Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 328*
  • Course Code AU970 (was SG448)
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

Forensic investigation and analysis encompass 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.


This 4-year programme gives graduates skills in both forensic and analytical science making them highly employable in a broad range of sectors. Students will 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.

The stimulating programme facilitates engagement with a variety of learning experiences including the following :

  • 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.


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.


First-year 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.


This final year focuses on high-level investigative, observational, evidence interpretation, research and crime scene management skills. Students will complete their work experience, presentation and forensic based research project in this year.

Graduates from this course will be versatile with key skills in chemical analysis, bio-analysis, IT and communications, and project management. These will enable them to attain employment in laboratories in a variety of sectors from forensics, environmental, pharmaceutical, and food industries as well as engaging in further postgraduate studies. 


This programme is 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). As the first third-level course on the island of Ireland to achieve this accreditation, it gives graduates the assurance that they have an internationally recognised qualification and are ready to undertake a professional career in forensic science. 

This programme is also aligned to the Teaching Council guidelines for secondary school teaching of science & chemistry. To become a fully qualified secondary school teacher, students need to complete a Professional Masters in Education (PME) after they graduate. 



Entry Requirements

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

A science subject at Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for this course.

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. 



Further Study

Graduates can continue to Level 9 or Level 10 Postgraduate studies.

Graduates also choose to study a Professional Masters in Education (PME) to become a secondary school teacher. 



Did you know?

We also offer a Level 7 Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigation and Analysis

This Level 8 Forensic Investigation & Analysis is accredited by the Forensic Science Society UK for the Component standards for Crime Scene Investigation; Analytical Science & Evaluation and interpretation of Evidence. This accreditation is recognised worldwide.

It was the first course on the island of Ireland to be professionally recognised. This means that the course is recognised as being of a standard to enable graduates to become members of CSFS and to practice as a Forensic Scientist in these areas.

This programme is also aligned with the Teaching Council guidelines for secondary school teaching. To become a fully qualified secondary school teacher, students need to complete a Professional Masters in Education (PME) to teach Chemistry to Leaving Certificate and Science to Junior Certificate.

In the summer of year 3 students complete a 1-3 month work placement. Students can work with the regional pathologist, the state pathologist,  in legal work with solicitors, chemical and biological analysts in pharmaceutical companies, quality control scientists in the food sector, environmental analysts, teaching, or research assistant. 

A science subject at Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for this course. In year one, the science subjects are taught from the basics upwards.

In year one, your timetable will be approx. 24 hours of ‘contact time’ broken down into 11 hours of theory/lectures and 13 hours of laboratory/tutorial and practical activities.  The contact hours decrease in the following years.