Bachelor of Forensic Science

Course summary for current students

Year2017 course information
Award granted Bachelor of Forensic Science
CampusOffered at Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Cloud CampusNo
Duration3 years full time or part time equivalent
CRICOS course code073106G
Deakin course codeS324

Course sub-headings

Course overview

Study forensic science at Deakin and you’ll get formal training across the full scope of modern forensic science, acquiring skills and authentic experiences from ‘crime scene to court’ by spending time in our unique crime scene training facility. Deakin is the first university in Australia, and the only university in the Asia-Pacific region, to offer a professionally-accredited forensic science course.

Deakin’s Bachelor of Forensic Science combines studies in biology, chemistry, biochemical and chemical analysis, statistical analysis, and molecular biology. You’ll learn how to apply forensic analysis including chemical, biological and physical techniques while also learning about the Australian legal system, including how law is developed, criminal and civil law, and the laws of evidence.

When you study forensic science at Deakin you’ll also undertake studies in criminology, including the examination, interpretation and presentation of evidence.

You’ll cover forensic chemistry and toxicology, arson and explosives investigations, analysis of illicit drugs, forensic toxicology and acquire courtroom skills.

The course has extensive industry links with local and Australian forensic organisations, and features guest speakers and site visits in collaboration with leading forensic organisations.

The Bachelor of Forensic Science is professionally accredited by the Australian and New Zealand Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS). Graduates of the course can expect to find work in areas such as forensics, insurance investigation, risk analysis, research science, in government institutions and within chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries.

Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.

Indicative student workload

You can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

Professional recognition

The Bachelor of Forensic Science has been professionally accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Career opportunities

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Forensic Science, career opportunities exist in forensics, insurance investigation, risk analysis, research science, in government institutions and in chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges vary depending on your course, your fee category and the year you started. To find out about the fees and charges that apply to you, visit

Course Learning Outcomes

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes (DGLOs)

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

1. Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: appropriate to the level of study related to a discipline or profession.

  • Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of forensic disciplines including forensic chemistry, forensic biology and the science in the crime scene to the courtroom.
  • Apply analysis and interpretation techniques in order to deduce and test hypothesis in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Explain and present the strengths of scientific results and associated limitations in professional environments.

2. Communication: using oral, written and interpersonal communication to inform, motivate and effect change.

  • Use appropriate terminology and standard operating procedures to note take, document and present a variety of accumulated information.
  • Judge how well to present essential details of scientific procedures, key observations, results and conclusions in a professional manner using appropriate style, language and references including local, national, international contributions and contexts.
  • Converse with scientific and non-scientific audiences using appropriate language and methods of communication to clearly articulate scientific procedures and outcomes.

3.  Digital literacy: using technologies to find, use and disseminate information.

  • Apply well-developed technical skills, judgement and responsibility to independently locate, analyse, evaluate the merits of, synthesise and disseminate scientific literature, information, data and results.

4. Critical thinking: evaluating information using critical and analytical thinking and judgment.

  • Interpret and evaluate information from a number of areas including a body of knowledge from the scholarly literature, laboratory data and other individuals to place the information in a scientific context.
  • Use critical and analytical thinking and judgement to analyse, synthesise and generate an integrated knowledge, and to formulate hypotheses and test them against evidence-based scientific concepts and principles.

5. Problem solving: creating solutions to authentic (real world and ill-defined) problems.

  • Take into account relevant contextual factors to approach problems and make informed decisions that will assist in finding appropriate solutions to problems in forensic science.
  • Advocate scientific methodologies, hypotheses, laws, facts and principles to create solutions to real world problems and forensic scenarios.

6. Self-management: working and learning independently, and taking responsibility for personal actions.

  • Take personal, professional and social responsibility within changing professional science contexts to develop autonomy as learners and evaluate own performance.
  • Work autonomously, responsibly and safely to solve unstructured problems and actively apply knowledge of regulatory frameworks and scientific methodologies to make informed choices.

7. Teamwork: working and learning with others from different disciplines and backgrounds.

  • Work independently and collaboratively in diverse roles as members of multidisciplinary teams to contribute towards achieving team goals and thereby demonstrate interpersonal skills including the ability to brainstorm, negotiate, resolve conflicts, managing difficult and awkward conversations, provide constructive feedback and work in professional, social and cultural contexts.

8. Global citizenship: engaging ethically and productively in the professional context and with diverse communities and cultures in a global context

  • Adopt and value multidisciplinary knowledge and perspectives for evaluating, integrating and incorporating strategies and solutions in scoping, planning and managing alternative solutions from local to global forensic problems.

Approved by Faculty Board 14 July 2016

Course rules

To complete the Bachelor of Forensic Science, students must attain 24 credit points. Most units (think of units as ‘subjects’) are equal to 1 credit point. So that means in order to gain 24 credit points, you’ll need to study 24 units (AKA ‘subjects’) over your entire degree. Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.

The course comprises a total of 24 credit points, which must include the following:

  • 11 core units
  • Completion of SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit point compulsory unit)
  • Completion of STP010 Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit point compulsory unit)
  • no more than 10 credit points at level 1
  • at least 6 credit points at level 3 (at least 4 must be Science course grouped)
  • Completion of a major sequence in either: Forensic Chemistry or Forensic Biology

With careful planning, students may use up to eight of their remaining electives on units offered outside the Faculty such as units in Criminology, for example.

Major sequences

Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.


Course structure


Level 1 - Trimester 1

SLE111Cells and Genes

SLE133Chemistry in Our World

SIT191Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis

SLE010Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit point)

Level 1 - Trimester 2

SLE132Biology: Form and Function

SLE155Chemistry for the Professional Sciences

SLE112Fundamentals of Forensic Science

ACR102Introducing Crime and Criminal Justice

STP010Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit point)

 Level 2 - Trimester 1


SLE213Introduction to Spectroscopic Principles

Level 2 - Trimester 2

SLE208Forensic Biology #

Level 3 - Trimester 2

SLE313Forensic Analysis and Interpretation

# Must have successfully completed STP010 Introduction to Work Placements (0 credit point unit)


Select from a range of electives offered across many courses. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).

Work experience

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a discipline-specific industry placement as part of your course.

Details of major sequences

Forensic Biology


Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Unit set code



The forensic biology major aims to provide you with the specific biological skills that are very important in the forensic science workplace. These biological-based skills complement the generic forensic science attributes developed in the core units of the course.   Study in this area may lead to a career based on entomology, human anatomy and DNA based forensic science.

Students must complete a major sequence in either Forensic Biology or Forensic Chemistry in addition to the core unit requirements.


SLE211Principles of Physiology

SLE212Biochemistry *

SLE221Systems Physiology


SLE356Advanced Topics in Forensic Biology (Tri-3)

SLE340Genomes and Bioinformatics

* Already core units in the degree.


Forensic Chemistry


Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Unit set code



The forensic chemistry major aims to provide you with the specific chemistry skills that are very important in the forensic science workplace. These chemically-based skills complement the generic forensic science attributes developed in the core units of the course.  Study in this area may lead to a career based on toxicology, drug detection and chemical detection.

Students must complete a major sequence in either Forensic Biology or Forensic Chemistry in addition to the core unit requirements.


SLE210Chemistry the Enabling Science

SLE214Organic Chemistry

SLE229Introduction to Separation Science

SLE316Analytical Chemistry

SLE318Synthetic and Medicinal Chemistry