by Robert S. Balan
If nothing bothers you more than injustice, and Chemistry, Biology, and Physics are some of your favourite subjects, a degree in Forensic Science might be a match made in heaven for you. As a future Forensics expert, you’ll work in crime labs, examine crucial evidence, and make life a lot easier for police investigators trying to solve a case.
Let’s find out if a Bachelor’s or Master’s in Forensic Science is right for you by looking at:
- What is Forensic Science?
- Popular Forensic Science specialisations
- Admission requirements for Forensic Science degrees
- Best Forensic Science universities and colleges
- Tuition fees and affordable courses
- Benefits of an online Forensic Science degree
- Best Forensic Science jobs and salaries
- Should I study a Forensic Science degree?
What is Forensic Science?
According to the U.S. National Institute of Justice, Forensic Science is a highly interdisciplinary subject using notions of Natural Sciences, like Chemistry and Biology, as well as Engineering and Computer Science to assist law authorities with solving criminal cases. Forensic Scientists help authorities through the analysis of evidence collected from crime scenes. The results are then used to identify a suspect or determine if they committed a crime or not.
Forensic Science degrees teach students how to collect, store, and analyse all types of evidence. You’ll spend a lot of time in a crime laboratory, where you learn how to conduct a proper and objective analysis and provide accurate results. Theoretical courses will explore investigation techniques, principles, and tools used during the criminal investigation.
How long is a Forensic Science degree?
Bachelor’s degrees in Forensic Science usually take 4 years to complete in North America, and 3 years if studying in Europe. In the case of a Master’s in Forensic Science, you’ll graduate after 1-2 years no matter where you study.
Forensic Science degree specialisations
You can choose from many Forensic degree specialisations. Although they are all related to Law, each study programme has a different focus. Explore as many options as you can before choosing a degree abroad. Make sure you look at the curricula, amount of theory vs practical work, and the skills you’re expected to have after graduating.
Here are some popular Forensic Science specialisations:
- Forensic Psychology – helps students learn how to use psychological principles and methods to help judges, lawyers, or police investigators better understand a criminal case
- Cyber Forensics – students discover how to use investigation techniques and specialised tools to collect and store evidence from a computing device
- Forensic Chemistry – teaches students how to use chemical research to identify unknown substances and materials discovered at a crime scene
- Forensic Biology – students learn how to collect, analyse, and then use the results to verify if biological evidence links a victim or a suspect to a certain location or crime
- Forensic Accounting – trains students how to use accounting knowledge to discover possible fraud and analyse information related to an organisation or an individual’s finance and transactions
Admission requirements for a Forensic Science degree
We’ve listed below some of the most common documents and certificates you’ll need to provide during the application process for a Forensic Science degree. Each university, college or graduate school has specific demands, so you won’t necessarily be asked to provide all of them, or you may have to provide more.
Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science
- Minimum English language test scores: TOEFL 75 or IELTS 6.5
- Academic transcript of grades
- Minimum grades for previous English and Math courses
- Essay or personal statement
- Letter(s) of recommendation
Master’s degree in Forensic Science
- Minimum English language test scores: TOEFL 80 or IELTS 6.5
- Minimum GPA score
- A Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science or a related field (e.g. Biology, Chemistry)
- Recommendation or reference letters
- Personal statement
Best Forensic Science universities and graduate schools
We’ve used resources from sites like Eviscan and Universities.com to create a list with some of the best Forensic Science universities. The list isn’t complete, and you can find many other schools offering quality education.
- George Washington University, in the US
- University of Dundee, in the UK
- University of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands
- Uppsala University, in Sweden
- The Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, in Germany
Tuition fees for a Forensic Science degree
Tuition costs for a Forensic Science course will vary a lot depending on the country, university, and city where you’ll choose to study. Generally, the amounts you can expect to pay range between:
- 2,000 EUR – 46,000 EUR/academic year for a Forensic Science Bachelor’s
- 1,500 EUR – 47,000 EUR/academic year for a Forensic Science Master’s
Average tuition fees for a Forensic Science degree in:
Affordable Forensic Science courses
Studying abroad involves a significant financial investment. If you don’t want to go over your budget, you can always explore cheaper Forensic Science courses. This doesn’t mean their quality is low; it’s just that different universities target different international students.
Universities and colleges offering free Forensic Science degrees usually receive funding from the government. Before applying, just make sure you check their accreditation so that you don’t end up with a degree that is either fake or not officially recognised.
Here are some countries that offer affordable (under 2,000 EUR/academic year) or even free study programmes in Forensic Science:
Online Forensic Science degrees
Online degrees are perfect for students who cannot apply for traditional on-campus degrees. You might have other commitments, or the idea of moving abroad simply doesn’t suit you. Enter online Bachelors and Masters in Forensic Science. They allow you to study from home, take a break whenever you want, or pause an online class to do some research on a topic that’s less familiar.
You need self-discipline and good organisation to succeed with an online Forensic Science degree. Being able to set your schedule is great, but so is watching an entire season of your favourite TV show. See where the discipline part comes in?
Another benefit of online classes is reducing your education costs. Tuition fees are generally lower, and you won’t have to cover other expenses, like transportation, accommodation, living costs, etc.
Forensic Science degree jobs and salaries
There are many Forensic Science careers you can follow after graduation. We’ve listed some of the most popular jobs below and the average annual salaries you’d get in the United States according to PayScale.
- Forensic Computer Analyst – 72,000 USD/year
- Forensic Psychologist – 67,000 USD/year
- Forensic Scientist – 55,000 USD/year
- Forensic Chemist – 55,000 USD/year
- Forensic DNA analyst – 53,000 USD/year
Should you study a Forensic Science degree abroad?
Yes, especially if you have a well-developed sense of justice, you have a scientific mind and want to help law authorities create a more balanced society. You also get to work with interesting cases and examine all types of evidence. You’ll feel great knowing that you have a role to play in catching dangerous criminals and solving difficult investigations. If you’re curious by nature and always want to provide the most accurate results, go for a Forensic Science career. You won’t regret it!