Name: Sally Smith
Undergraduate degree: Bsc (Hons) Forensic Science
Tell us about the course you’re studying and how it fits with your career aspirations?
Since I was about twelve years old I have always wanted to have a career in Forensic Science. The course here at Derby has helped to expand my knowledge of the varied jobs available in the Forensic Science sector from Crime Scene Investigation to Forensic Anthropology and everything in between. Now I am about to finish my degree, I feel able to apply for many jobs from biology and chemistry laboratories to the more specialised forensic roles.
What were your main reasons for choosing this course?
I have always been interested in Forensic Science and degree level was the first time I was able to study the subject academically. I looked at some chemistry with forensic science courses but this only confirmed I wanted to study forensics in depth, not anything else.
Why did you choose to study the course at Derby?
Derby was keen to express you would come out of your time here with a science degree specialised in forensics, developing skills in primarily biology and chemistry with elements of physics and maths. The laboratory facilities, including the analytical equipment, was the best I had seen across the universities I had visited. I was impressed by the variety of specialisms of the teaching staff and the connections the course had to different employers. This combined with the employability rate of the university as a whole was very reassuring that obtaining a degree at Derby was worthwhile!
How do your lecturers inspire you?
My lecturers inspire me as they have all had different paths to teaching. Some have amazing stories from their many years in the field working for providers such as the Forensic Science Service. Others have an impressive history of study completing masters degrees and PhDs in a wide variety of topics. The lecturers are inspiring, as they are always there to encourage you in whatever direction of study or career you wish to take.
Tell us about your modules; what makes them interesting and which are your favourite?
There are a wide variety of modules on the Forensic Science course which makes them interesting in themselves. You are able to choose whether you would like to focus on biology related modules, chemistry related modules, practical modules or a combination of all three. I have enjoyed all the practical modules which combine the elements of crime scene investigation, analysing evidence in the laboratory and writing this up in a report which is taken to court in our mock court assessment.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
Just do it! The university is a friendly place and staff will learn your name. You’re not just a number at Derby! The course is varied, the facilities are fantastic and there is continuous improvement to the crime scene house and laboratories. The course enables you to venture into a career in any science subject and gives you the skills to understand the requirements of a diligent forensic scientist. The course at Derby prepares you for all aspects of forensic science and the staff are supportive from the first year to the last. If you have a specific area you are interested in, there is probably a staff member with experience in it!