Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 328*
  • Course Code AU970
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary


Forensic Investigation and Analysis encompasses the application of a forensic investigative approach using advanced analytical science for the provision of scientific data and evidence. The underlying analytical science combines forensic, biological, chemical, communication and information technology skills. These skills can be applied to the investigation of crime, testing for toxins or illicit drugs, DNA profiling or statistical analysis.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

This degree equips graduates with skills in both forensic and analytical science making them highly employable in a broad range of sectors. Students study both biology and chemistry through the exciting and stimulating medium of forensic science. A major focus of the programme is the development of excellent practical analytical science skills which are in great demand by employers and for postgraduate research.

This stimulating programme facilitates engagement with a variety of learning experiences, which include:

  • simulated crime scenes with practicing forensic investigators
  • training in molecular biology techniques for the development of DNA profiles
  • collection and chemical analysis of gunshot residue
  • learning how to test for toxins and illicit drugs
  • engagement in flexible student centred work experience
  • expert witness training and activities to enhance communication skills
  • projects involving information technology and advanced scientific instrumentation.

YEAR 1

Students are provided with a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, as well as introductory modules in Information Technologies, Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.

YEAR 2

Modules are studied more in-depth as the programme progresses with added subjects such as Crime Scene Investigation and Management and Instrumentation used for Forensic Analysis, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Statistics, and Quality Assurance.

YEAR 3

Students continue to study modules at a more advanced level. Modules include Human Genetics, Seperation Science for Forensics, Molecular Biology, and Immunodiagnostics with Forensics Applications.

YEAR 4 

This final year focuses on high-level investigative, observational, evidence interpretation, research and crime scene management skills. Students complete a work placement which can be one to three months in length. Students also complete a forensic based research project on a topic of interest to them.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

This was the first programme on the island of Ireland to be accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science in the UK for the component standards Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence(IEPE), Crime Scene Investigation(CSI) and Laboratory Analysis (LA). This gives graduates the assurance that they have an internationally recognised qualification and are ready to undertake a professional career in forensic science.

WORK PLACEMENT

In the summer of Year 3, students complete a one to three month work placement. Students can work with the regional pathologist, the state pathologist, with solicitors, as chemical and biological analysts in pharmaceutical companies, quality control scientists in the food sector, environmental analysts, or as research assistants. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

Graduates work in a wide range of industries where analytical science is required, and initially take up roles as analysts, scientists, and technical officers. Graduates have found employment in a broad range of sectors including in forensic science, teaching, food research, and in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Graduates leave this analytical programme in high demand with large companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Abbvie, Baxter, Allergan, Coca-Cola, Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS), Glaxosmithkline (GSK), HSE, Mylan, Norbrook, Randox and LGC Forensics in the UK.

Our students graduate with key skills in chemical analysis, bio-analysis, IT and communications, and project management. This enables graduates to take up employment in laboratories across a variety of sectors which includes forensics, environmental, pharmaceutical and food industries, as well as engaging in postgraduate studies.

 

 

Further Study

Graduates may continue their studies to a range of Level 9 or Level 10 programmes in ATU Sligo or in other third level institutions.

Postgraduate options at ATU Sligo

Graduates may also complete a Professional Master of Education (PME) in order to become a secondary school teacher of Chemistry to Leaving Certificate level, and Science to Junior Certificate level.

Testimonials

"I love the forensic element of my studies. For example, in Year 1 we went to a shooting range and carried out tests for gun shot residue. In Year 3, we took part in a mock crime scene scenario and had to analyse, collect relative evidence and investigate what happened. The crime scene was based on a real life crime that took place and we worked with members of the Garda Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The degree is so much fun and the experiments we carry out are so interesting. 50% of the degree is made up of lab work which I love. When we get to the lab, we can see how the theory we learnt in class is applied in real life which makes learning easier. Not only that, it prepares you for the working world and equips you with the skills you need.

ATU Sligo has excellent class sizes which is great. You get to know all your class mates and lecturers by name. The lecturers are brilliant and are always there to help with any questions you might have. In terms of support outside of labs, ATU Sligo has been unbelievably good."

Elaine Ní Niaidh, BSc (Hons) in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

Did you know?

We also offer this degree at Level 7 -  AU859 BSc in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

This was the first programme on the island of Ireland to be accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science in the UK for the component standards Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence(IEPE), Crime Scene Investigation(CSI) and Laboratory Analysis (LA).

In the summer of Year 3, students complete a one to three month work placement.

In Year 4, students complete a forensic based research project on a topic of interest to them.

Graduates may complete a Professional Master of Education (PME) in order to become a secondary school teacher of Chemistry and Science.

This degree facilitates engagement with a variety of learning experiences. This includes simulated crime scenes with practicing forensic investigators, training in molecular biology techniques for the development of DNA profiles, collection and chemical analysis of gunshot residue, learning how to test for toxins and illicit drugs, plus lots more.

Alumni

"When I graduated from ATU Sligo, I took up a position as a quality control analyst in a pharmaceutical company. After a year, I was promoted to senior analyst. I then decided to study an MSc In Toxicology. I also completed a Professional Master of Education (PME) which enables me to teach chemistry and science in secondary school.

Following my studies, I took up a position as an analyst in the contaminates section of The State Laboratory. I work as a chemist, in the field of forensic toxicology, in the human toxicology section. I am responsible for testing bodily fluids and tissue samples from post-mortem cases. The human toxicology section provides an analytical and advisory service to the coroner’s service to assist in establishing cause of death, in state and criminal cases.

The analytical work carried out for coroners provides evidence at inquests. This could be the presence or absence of prescription and illegal drugs and certain other substances. The State Laboratory also analyses biological samples for drugs in cases of murder, rape and deaths in custody. This provides competent and impartial expert witness testimony in court as required."

Vicky Mac Eoin, BSc (Hons) in Forensic Investigation and Analysis graduate and now employed as a Chemist in the field of Forensic Toxicology in The State Laboratory