Forensic Science

The world of forensics is ideal for those with an enquiring mind, a deep interest in science, and a curiosity about how and why things happen. Our students benefit from excellent facilities, including our dedicated crime scene house. Study follows a "crime scene to court" approach to forensic analysis. Our students develop invaluable skills that set them up for future careers in:

  • forensic science
  • analytical science
  • law enforcement (including the police and immigration); and
  • industrial and academic research.

Many students go on to further study, using their strong background in scientific investigation.

The development of practical skills is a key theme of our forensic science courses, and these have been designed with a strong core content of practical experience, in areas such as analytical, biological and physical science. Our forensics students will spend time learning how to process crime scene evidence in a laboratory environment.

Teaching is supported by external forensic practitioners and experts, and is carried out using a range of techniques, including formal lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions, and investigation workshops in our crime scene house. We also run an annual program of guest lectures, with a strong forensic science theme. Our forensics courses are accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

We also offer students the opportunity to study abroad or to take a 12-month paid work placement. Placement opportunities exist within European organisations such as the Institute of Forensic Research, UK forensic and law enforcement agencies, and in commercial laboratories like Scott Bader. Completion of the placement year gives you an additional award of a Placement Diploma in Professional Practice.

Whichever forensics degree you choose to study at Nottingham Trent University, you will develop a range of transferable skills that are highly desirable in a variety of professional contexts.

Forensics facilities

Students on our forensics courses benefit from excellent facilities, including:

  • our dedicated crime scene training facility
  • document examination laboratory
  • ballistics laboratory, and
  • the Rosalind Franklin superlab. 

Take a look at our undergraduate and postgraduate forensics courses.


Our academic experts in chemistry and forensics contribute to the Scientific Services to Industry (SS2i) offered by the School of Science and Technology. We offer a range of analytical, experimental and technical services to industry via access to facilities across the School. A significant number of businesses have already commercially and technically benefited from working with us. Due to the broad skills and capabilities within the School these companies are drawn from a diverse range of market sectors including:

  • analytical
  • biomedical
  • manufacturing
  • nanotechnology
  • pharmaceuticals
  • textiles
  • food and drink
  • plastic and printed electronics.

We also offer consultancy services along with access to a range of knowledge transfer and business improvement funding opportunities. In the area of forensic science, we are also able to offer our specialised crime scene facility for training courses, and to develop short courses that may be of interest to external companies and organisations.


Our research ensures the vitality and health of our academic subjects and underpins the teaching of our undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses.

In the chemistry and forensics team, our academic staff are research active and supervise undergraduate, Masters, PhD and postdoctoral research projects. We also recognise that modern science, including forensic science, is highly interdisciplinary. We collaborate across our School and beyond, both nationally and internationally, with engineers, biologists, physicists, and materials scientists.

Teaching and student satisfaction is very important to us, and we have won awards and recognition for this aspect of our work. We are also active researchers in the area of pedagogy, and we have active research projects looking to develop new methodology for effective student learning and teaching in science.

Our research activities in chemistry and forensics have been funded by a range of collaborators, including: EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, The Leverhulme Trust, the United States Air Force, and a wide range of industrial sponsors from the chemical, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotechnology sectors.

Our research quality was confirmed in RAE 2008 with over 90% being internationally recognised, including 18% that was classed as world-leading (UoA 12 and UoA 25). Chemistry staff contributed to the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in the Units of General Engineering (B15) and Allied Health (A03).


The forensics team is comprised of academic and support staff that are subject experts in forensic science, legal issues, and crime scene investigation. Many of our staff have had relevant industrial and other external experience and training, particularly in the area of forensics. Teaching and student satisfaction is very important to us, and we have won awards and recognition for this aspect of our work.

Our research activities in forensics have been funded by a range of collaborators, including EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, The Leverhulme Trust, and the United States Air Force.

Read more about our staff.

Any questions?
Dr Karen Moss
Head of Chemistry and Forensics
+44(0) 115 848 8063

Tape at a crime scene