Is a degree in forensic science worth it? Watch
Hello, I’m soon to finish my a levels (biology, chemistry and physics) in which I predict I’ll get an A for chem, B for bio and C for phys. I would like to get in to a decent job in the field of forensics. I haven’t a maths a level so to do a BSc Chemistry i’d need to do a time (and money) consuming preliminary year. I’ve been denied entry to pharmacology and biochemistry, leaving my options slim with a BSc Forensic Science. However, I’ve heard a great deal of people refer to it as a ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree and relatively useless if you want to get a good job as a forensics expert, however it seems like a very interesting course and only requires a B in bio or Chem to enter. What would be my best bets? Should I give up on a career in forensics or is there another route?
I've moved your thread into Biology, biochemistry and other life sciences university courses so you should hopefully get advice from the experts.
Which aspect of Forensics are you interested in? Lab or field work? From those I've spoken to in the industry, it's such a competitive field and extremely hard to get into. I was basically told Forensic Science would open the door to Forensic Science but something more generalised like Biology would open the door to a vast range of OTHER careers, whilst still allowing me to work in Forensics should I wish to. I was also told for field work a wide variety of degrees are useful, including those who have studied Archaeology...
Have you contacted the university directly that denied you entry onto Biochemistry? I was originally denied onto BSc Biology (messed up an exam on my access course so was short on some credits lol). After I spoke to them they changed their mind. For a lot of Universities the first year of Biological Sciences (Biochemistry, Biology, Marine Biology) are the same and they let you transfer after the first year depending on your grades so it may be worth looking into that too.
I wouldnt advise against doing a uni course in forensics however i would say you should pick one that teaches you other skills not purely forensics, like i say analytical chemistry will do wonders for you and is probably more important if you want to work in tox or something. Up until this year my current employer was the biggest private forensic service in the uk, does loads of lab based stuff, and they prefer that you have lab experience and knowledge of scientific methods rather than knowing all the forensic stuff because thats easier to teach.
Also if you pick a more multi discipline course all may not be lost if you decide 2 years in you no longer want to do forensics. This is what happened to me but my course was comprehensive enough that i had all the skills that i needed to work in a lab, im now a lab assistant, and now i know what i want to do more i have a place to do a MSc in Immunology at Imperial College starting this October.
TL;DR Pick a forensics course which has a good focus on core science and lab work. A forensics degree isn't needed to work in forensics and allegedly may hold you back but may prepare you for roles you dont even know you want yet.