Forensic Science is actually a blanket term that covers a broad area of subjects related to the application of science in legal proceedings.
To become a Forensic Scientist, a good quality relevant degree (such as science or medicine) is essential (read on).
There are a number of specific undergraduate and postgraduate programs in forensic science available in Australia and New Zealand. Information about these programs can be obtained from www.anzpaa.org.au (Hint: click on the tab ‘resources & links’ – then under ‘links’ click on ‘Academic Institutes’.)
REMEMBER, you don’t have to find a degree called ‘Forensic Science’ (although there is one readily available at Deakin University) but you can, for example (at the University of Melbourne) study aspects of forensics (including forensic science) through the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedicine or the Bachelor of Science.
- Within these degrees you can study chemistry, criminology, genetics, law, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and psychology.
If you want to pursue a specific career in a particular area of forensic science then you might need further, specialised study.
- For example, Melbourne University offers a Graduate Diploma of Forensic Odontology which trains students in the proper techniques required to examine and evaluate dental evidence in legal cases.
Depending on your interests, studies can lead you to a number of careers including:
- criminal investigator
- forensic scientist in specialist laboratories
- researcher at a university, biotechnology company, or for government departments/organisations.
The National Institute of Forensic Science is a great starting point for further information:
- www.nifs.com.au/home.html (and click on the link to download a brochure).
For other options in a frenetically, fantastic career in Forensics, try the Hobsons Guide, and see where your research leads you.
A big thank you to Melbourne Uni for some of the above information!