This degree allows you to practice techniques to build forensic evidence records and oversee investigations from ‘crime scene to courtroom’.
Analytical chemistry techniques are used in a diverse range of industries – from medical, pharmaceutical and environmental analysis to cosmetics and food manufacture. Alongside molecular sciences, they are also used extensively during the investigation of criminal offences, in areas such as toxicology, fibre analysis fingerprints, questioned documents, the analysis of blood, DNA and fire/explosives residue.
Responding to the growing demand for analytical scientists both nationally and internationally, this exciting course recognises the multidisciplinary requirements of the modern analytical chemist and aims to produce graduates with the skills and knowledge needed by such employers. Our multimillion pound, state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories and a video linked ‘crime-scene’ house where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge industry techniques.
This is a varied, applied course, which focuses on the application of the basic science to real-life situations, such as the procedures of a forensic investigation from the collection of evidence right through to the trial.
Analytical measurements are now an essential component of 21st century life, required to identify and control the quality of a vast array of products and samples – from medicines, textiles, agricultural products and forensic samples, such as illicit drugs, right through to the air that we breathe and food that we eat.
Designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of modern analytical chemistry, our course helps prepare you for a career in contemporary science. Introducing some fundamental chemistry theory throughout the course, we start with simple concepts, such as the principles of bonding, reaction rates and preparation techniques, but rapidly advance to complex spectroscopy and separation theory. To help ensure you are ‘industry ready’ on graduation, we also cover important aspects like quality control, statistics and equipment/experimental validation techniques.
Why choose this course?
In laboratory sessions, we cover key experimental techniques and develop essential lab, data handling, reporting and broader scientific skills, such as literature researching, information technology, bioinformatics, data processing and the use of statistics. The course is underpinned with practical experience, enabling students to participate in ‘real-life’ simulated situations within our dedicated video-linked crime scene house or mock court room, for example. There is also the opportunity to become familiar with a wide range of other academic disciplines, including cell structures and function, biochemistry and genetics, which play a key role in the forensic arena.
You’ll be taught by our experienced staff, many of whom bring professional or research expertise to their teaching in the areas of toxicology, environmental analysis, pharmacology, biochemistry, genomic and molecular biology, as well as highly specialist areas such as footwear analysis and sensor design. They have held roles as quality assurance managers in major pharmaceuticals companies, such as GSK and British Biotech, as forensic scientists in the Forensic Science Service or as analytical scientists in government laboratories.
You will have the chance to conduct research alongside members of staff or the many professional organisations we have links with – such as Leicester Royal Infirmary, Key Forensic Services Ltd, Nemaura Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Nicholls Colton, West Midlands Police and Excilica, a chemistry company that was set up by Coventry University.
International experience opportunities
Our sandwich degree option allows a full year work placement, which can be taken abroad, or you can undertake a study year abroad. A number of students in our department have been successful in securing places to study in Spain, France, Canada and the US.
The course attracts many international students, particularly from Romania, Poland, Switzerland and the Middle East, providing a diverse learning experience. It is also used by a number of international law enforcement agencies to provide chemistry and forensic science training for trainee police ofﬁcers. The experiences that these students can provide are a valuable resource for the entire cohort.
OIL (Online International Learning) projects and field trips opportunities are available to all students in Level 1 and Level 2, in collaboration with Seville and VIC in Spain.
The applied nature of this course not only provides a stimulating academic experience, but also means that you have extensive opportunities to graduate as an all-round analytical chemist with a thorough training in the applications of forensic science.
This means you should be well-placed for employment in a variety of science areas including public services analysis, for example in air or water analysis laboratories, forensic science services, food manufacturers, beauty care and cosmetics companies, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
The skills of analytical chemists are also increasingly in demand for checking the quality of our food and water, protecting the environment and monitoring industrial materials and processes. You may also consider regulatory organisations such as the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), or the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.