Forensic and Analytical Chemistry

It is science careers week this week in the science learning area, and I know that I have been talking about this particular course to both the Year 7’s and Year 11’s, so here is some information about it.  The course is run at Flinders University.  For further details check it out here.


Bachelor of Science (Forensic and Analytical Chemistry)

The Forensic and Analytical Chemistry specialisation is offered as part of the Bachelor of Science and requires three years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time). The specialisation is offered by the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Admission requirements

The minimum requirements for consideration for entry to all undergraduate courses are specified in detail in the University Entry Requirements.

Successful completion of SACE Stage 2 Chemistry or the equivalent is required for entry to the specialisation in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry.


This multidisciplinary program provides students with a broad-based foundation in both Chemistry and Biology and is complemented by aspects of Mathematics. This foundation is extended with extensive knowledge in the discipline of analytical chemistry. The program of studies provides the foundations that will underpin ongoing professional development and prepares graduates for further study or for a career in a forensic or analytical chemistry related field or in other areas where the range of skills and knowledge acquired is needed or desirable.

These studies also aim to develop a range of skills including the capacity to:

  • understand and apply chemical principles to solve problems, including those of a forensic or analytical nature
  • understand the role of molecular biology and mathematics in forensic and analytical chemistry and apply their knowledge to problems in this area
  • use laboratory glassware and instrumentation in both the chemical and biological setting
  • understand the mathematics and statistical concepts required for the analysis and interpretation of experimental data;
  • present information about forensic and analytical chemistry in a scientific manner, including communicating effectively with a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • retrieve, critically analyse and evaluate information relevant to forensic and analytical chemistry and apply this knowledge to solve problems or form hypotheses
  • appreciate the multidisciplinary aspect of the discipline of forensic and analytical chemistry and engage positively with people and ideas beyond the discipline
  • work independently and take responsibility for updating and adapting their knowledge and skills
  • appreciate the role of forensic and chemistry in society, the regulatory framework within which it operates and the ethical issues it raises
  • work respectfully, cooperatively and productively within a team.

Learning outcomes

Graduates are expected to be able to:

  • know and critically apply the theories, subject content, professional methodologies and research procedures relevant to the discipline of forensic and analytical chemistry
  • work independently in a chemistry or molecular biology laboratory using appropriate techniques and instrumentation
  • critically evaluate experimental data with the appropriate statistical methods
  • analyse and critically evaluate ideas/information/data and apply relevant scientific principles to solve problems by, for example, creating hypotheses, testing theories and predictions, designing and carrying out experiments and analysing reported data
  • design and carry our experiments using both established and novel chemistry techniques and protocols
  • communicate chemically based information to a variety of audiences in written and spoken form
  • appreciate the relationships and connections between forensic and analytical chemistry and other science and non-science disciplines
  • work and learn independently and appreciate the need for continuing professional development
  • work effectively within the regulatory framework surrounding chemistry, for example Occupational Health and Safety, ethics, data storage and Intellectual Property
  • understand the ethical issues in science with specific reference to legal and forensic issues
  • work productively as part of a team in order to achieve common goals.

Program of study

To qualify for the Bachelor of Science (Forensic and Analytical Chemistry) specialisation a student must complete 108 units, with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the Bachelor of Science program of study.  The program of study for the specialisation is detailed below:

Specialisation – Forensic and Analytical Chemistry – Year 1 topics

27 units comprising:

 BIOL1101  Evolution of Biological Diversity#  (4.5 units)
 BIOL1102  Molecular Basis of Life#  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1101  Chemistry 1A  (4.5 units)
 CHEM1102  Chemistry 1B  (4.5 units)
 FACH1701  Introduction to Forensic Science#  (4.5 units)
 STAT2700  Applied Statistics Laboratory#  (4.5 units)

#Cognate studies

Specialisation – Forensic and Analytical Chemistry – Year 2 topics

27 units comprising:

 BIOL2772  Molecular Biology  (4.5 units)
 CHEM2701  Chemical Reactivity  (4.5 units)
 CHEM2702  Organic Reactions  (4.5 units)
 CHEM2711  Spectroscopy and Data Analysis  (4.5 units)
 CHEM2712  Separation Science  (4.5 units)
 FACH2702  Chemical Analysis of Physical Evidence  (4.5 units)

Specialisation – Forensic and Analytical Chemistry – Year 3 topics

27 units comprising:

 BIOL3771  DNA to Genome  (4.5 units)
 BIOL3792  Forensic Biology  (4.5 units)
 CHEM3701  Applied Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry  (4.5 units)

plus three of: 

 CHEM3702  Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry  (4.5 units)
 CHEM3711  Organic Synthesis and Mechanism  (4.5 units)
 CHEM3712  Introduction to Polymer Science  (4.5 units)
 FACH3702  Drug Action, Metabolism, Toxicology and Analysis  (4.5 units)


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