Australia’s only professionally accredited forensic science degree
Get hands-on in Deakin’s crime scene training facility
Learn alongside experts from leading forensic organisations
Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 1 2020 close 23 February 2020
Late VTAC entry closes 1 November 2019 at 5pm. View other VTAC dates
Current Deakin Students
To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook
Deakin’s Bachelor of Forensic Science exposes you to the full scope of modern forensic science, from simulated crime scenes to courtroom presentations. With a strong focus on practical training, you’ll graduate with the skills needed to use scientific evidence to solve crimes.
Want to study at the only university in Australia to offer a professionally accredited forensic science course?
Learn to confidently examine, interpret and present forensic evidence, by building foundational knowledge of the science behind forensics. You can customise your degree to your interests by selecting a major in forensic biology or forensic chemistry. You’ll then learn how to apply modern forensic analysis in authentic environments like Deakin’s purpose-built crime scene training facility. With a kitchen, lounge room and bedroom set, this flexible facility lets you simulate almost any type of scenario.
Put yourself in the shoes of a forensic scientist and get hands-on experience taking your investigation from the crime scene to the courtroom. You’ll go from evidence collection to laboratory analysis, interpretation of results, communication of your findings, and culminate in presentation of your evidence in a ‘moot court’.
Explore a range of disciplines throughout your course, including:
- arson and explosives investigations
- analysis of illicit drugs
- DNA analysis
- bloodstain pattern analysis
Complement your technical knowledge and be better prepared to present in court by developing a strong understanding of the Australian legal system, including how law is developed, criminal and civil law, and the laws of evidence.
This course has extensive industry links with local and Australian forensic organisations, and features guest speakers from leaders in the field. Industry connections are leveraged to put you right in the middle of real-world forensic science environments.
Enhance your employment opportunities further by applying for membership of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS).Read More
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 STP050 Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
- Completion of SLE010 Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 credit point compulsory unit)
- Completion of STP010 Career Tools for Employability (0 credit point compulsory unit)
- no more than 10 credit points at level 1
- at least 6 credit points at level 3 (including a minimum of 4 Science units)
- 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.
Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Plus one elective
Level 1 - Trimester 2
Level 2 - Trimester 1
Plus two elective/major units
Level 2 - Trimester 2
Plus three elective/major units
Level 3 - Trimester 1
Four elective/major units
Level 3 - Trimester 2
Plus three elective/major units
# Must have successfully completed STP010 Career Tools for Employability (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).
It is important to note that some elective units may include compulsory placement, study tours, work-based training or collaborative research training arrangements.
Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.
2020 course information
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Trimester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).
Additional course information
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Mandatory student checks
Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.
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.
You may be required to complete units in Trimester 3 depending on your chosen major. Please refer to the Handbook for unit offering patterns.
This course aims to provide students with a holistic experience of their role as forensic analysts. You will have the opportunity to visit a court, a crime scene and participate in a ‘moot court’ which allows students to experience a simulated courtroom environment.
Ask a question about studying a at Deakin
Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library
Entry for applicants with recent secondary education (previous three years) will be based on their performance in a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, with pre-requisite units 3 and 4; a study score of at least 25 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or 20 in English other than EAL. Applicants will be selected in accordance with the published Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.
Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information www.vtac.edu.au
Entry for applicants with previous Tertiary, VET, life or work experience will be based on their performance in:
- a Certificate IV in a related discipline OR
- a Diploma in any discipline or 50% completion of a Diploma in a related discipline OR
- successful completion of relevant study at an accredited higher education institution equivalent to at least two Deakin University units OR
- other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent for example relevant work or life experience
Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the QILT website.
Learn more about Deakin's special entry access scheme (SEAS - a way to help boost your ATAR in some circumstances).
You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.
Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our first intake of 2019 students (PDF, 746.6KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.
Recognition of prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.
You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees.
The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning you have.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships
How to apply
Applications to VTAC are now open for recent secondary education graduates, including current Year 12 students. Learn about the steps involved and how to complete your preference list for study in 2020.
Applications can be made directly to the University through the Course and Scholarship Applicant Portal.
For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.
Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.
View pathways into the Bachelor of Forensic Science with our pathways finder.
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Prospective student enquiries
Are you looking to apply for this course or would like further information?
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Frequently asked questions
What are the key study start dates?
Browse all start and finish dates for Deakin’s main study periods. You’ll also find dates relating to applications and prospective student events, plus a list of all public holidays and study breaks.
How much does it cost to study at Deakin?
Your tuition fees will depend on the type of student you are, the course you study and the year you start. Fees are based on an annual amount; they don't cover the entire duration of the course.
Use our fee estimator to gauge what your fees could be per year.
Can I speak to someone in person about my study options?
Yes! We regularly host a range of events including 1:1 consultations and information sessions, to assist you with your study options and career planning. Check out our upcoming events or contact our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre on 1800 693 888 for more information.
Am I eligible for a scholarship with this course?
Scholarships are available for domestic and international students at all study levels. Find a scholarship that works for you.
Can I claim recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?
In some courses, you can reduce your overall study time and tuition cost by getting your work and previous study experience recognised as recognition of prior learning (RPL).
Why choose Deakin
Want a degree that’s more than just a qualification? Our industry connections, world-class facilities and practical approach to learning are just some of the reasons why Deakin students graduate confident and ready to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.
Through your extensive practical training, you’ll graduate with the technical and soft skills needed to thrive in a range of areas including:
- forensic laboratories
- insurance investigations
- risk analysis
- research science
- government institutions
- chemical, biological, food and pharmaceutical industries.
The Bachelor of Forensic Science has been professionally accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Graduates of this course are encouraged to apply for membership of the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS).
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 27 June 2019
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*ARWU Rankings 2018
^Australian Graduate Survey 2010–2015, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2018 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) 2018
#Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
**Mid-year intake is not available for all courses and some courses have limited places, apply early to avoid missing out.