College launches degree in forensics after science course interest surge
PUBLISHED: 13:44 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:44 20 December 2019
A new forensics degree has been launched at Suffolk New College in response to a rise in popularity of science courses.
Suffolk New College said the number of students on vocational science courses in Ipswich had gone from 15 to 90 in five years.
Because of the increase, the college has invested in new facilities, including a specific area for students to investigate mock crime scenes.
Students on existing further education pathways have represented the region in national skills competitions, with Melissa Abbott gaining a 'highly commended' recognition at the WorldSkills event in Birmingham in November.
A new BSc (Hons) forensic investigation degree, validated by University of Suffolk, will begin in September 2020.
The course will look at everything from working on a crime scene to presenting evidence in court.
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Harry Smy, who has appeared as an expert on BBC crime series Murder, Mystery and My Family, is the head of access to higher education at the college.
He said: "I've been working on setting up the degree for the last six years and it will be all about developing core science principles that can be applied within a forensic context.
"We've consulted with regional and national employers and academics to look at the types of skills shortages that are occurring, and we have a team in place that will have 60 years of collective experience.
"We will be inviting in experts throughout the programme for guest lectures, and our team will consist of a senior DNA analyst, two former police officers, a forensic consultant and myself.
"I can't want to see the first cohort start, and the ultimate pay off will be seeing our first group of students graduate.
"It's a competitive market but there are jobs out there - whether that is with private laboratories, forensics services or the Police. Our job is to equip our students with the skills they need to be able to compete for the best jobs when they leave us."
Edward Renton, 18, from Ipswich who is also looking at studying on the programme, said: "I want to study on this degree as it will be a great starting point to a wide range of careers in forensics."
For details about the degree, visit uos.ac.uk/courses/ug/bsc-hons-forensic-investigation.