The University of Western Australia
Future Students

Forensic Scientist

Apply scientific procedures and techniques to the examination of potential evidence that may assist in legal investigations.

To prepare yourself for a career as a forensic scientist:

Step 1
Complete any undergraduate bachelor’s course {Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Science or the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)} with a relevant major as your first degree.

Step 2
Complete the postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Forensic Science, Graduate Diploma in Forensic Science or the Master of Forensic Science.

Refer to the Study Pathways to the right for more information.


Forensic scientists may have a wide variety of responsibilities including identifying illicit drugs; analysing drugs and poisons in human tissue and body fluids; examining and comparing materials such as fibres, paints, cosmetics, oils, fuels, plastics, glass, metals, soils and gunshot residues; and examining human and animal biological material to be compared with victims and suspects using DNA profiling.

Depending on the case, forensic scientists may be required to analyse computers and obtain data from electronic devices and examine crime scenes to identify firearms and ammunition (forensic ballistics); fingerprints; footprints; tool marks; shoe marks; tyre marks and tracks; and examine fire and explosion scenes to establish the origin and cause.

Forensic scientists are often required to produce reports, appear in court and present scientific and/or opinion testimony accurately and in a manner which is readily understood by the court. They may also make presentations to a wide variety of audiences on the work of forensic scientists.

Strong communication skills are important for forensic scientists as they are generally required to keep contact with, and provide advice to, police investigators, legal practitioners, scientists and pathologists across a broad range of disciplines.

A wide range of expertise is required for forensic investigations. A forensic scientist may specialise in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, botany, entomology, pharmacology, toxicology, crime scene examination, firearms examination, fingerprint and document examination.

Source: myFuture and Australian Bureau of Statistics

 

Disclaimer: This page provides study pathway and career options as a guide only. You should contact the Admissions Centre, International Centre or relevant Faculties for full details.

Study pathways

The following study pathway shows the most common and direct route for a UWA student to pursue this career.

  1. Undergraduate

  2. Relevant majors include:

  3. Postgraduate

    Postgraduate study is required for a career as a Forensic Scientist.

    Relevant courses include:

  4. Research

    Research study may be required for a career as a Forensic Scientist.

    Relevant courses include:

Footnote links and information

This page:

Last updated
Thursday, 19 June, 2014 11:12 AM
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