So i really was hoping to do a combined degree of mathematics and forensic psychology / forensic science (or anything closely related) but the only university i can find which offers such a degree is Derby, which is way too far away and not a university i would particularly want to consider. I was just wondering if any universities offer the potential for you to combine two courses of your choice? or is it only limited to the combined degrees being offered?
This would've been the absolute perfect degree for me, and i have been struggling to find anything i would even half enjoy, until this idea came along!
Sorry if this seems like a particular obvious questions to anyone, it's just my college doesn't really help much when it comes to the application process ect so i have no idea!!
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I want to do a combined degree but no option for it?? watch
- Thread Starter
- 13-03-2018 21:36
- 13-03-2018 22:50
Scottish universities- Edinburgh in particular
- Community Assistant
- 13-03-2018 23:07
That's largely because the two subject areas are basically entirely unrelated, so...it doesn't make sense to offer a combined course for them. No matter what half the degree is "dead weight" depending which sector you go into.
Forensic Psychology and Forensic Science are very different areas in any case. You may want to look a bit more into the different aspects of the legal sector as it relates to these and related areas. However broadly speaking you don't need a specific degree course in Forensic Science to go into the area - a degree in Chemistry or sometimes Biosciences is perfectly adequate (and probably better in case you aren't able to get a position immediately in that area. The actual forensic science "industry" is largely just performing basic laboratory tests in a highly controlled environment to ensure validity of results - these are usually chemical/biochemical techniques in nature, so a chemistry background is helpful.
The bioscience side would really probably involve something like biochemistry then as above, or becoming an expert in some relevant area (such as biological anthropology/anatomy/archaeology/human remains identification generally or some aspect of zoology or plant sciences) and acting as an expert witness to confirm facts in court. This isn't a full time thing really, and just, you work as a scientist and you may be called upon for your expertise.
There are a number of combined courses in Chemistry and/with Maths (also slightly further afield, Chemical Physics which involves a lot of maths applied to Chemistry). There are also a few in Mathematical Biology/Systems Biology/Bioinformatics - however these are less related to the areas of bioscience that may later lead to the forensic sector (and you'll probably be pursuing a PhD in biosciences from that angle...). You may want to look into these.
On the Psychology side I'm not as familiar but my understanding is, similar to the bioscience route, you would get your undergraduate and most likely PhD in Psychology and then your "work" in forensic psychology would be acting as an expert witness. The "behavioural analysis"/profiling thing isn't really used any more (for quite a while, despite popular television and film depictions) because it's been well documented in research that it actually is completely meaningless and is no better at getting convictions (correct convictions at that) than any other method, including not actually doing any of that at all.
If you did want to combine Maths with Psychology, then Scottish unis generally will probably be able to facilitate this, and Edinburgh, I believe, have a Cognitive Science course which has a considerable informatics/computer science content depending on pathways/options chosen. While not mathematics in the sense of pure mathematics, this will be inherently mathematical in some respect. You may also generally find some more crossover with Psychology on the CS side. One such example is at Cambridge you can take CS options in the Psychological & Behavioural Sciences degree, and a Psychology option in first year of the CS course, and you can take options in both in Natural Sciences. Also the nature of the tripos system at Cambridge in general can facilitate various "combinations" with permission of the college/director of studies(s) involved, although these aren't "combined" courses as such.