2 / Semester 2
CT6007M / Toxicology / 2 / 2 / 10 / option / option / option
BM1115M / Cellular Pathology / 2 / 2 / 10 / core / option / core
BM2002M / Molecular Genetics / 2 / 2 / 10 / core / option / core
BM4201M / Analytical Biochemistry / 2 / 2 / 10 / option A / option A / option A
BM2006M / Pathophysiology and Pharmacology of Systems 2 / 2 / 2 / 10 / option B / option B / option B
BM2004M / Haematology and Transfusion Science / 2 / 2 / 10 / option / option / option
CT7001P / Industrial Placement (Diploma Industrial Studies) / P / Elective / Elective / Elective
Stage 3 / Semester 1
CT3039L / Interpretation & Presentation of Forensic Evidence / 3 / 1+2 / 20 / core / core / core
AR5304M / Forensic Anthropology / 3 / 1 / 10 / option / option / option
BM3123D / Medical Genetics / 3 / 1 / 20 / core / core / core
BM3117D / Research Topics in Medical Cell Biology I / 3 / 1 / 20 / option / option
BM3121D / Research Topics in Medical Biochemistry I / 3 / 1 / 20 / option / option
BM3119D / Research Topics in Medical Microbiology I / 3 / 1 / 20 / option / option
AR6102M / Forensic Archaeology / 3 / 1 / 10 / option / option / option
AR3505M / Biometrics and Human Identification / 3 / 1 / 10 / option / option / option
Stage 3 / Semester 2
CT3504T / Research Project / 3 / 2 / 30 / core / core / core
BM3124D / Biology of Disease / 3 / 2 / 20 / option / option
AR8135M / Introduction to Forensic Taphonamy / 3 / 2 / 10 / option / option
AR6108M / Introduction to the Chemistry of Human Remains / 3 / 2 / 10 / option / option
LIF4001M / Electron Microscopy / M / 2 / 10 / option / option
Stage 4 / Semester 1
CT4011M / Scientific Project Management / M / 1 / 10 / core
LIF4003D / Fundamentals of Analytical Science / M / 1 / 20 / option
LIF4012M / X-Ray Diffraction / M / 1 / 10 / option
LIF4009M / Separation Science / M / 1 / 10 / option
LIF4011M / Vibrational Spectroscopy / M / 1 / 10 / option
BM9139D / Research Topics in Medical Cell Biology I (Level M) / M / 1 / 20 / option
BM9141D / Research Topics in Medical Biochemistry I (Level M) / M / 1 / 20 / option
BM9142D / Research Topics in Medical Microbiology I (Level M) / M / 1 / 20 / option
BM9140D / Research Topics in Cancer Biology and Cancer Therapeutics (Level M) / M / 1 / 20 / option
AR8103M / Introduction to Forensic Archaeology / M / 1 / 10 / option
Semester 2
CT4009Z / Stage Four Research Project / M / 2 / 60 / core

The curriculum may change, subject to the University's course approval, monitoring and review procedures.

Teaching and Assessment Strategies

The programme articulates with the Teaching and Learning and the Excellence Plus strategies of the University.

A wide variety of teaching methods appropriate to the learning outcomes of the individual modules are employed throughout the programme. They progressively focus on student-centred approaches to learning thus you will be expected to take increasing responsibility for your learning as you progress through the course. In this way you will develop the attributes needed for life-long learning and continued professional development.

Outcomes B1.1 to B1.8 will be developed in a number of modules, through a mix of lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, workshops, case studies, CAL and directed study. Directed study will involve you in a variety of activities, which include directed reading of selected textbooks, specified source literature and open learning materials, directed Web-based materials, report writing and other assignments. In addition individual project/dissertation work will further help you to develop outcomes B1.4 and B1.7.You will demonstrate your achievement via written closed-book examinations using constructed- (essays, short answers) and selected response (MCQ) questions and a variety of coursework assignments, including laboratory reports, oral presentations and dissertation.

The development of outcomes B2.1 to B2.4 will be through involvement in laboratory, small-group workshops, case-based work and projects (individual and small group). They will be assessed by critical appraisal, case analysis and critique, case presentations, laboratory reports and dissertation.

Key skills are embedded throughout the curriculum with most modules developing at least one of the skills specified in outcome B3.1.

Outcomes B4.1 to 4.3 are developed through work based learning, in particular learning at and from work.

Your performance whilst in work will be assessed by your line-manager or work-place supervisor, and on completion of the placement, you will submit a written report and present a poster in the early part of the final year, both of which will also be assessed. These assessments are made to measure your communication skills in formal reports and in poster presentation to a range of audiences.

Where appropriate the disciplines of the medical sciences are brought together within the context of forensic science through the forensic science modules, studied at each Stage of the course.

For those of you who study to Master’s Level via the MSci the development of outcomes B5.1 to B5.4 will be fostered through lectures, laboratory exercises, small group seminars, tutorials and workshops, individual project work and directed study. Written examination, coursework assignments and dissertation will assess them.

Assessment Regulations

This Programme conforms to the standard University Assessment Regulations which are available at the following link:

Admission Requirements

The University welcomes applications from all potential students regardless of their previous academic experience; offers are made following detailed consideration of each individual application. Most important in the decision to offer a place is our assessment of a candidate’s potential to benefit from their studies and of their ability to succeed on this particular programme. Entrance requirements for each programme will vary but consideration of your application will be based on a combination of your formal academic qualifications and other relevant experience.

If you have prior certificated learning or professional experience which may be equivalent to parts of this programme, the University has procedures to evaluate this learning in order to provide you with exemptions from specified modules contained within the curriculum. Please talk to us if you do not fit the standard pattern of entry qualifications.

The University of Bradford has always welcomed applications from disabled students, and these will be considered on the same academic grounds as are applied to all applicants. If you have some form of disability you may wish to contact the programme leader before you apply.

A typical offer to someone seeking entry through the UCAS scheme would be 260 UCAS points (equivalent to BBC) with at least 100 points in Biology or Chemistry. However, applications are welcome from mature students (those over 21 years of age on entry) and candidates with non-standard qualifications or who, lacking academic qualifications, have significant relevant experience. On completion of a UCAS form you will be invited to the School for an Open Day when you will have the opportunity to meet staff, view the facilities and discuss “the Bradford experience” with current students.

Learning Resources

The JB Priestley Library on the city campus and our specialist libraries in the School of Health and the School of Management provide a wide range of printed and electronic resources to support your studies. We offer quiet study space if you want to work on your own, and group study areas for the times when you need to discuss work with fellow students. Subject librarians for each School provide training sessions and individual guidance in finding the information you need for your assignment, and will help you organise your references properly.

Student PC clusters can be found in all our libraries and elsewhere on the campus. Many of these are open 24/7. You can also use the University's wireless network to access the internet from your own laptop. Most of our online journals are available on the internet (both on and off campus), and you can also access your University email account, personal information and course-related materials this way.

Staff are on hand during the daytime to help you if you get stuck, and there is a 24/7 IT helpline available.

Student Support and Guidance

Course Team

Support for you personally and in your course of study, will be provided both by the University and the Course Team. You will be allocated a personal tutor who is someone with whom you will be able to talk about any academic or personal concerns. The School will ensure that there is someone available with whom you feel comfortable to help and support you. You will be provided with a comprehensive series of handbooks that you can consult on a range of learning issues and your course tutors will be available to consult on subject specific queries.