Forensic science graduates are highly employable, both in the specialist arena of forensic investigation and in other associated areas requiring an enquiring, scientific and legal mind

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

It's essential that you gain some laboratory work experience, in order to prove you have the necessary skills, such as attention to detail and accuracy. Work experience is more likely to be found in a scientific or hospital laboratory than a forensic setting due to the sensitive nature of the work. Working for the police is another good option, for example, as a special constable, as this will provide you with a valuable insight into police work and the role of forensics.

Those graduates seeking to extend their laboratory experience may find internships from smaller employers that are initially voluntary but may lead to paid employment.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

The government outsources most of its forensic work, so job opportunities mainly arise in private companies.

Other major employers of forensic science graduates include police support departments and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), particularly the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Opportunities can often be found by exploring the strong links between academic departments and employers, so check with your university for potential contacts.

Find information on employers in science and pharmaceuticals, law enforcement and security and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying forensic science develops skills specific to laboratory work including:

  • attention to detail;
  • analytical and interpretative skills;
  • a methodical approach;
  • patience and concentration, as laboratory work can be routine and detailed.

Some skills are transferable, such as:

  • team work and working independently;
  • presentation skills, as you need to be an effective verbal and written communicator, e.g. court reports.

There are personal qualities that may be useful, such as a resilient outlook, as some work is upsetting or unpleasant. You could be asked to work unsocial hours, so a flexible approach is helpful.

Further study

Typical postgraduate study includes Masters in forensic science, molecular biology or fire investigation. Doctorate research could include drug, perfume or DNA analysis, or terrorism.

A relevant Masters degree or PhD can significantly improve your employment prospects as competition intensifies for jobs. However, it is worth considering that courses can be difficult to fund and demand a higher level of academic ability.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do forensic science graduates do?

Laboratory technician is the top job held by graduates employed in the UK six months after graduation.

DestinationPercentage
Employed70.5
Further study14.7
Working and studying4.0
Unemployed7.9
Other2.9
Graduate destinations for forensic science
Type of workPercentage
Technicians and other professionals23.1
Retail, catering and bar work20.7
Secretarial and numerical clerks7.5
Science professionals7.0
Other41.7
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.