Issue date: 15 March 2001

UWE is launching a new degree in Forensic Science which is the first of its kind in the South West. It aims to prepare graduates to work alongside the police and the law as professional forensic scientists.

Avon and Somerset police have welcomed the new degree which they say will provide added expertise in the fight against crime.

Avon and Somerset's Chief Constable, Steve Pilkington, who will attend the launch of the new degree said, "Forensic science is playing an increasingly important role in reducing crime and disorder in our local communities.

"Recent years have seen a dramatic expansion of the range of techniques which can be used to identify criminals and we are often able to reopen and solve old cases using these new methods.

"Avon and Somerset has made a significant investment in scientific investigation to take advantage of these technological advances and potential links with UWE and its new degree course in Forensic Science, will help keep the force in the forefront of the scientific fight against crime."

The award leader of the new degree, Dr Carolyn Morton, says, "Forensic Science is one of the most fascinating areas of applied science and recent developments particularly in the field of DNA analysis and the use of the national DNA database are very exciting. Many aspects of science are involved - chemical analysis was needed to prove the guilt of Dr Shipman - and so we are delighted to be able to offer this broad yet focussed degree programme to students wishing to pursue a career in this or related areas."

The new course will build on the Faculty of Applied Sciences' sixteen years of experience providing Forensic Science as an option for those taking law degrees at UWE. There are well-established links with the police and other forensic professionals as well as state of the art equipment in the Faculty.

The official launch of the new Forensic Science degree is on 24 March at 10.45am at the Frenchay Campus of UWE (visitors are welcome from 10.00am). This event, aimed at potential students, will include an exhibition and demonstration of crime-solving techniques such as fingerprinting and DNA analysis. The exhibition will also explain the chemical examination of fibres and how hidden messages are detected from indentations on paper.

There will also be guided tours of the Faculty of Applied Sciences facilities and information on careers in forensic science and related disciplines. Campus tours will be available between 11.00am and 1.00pm.


Editors Notes:

1. Photo Opportunity
The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, Steve Pilkington, UWE Vice-Chancellor Alfred Morris and Dr Carolyn Morton will be available for photographs with the scanning electron microscope in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at 10.30am (room OH14). Please contact the press office on the number below if you wish to attend this photo opportunity.

2. The new BSc (Hons) Forensic Science at UWE will have three main aspects based on biology, chemistry and general forensic science procedures and topics. The three-year course will include examination of various types of samples, consideration of crime scene examination, interpretation of findings and communication of results. Analysis of DNA, chemical substances such as ink, paint and drugs and comparison of fingerprints will be carried out in the excellent laboratories at UWE.

3. The new degree course will also contain a law module called 'Science in Court' which all students will take in their second year - it will be taught by Law Faculty staff and legal practitioners.

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers
Tel: 0117 3442208; fax: 0117 976 3912;
E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.uk or Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

If you would like to receive UWE press releases by e-mail please forward your e-mail address to Jayne.Andrews@uwe.ac.uk

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