|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Well, I think you should first consider if it is the right type of work for you. Do you work well under pressure, would you like the responsibility, would you like working with samples which could be rather manky (e.g. bodily fluids)? If the answer to all those is yes then I suggest you do a google search for forensic science courses at universities and colleges in Scotland or England to see what their entry requirements are. I'm afraid that you'll have to do the searching yourself as different universities and colleges will have different entry requirements and there are different types of work in forensic science. Have a good look around the Forensic Science Society website and consider asking them for advice. Just remember that it isn't likely to be the way it is on t.v.! These are the bits of the Forensic Science Society website that are most relevant to your question: Career Opportunities The majority of forensic scientists in the United Kingdom are employed by the Forensic Science Service (in England and Wales), by specific police forces (in Scotland), and by regional government (in Northern Ireland), and by private companies which also specialise in providing primary forensic science services to the police such as Forensic Alliance Limited and the Laboratory of the Government Chemist. Aside from these, there are a number of other organisations which focus on specific areas of forensic science such as fire investigation, questioned documents, and advising the defence. Training to Become a Forensic Scientist There are two main elements in the training required to become a general forensic scientist. The first involves academic courses, and the second, on-the-job training usually with one of the main suppliers of primary services to police. Academic requirements: Requirements in respect of academic qualifications depend on the ultimate goal. For instance, to become an assistant forensic scientist or equivalent or a technical specialist, you are likely to need at least four good passes at GCSE including English and either science (Biology/Chemistry) or Maths, and at least one A level in a science subject. To become a case-reporting forensic scientist and/or a forensic science researcher, you will usually require at least a good first degree in Biology, Chemistry or related subject, followed up, in many cases, by a postgraduate/MSc qualification in forensic science or direct employment. Training on-the-job: On-the-job training tends to be best catered for by suppliers of forensic science services to police and other law enforcement agencies as it is in these organisations that there is the breadth and depth of casework to provide the necessary experience. Such training generally includes a combination of specialist in-house courses and practical casework - all forming part of a professional apprenticeship. Here are some other websites I found on qualifications http://www.learndirect- advice.co.uk/helpwithyourcareer/jobprofiles/profiles/profile595/ http://www.forensic.gov.uk/forensic_t/inside/career/qua_1.htm Best wishes, Yvonne A. Simpson
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