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    There are arguments for any university or other HE institution to consider introducing Forensic Science into its prospectus. A particularly powerful argument is that students want to study it.

    In the popular view, a career in forensic science brings success and glamour. On television, one of Inspector Morse's pathologists is a beautiful young woman, the other a forceful older man, who seems to be the only person at the Oxford Police station capable of standing up to the grumpy detective. We have fictional forensic scientists on TV programs such as Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), Cracker, Court TV, The New Detectives, McAllum, The Forensic Files, Waking the Dead. There are also serious programs about the role science (for example DNA matching, and even mathematics) now play in solving crimes.

    TV has moved on from Poirot: the marvellous job now belongs to the man or woman in a white coat in the lab, who stands up in Court and demolishes the opposing case by the precision and force of their presentation. Hence the interest shown by parents and students in a course which might lead to such a job.

    Forensic Science certainly looks a marvellous job on TV, but is it really a marvellous job? The answer is yes. The reasons are: job satisfaction, contribution to the public good, financial rewards, interesting colleagues, and intellectual content.

    Race Associates are currently discussing the setting up of Forensic Science courses with a number of Higher Education (HE) institutions. We are obviously ICT (Information and Communication Technology) specialists, but can advise on Forensic Science generally.

    To be considered an expert by the courts one needs considerable experience in a specific scientific field. We therefore consider that Forensic Science should be offered in conjunction with another scientific discipline. An academic institution interested in offering Forensic Science might consider the following route:

  • External seminars and short courses in Forensic Science, either stand-alone or combined with another scientific discipline.
  • Forensic Science modules offered within an existing course such as Information and Communications Technology or Computer Science.
  • A joint honours degree, combining Forensic Science with an existing degree course in a relevant discipline.
  • A single honours degree, possibly a Masters degree for candidates with degrees in relevant sciences.

    We would be interested to hear from you to talk through the possibilities in your own institution.