Bachelor of Forensic Science

Undergraduate degree

Study the only accredited forensic science degree in the Asia Pacific region. Learn to collect, interpret and present evidence; and hone courtroom skills.

Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.0 with no band less than 6.0 (or equivalent). More information is available at www.ielts.org

Duration

3 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course information

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:

  • decomposition
  • toxicology
  • arson and explosives investigations
  • analysis of illicit drugs
  • DNA analysis
  • bloodstain pattern analysis
  • entomology
  • criminology.

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

Course structure

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.

11

Core units

7

Elective units

6

Major units

24

Total

Core

Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity STP050 (0 credit points)
  • Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program SLE010 (0 credit point)
  • Cells and Genes SLE111
  • Chemistry in Our World SLE133
  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis SIT191
  • Plus one elective

    Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Biology: Form and Function SLE132
  • Chemistry for the Professional Sciences SLE155
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Science SLE112
  • Introducing Crime and Criminal Justice ACR102
  • Career Tools for Employability STP010 (0 credit point)

  •  Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Biochemistry SLE212
  • Introduction to Spectroscopic Principles SLE213
  • Plus two elective/major units

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Forensic Biology SLE208 #
  • Plus three elective/major units


    Level 3 - Trimester 1

    Four elective/major units

    Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Forensic Analysis and Interpretation SLE313
  • Plus three elective/major units

    # Must have successfully completed STP010 Career Tools for Employability (0 credit point unit)

    Electives

    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.

    Major sequences

    Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.

     

    Key information

    Award granted
    Bachelor of Forensic Science
    Year

    2020 course information

    VTAC code
    1400315233 - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
    Deakin code
    S324
    CRICOS code?
    073106G
    Level
    Undergraduate
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7.

    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.

    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.

    Participation requirements

    You may be required to complete units in Trimester 3 depending on your chosen major. Please refer to the Handbook for unit offering patterns.

    Work experience

    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.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    General admission requirements for entry into undergraduate courses for international students at Deakin are summarised in the undergraduate course requirements.

    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

    IELTS / English language requirements

    Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies.

    It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses.  (more details)

    Admissions information

    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

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of Prior Learning.
    Your Recognition of Prior Learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of 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.

    Scholarship 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

    Apply now

    How to apply

    Apply through VTAC

    Applications for study for Trimester 1 must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). For more information refer to VTAC


    Apply direct to Deakin

    If you're applying to study in Trimester 3 (November), 2019:

    Applications can be made directly to the University through the Course and Scholarship Applicant Portal.  For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.  Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    If you're applying to study in Trimester 1 (March), 2020:

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.


    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance


    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.


    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

    Career outcomes

    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
    • policing
    • government institutions
    • chemical, biological, food and pharmaceutical industries.

    Professional recognition

    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.

    Communication

    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.

    Digital literacy

    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.

    Critical thinking

    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.

    Problem solving

    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.

    Self-management

    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.

    Teamwork

    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.

    Global citizenship

    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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