Celebrating ten years of forensic science at Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University is preparing to celebrate ten years of delivering forensic science degrees. Over the last decade the university has played a key role in the fight against crime by training students for vital careers in forensic science, the police, customs and excise, immigration and fraud investigation and cutting-edge research.

A series of guest speakers have been planned to mark the occasion, with talks on issues such as disaster victim identification, major crime investigation and arson investigation.

Forensic science has grown increasingly popular at Nottingham Trent University, with student numbers quadrupling from 25 to 100 a year since the first cohort started in 2002. Undergraduate courses in forensic science (physical) and forensic biology are also now available, along with a foundation degree in forensic science. A postgraduate degree in forensic science and technology launched this month.

Forensic science students - who are based at the Clifton campus within the university's School of Science and Technology - benefit from a range of excellent facilities and their study follows a crime-scene-to-court approach.

They learn about forensic chemistry and microbiology, microscopy, crime scene investigation, ballistics and firearms, drugs of abuse, criminalistics and the legal system. Other areas of study include field investigations and expedition science, photography and forensic image processing, forensic databases and biometrics and forensic archaeology and paleopathology.

Key to their studies is a 'crime scene house', which is used by forensic science students, Nottinghamshire Police and HM Revenue and Customs to recreate real-life crime scenes for training purposes. The facility, a former student house, is equipped with digital closed circuit television and audio systems, allowing training sessions to be monitored and recorded.

Each room in the house is fitted out with household props and furnishings, allowing for the recreation of realistic crime scenes, ranging from burglary to murder. The facility - opened in 2009 by the chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Julia Hodson - is used for training in methods of detection, recording and recovery of forensic evidence.

Forensic science, which can be studied at the university either three years full-time, or four years with a work placement, is accredited by the Forensic Science Society and recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

David Butler, the programme leader for forensic science at Nottingham Trent University, said: "We are delighted to reach this milestone. During the past ten years we have developed and delivered a range of high quality forensic degree programmes and established very good partnerships with the local police forces and a range of forensic laboratories across the UK and Europe.

"It is very rewarding to see that our graduates have gone on to develop successful careers for themselves as crime scene investigators, fingerprint experts and forensic scientists. We can now look forward to the next ten years and meeting the challenges of training the next generation of scientists who will work alongside police officers and legal experts in the criminal justice system."

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