Forensic science - career prospectus Watch

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Chesiu
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Hi guys!

I have been recently thinking of working as a forensic scientist. Since I was sure that I want to study Anatomy & Human Biology at King's College London, now I am a bit insecure if pursuing forensic science only as my Master degree would be enough for the potential employer (even though this course at KCL is accredited Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences). Do you think I should consider forensic science for Bachelor's degree aswell?

Another thing is that Anatomy and Forensic Science are in two separate study areas at KCL (Biomedical & Life Sciences vs. Pharmacy, pharmacology and forensic science). Would that be a problem to enter Forensic Science after graduating from Anatomy & Human Biology?

Best regards!
Lucas
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artful_lounger
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Forensic Science degrees are, in essence, money traps for unaware students. Such CSI degrees are virtually worthless most of the time, given the tiny profession with extremely limited growth, and for decades forensic scientists have been more than successful in being recruited from other backgrounds before the fad set in and the degrees started popping up everywhere in the early 2000s. While the KCL course will have the benefit of a reputable uni to back it so is slightly more valuable, another degree from the same university would be perfectly fine for that, and better for other things.

So no, you won't be disadvantaged, and you will in fact be advantaged for applying to other roles in the very real likelihood you aren't immediately able to enter that sector. In this even, it won't be because you don't have a degree in Forensic Science, but because there are a few hundred positions necessary to sustain the current forensic evidence requirements of the country and some thousands of students doing both degrees in that area and in related (and arguably more useful) areas. It's worth bearing in mind Chemistry is probably far more useful than either of the degrees mentioned.

Human osteology/related fields is a very niche area and to realistically be a professional in that area you'll need a PhD in a relevant subject (archaeology, anatomy, biological anthropology, etc). Most of "forensic science" is doing chemical analyses, not looking at dead bodies. There are far more crimes, commited far more often, than murder (and related) that require forensic evidence, and moreover in such cases the ME who will be a (forensic) pathologist (which is a medical specialty requiring a medical degree) will most of the time provide a suitable role in assessing the remains found. Only in extremely old "cold" cases are forensic anthropologists and similar required, which are exceedingly rare - and thus require the utmost precision and hence they're unlikely to bring someone on board who isn't at least a PhD.

Basically, I think you've really got the wrong end of the stick with forensic science and what it entails, and what is necessary to go into the field. A chemistry degree would probably be the most flexible and useful option, since it's perfectly acceptable preparation for graduate entry medicine if you wish to pursue the pathologist/ME route, and is arguably the best preparation to enter into "forensic science" generally. Anatomy, or most biosciences covering some aspect of human anatomy (including Human Sciences/Biological Anthropology, or some Archaeology courses with significant Biological/Physical Anthropology content) would be suitable for both pursuing a PhD and hence being an expert in human remains identification/recovery, and also for pursuing GEM. It's arguably less useful/suitable for going into forensic science as a lab worker, unless you have significant chemistry content (such as from Cambridge NatSci or similar, which does allow you to specialise in Biological Anthropology in your third year).
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georgem93
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It sounds like you'd be more suited to being a pathologist, look into the route you need to take for that!
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Joinedup
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(Original post by georgem93)
It sounds like you'd be more suited to being a pathologist, look into the route you need to take for that!
https://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/fraser.c...ology_how.html

medical degree (or possibly dental / vet)
---
But apparently it doesn't involve much
Punching villains on fire escapes
Shagging attractive suspects
Riding motorbikes down the pacific highway at sunset

https://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/fraser.c...logy_dont.html
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Chesiu
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Thank you! That was very helpful. I ended up doing Pharmacology at KCL as it gives me more career opportunities and it's so far so good. Studying anatomy and medical physiology used to be my dream but now my dream is to have a stable job in a future hahah
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Chesiu)
Thank you! That was very helpful. I ended up doing Pharmacology at KCL as it gives me more career opportunities and it's so far so good. Studying anatomy and medical physiology used to be my dream but now my dream is to have a stable job in a future hahah
Well I imagine you'll study a fair bit of physiology in a pharmacology course (maybe not so much anatomy) so you can have both I think

Glad things worked out for you though!
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