Forensic science combines science and the law. The number of graduates in this area has grown rapidly in recent years and there is strong competition for jobs…

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

Any laboratory work experience is essential so you can prove you have 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.

Work experience within the police, for example as a special constable, provides 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

Following the closure of the government-owned Forensic Science Service (FSS) in March 2012, graduates now need to look for jobs with private companies that deliver forensic services.

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:

  • teamwork 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?

One in ten graduates employed in the UK are working as laboratory technicians.

Around 16% of forensic science graduates are carrying out further study either full time or part time while working.

DestinationPercentage
Employed72.6
Further study10.4
Working and studying5.2
Unemployed8
Other3.8
Graduate destinations for forensic science
Type of workPercentage
Technicians and other professionals24.9
Retail, catering and bar work24
Secretarial and numerical clerks11.6
Science5.2
Other34.3
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.