Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and methodologies to facilitate the modern investigation of crimes. Forensic Science is basically a crime laboratory-based profession. It makes use of all faculties of science, such as chemistry, biology, physics, geology, psychology, social science, medicine, engineering, technology etc Professionals in this discipline apply their knowledge of science to analyze the evidence found at a crime scene.
Forensic Science Courses are challenging and interesting, especially for those who are curious and love adventure. A very less number of students opt for this particular field, so there is a shortage of experts in this field. Forensic Science students are trained to find, collect, record, and trace evidence from crime and accident scenes.
There is a lot of demand for highly qualified and trained Forensic Science experts all over the world due to high growth of crimes. Presently the common lifestyles have changed a lot due to the influence of developments in technology, popularization of smartphones, internet, social media, bank cards, digital business, online money transactions, etc. The same technologies and modern ways are also using in thefts and crimes. Hence cybercrimes are increased and obviously the demand for forensic experts.
Forensic science is used all around the world to protect public health, to enforce criminal laws, regulations and to resolve civil disputes.Various advancements in Forensic Science have made crime detection a much easier task as compared to a few decades ago. It is playing a major role in solving all sorts of cases and is also acting as a warning to crime as criminals now know that they will be caught eventually.
Forensic scientists analyse various evidence collected from the crime scene and use the latest and advanced techniques to convert these clues into evidence which are later produced in court for prosecutions of the criminals. The evidence may include traces of blood, saliva, body fluids, bones, hair, fingerprints, footwear and tyre impressions, explosives, weapons or firearms used, specimens of tissue for poisons, drugs, alcohol content in blood and urine, recovering data from computers or mobiles through researching and techniques, etc. The investigations includes data analysis and its verification, DNA profiling, detection of cause of death, fingerprint analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, arson and explosives analysis, accident re-construction, drugs and its identification, cyber security and crime analysis, etc
The objective of Forensic Courses is to promote advanced technological methods in investigation of different types of crimes, to facilitate effective and speedy justice through fast and precise cause of any criminal activity, and boost crime prevention in civil society that respects the rights, property of others and abhors violence, theft and exploitation of others. In India, quite a few numbers of colleges offer various courses on Forensic Science. It is always up to an individual to select a course according to their level of interest.
There are multiple courses available in Forensic at different levels and as follows:
UnderGraduate Courses: Course duration is three/ four years.
- BSc in Forensic Science
- BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science
BVoc in Forensic Science
- BTech in Computer Science or Information Technology (Cyber Security and Forensics/ Digital Forensic & Cyber Security): Duration for this course is four years
Post Graduate Courses: Course duration is two/ three years.
- MSc (Forensic Science/ with different specializations such as Criminology/ information Security/ Cyber Forensics/ Digital Forensics/ Multimedia Forensics/ Toxicology/ Odontology/ BioTechnology/ Environmental Forensics/ Forensic Chemistry/ Forensic Food Analysis/ Forensic Psychology, Neuropsychology, Nanotechnology) etc
- MTech Information Security & Cyber Forensics/ Civil with Forensic Structural Engineering
- MBA Forensic Science/ Forensic Accounting/ Cyber Security/ Homeland Security
- MPharm Forensic
- MD in Forensic Medicine & Toxicology: Duration for this course is three years
High level Courses: Course duration is two/three years.
- M Phil in Forensic Science
- PhD in Forensic Science
Post Graduate Diploma Courses: Course duration is one year
- Forensic Psychology, Forensic Toxicology
- Cyber Crime Investigations & Computer Forensics
- Criminology, Web And Mobile Security, Forensic Accounting
- Legal & Forensic Science, Humanitarian Forensics
- Forensic Document Examination, Forensic Toxicology
- Victimology & Victim Assistance, Digital & Cyber Law
Diploma Courses: Course duration is six months/one year/ two years
- Forensic Science & Criminology, Document Examination
- Fingerprint Examination, Forensic Science
- Certificate Courses: Course duration is three months/ one year
- Forensic Journalism, Anti-Corruption
- Forensics and Law, Crime Scene Photography
- Forensic & Medical Jurisprudence, Forensic Science
Syllabus of some courses
Forensic Science course syllabus is based on the curriculum followed by colleges/universities in India. The syllabus may slightly differ based on the universities. These courses are based on skill development with more practicals apart from theoretical knowledge.The subjects of some courses in Forensic Science includes:
BSc Forensic Science: This course is a foundation in forensic science along with other science subjects Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The study includes English, Introduction to Forensic Science, Behavioural Science, Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Behaviour, Law and Criminal Behaviour, Crime and Socio-Cultural and Psychological Factors, Forensic Maths, Economics, Biometry, Blood Analysis, Blood Pattern Analysis, Species Identification and Grouping, Introduction to Toxicology, Spectrophotometry, Computer Forensics etc.
BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences course is to teach in a more subject-oriented way, thoroughly imparting knowledge in one of specialization major subject like Forensic Pathology, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Chemistry, Digital Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Dactyloscopy, Dissertation etc
MSc Forensic Sciences: The subjects will vary according to the specialization in this course. The course includes Detecting Crimes with different Investigative Techniques, Forensic Biology, Forensic Physics, Forensic Serology, Forensic Chemistry, Questioned Documents, DNA Technologies, Forensic Photography, Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Pharmacology, Forensic Ballistics, Fingerprints and Impressions, Dissertation etc
Diploma in Fingerprint Examination: The course includes Introduction to Science of Fingerprint, Fingerprint Development Techniques, Fingerprint Record and Taking, Identification and Comparison of Fingerprints, Computer Aided Techniques, Analysis of Fingerprints etc.
Post Graduate Diploma Course in Forensic Sciences and Criminology: The subjects will differ according to the nature of course. Some subjects are General Forensic Science, Crime Law, Criminology, Fingerprint Science, Forensic Toxicology, Drug of Abuse, Documents, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Computer Forensics, Forensic Audio and Video Analysis, Case File Projects, Advanced DNA Methods etc
MD Forensic Medicine and Toxicology: This course included are Forensic Medicine, Forensic Toxicology, Autopsy Case, Procedure, Injury Case, Sexual Offence Case, Interpretations, Observations, Making of Report, Age Determination Case, Spots, Poisons, Weapons, Slides, Bones, X-ray films etc
MBA Forensic: This profession needs specialized skills like fraud investigations, valuations, assisting in dispute resolution, preparing expert reports, and conducting fraud and forensic analysis. The subjects will vary according to the specialization and include Principles of Management, Organizational Behaviour, Business Communication, Management Economics, Management Information System, Financial Accounting & Auditing, Forensic Science and Law, Quantitative Technique, Risk Management, Document Examinations, Investigative Strategies, Fraud Investigation, Forensic Accountants, Digital Forensic Analysis and Legal Aspects, Cyber Security, Cyber Law, Entrepreneurship, Dissertation etc
BTech Computer Science (Cyber Security and Forensics/ Digital Forensic & Cyber Security):
It includes IT Systems Security, Database Management System, Operating Systems, Data Structures & Algorithms, Computer Networks, Software Engineering, IT Application and Data Security, IT Network Security, Information Security Audit, Cloud Architecture, Digital Forensics, Cyber Security, etc
MPharm Forensic: it includes Drug discovery & advance pharmacological technique, Systemic Pharmacology and Toxicology, Regulatory control and clinical research, Intellectual Property Rights, Federal Regulations of Drugs, Forensic Science etc
MTech Civil with Forensic Structural Engineering: The course includes Forensic Science and Law, Finite Element Analysis, Advanced Methods of Structural Analysis, Advanced Designs of Structures, Structural Design Studio, Evaluation, Repair & Rehabilitation of Structures, Construction Failures, Prevention and Resolution of Construction Disputes, Earthquake Engineering, Forensic Structural Engineering, Safety Engineering etc
MTech Information Security & Cyber Forensics: The course includes Data Structure, Digital Computer Organization, Software Engineering, Database Management Systems, Operating System & Unix, Data Communication & Networks, Introduction to Information Security, Cryptology, Cyber Forensics, Secure Software Engineering, Technical Foundations for E-Commerce, Information Security Risk Analysis, Information Security Assurance & Audit, Digital Forensics, Mobile & Wireless Security, Digital Cyber Crimes & Cyber Criminology, etc
The skills and aptitudes required for a forensic science career include the following.
- Ability to work along with team
- An intrusive nature
- High observation: A keen eye for detail
- Logical Thinking
- Practical and Methodical approach
- Research skills: Well read about the latest techniques in the world
- Scientific Analysis
- Strong Analytical skills
It is required for a science background to pursue a course in forensic science. Basic requirements for admission such as aggregate marks, eligibility etc will vary according to institutes/ universities. The eligibility required for different levels of courses are as mentioned below.
BSc/ BSc (Hons)/ BVoc in Forensic Science: The basic eligibility for pursuing this course is that the students have completed their 10+2 science stream with biology as one of subjects and adequate marks from a recognized board. The admissions are either based on merit or through entrance examinations.
Bsc Forensic will teach foundation knowledge of forensic science along with other science subjects. But BSc (Hons) will teach in a more subject-oriented way, thorough knowledge in one subject with specialization in any one of the major subject.
BVoc (Bachelor of Vocation) is providing adequate skills required for a particular trade to candidates. The course is different from traditional academic programmes as it deals more with application-based studies rather than focusing on only theoretical knowledge. One of the biggest advantages of pursuing BVoc against common degree courses is that a candidate has multiple exit points during the programme and continued industry exposure.This means that if a candidate is unable to complete his/ her BVoc course, s/he has is still awarded a diploma after successful completion of first year or advanced diploma after successful completion of second year. Apart from this, the work experience candidates gain during the course increases their chances of getting a job.
BTech in Computer Science and Engineering/ Information Technology (Cyber Security and Forensics/ Digital Forensic & Cyber Security): It is an engineering course and the eligibility is 10+2 with physics, chemistry and maths subjects. The admissions are based on entrance examinations.
MSc Forensic Science/ with different specializations such as (Criminology/ information Security/ Cyber Forensics/ Digital Forensics/ Multimedia Forensics/ Toxicology/ Odontology/ BioTechnology/ Environmental Forensics/ Forensic Chemistry/ Forensic Food Analysis/ Forensic Psychology, Neuropsychology, Nanotechnology) etc: The candidates should complete B.Sc. preferably with Forensic Science, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Psychology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics, Computer Science, IT, Maths, Applied Science, B.Pharm, BDS, MBBS, BTech in relevant subjects, BCA with at least 60% marks or equivalent grades of this University or equivalent or recognized. Eligibility may vary according to the universities.
MD in Forensic Medicine & Toxicology: Eligibility is MBBS
MTech (Information Security & Cyber Forensics/ Civil with Forensic Structural Engineering): Eligibility is BE/ BTech in relevant subjects
MBA (Forensic Science/ Forensic Accounting/ Cyber Security): Eligibility is a graduate in any descipline.
MPharm Forensic: Eligibility is BPharm.
M Phil in Forensic Science : Eligibility is Post Graduation degree in the same field.
PhD in Forensic Science: Eligibility is Post Graduation degree in the field.
Post Graduate Diploma Courses: Eligibility is graduation in relevant subjects
Diploma Courses: Eligibility is 10+2
Eligibility is 10+2 or Degree depending on the course.
Forensic science is a vast subject and influenced by the development of technologies. Forensic Experts are with different job natures according to the specialization in relevant fields.
Dactyloscopy: It is the scientific study of fingerprints, involves the identification of fingerprints and their ability to categorically link suspects to or exclude suspects from a crime scene.
Forensic Entomology: It deals with the application of the study of insects and other arthropods to legal issues.
Forensic Linguistics: It deals with the content of written or oral communication to identify who is speaking and indicate the speaker’s intent, and can determine whether two communications are from the same person.
Forensic Serology: It covers the study of blood groups, blood, and other bodily fluids for identification purposes following a crime. It also carries out DNA fingerprinting, which offers the possibility of positive identification of an individual from samples of blood or semen.
Forensic Pathology: It deals with the time and cause of death in cases of suspected murder or suicide.
Forensic Anthropology: It deals with the study of human skeletal anatomy to assist in the identification of skeletal remains.
Forensic Psychology: It deals with the mental aspects of an alleged crime.
Forensic Dentistry (Odontology): It involves the collection, evaluation and proper handling of dental evidence in order to assist law enforcement officers and in civil & criminal proceedings.
Forensic Engineering: It deals with traffic accidents, fire investigations, and a variety of wrongful injury cases. It involves failure analysis, accident reconstruction, causes and origins of fires or explosions, quality evaluation of construction or manufacturing etc.
Forensic Geology: It deals with geographical aspects of a crime or accident where the suspect or victim walked by examining soil samples taken from their shoes or feet.
Forensic Chemistry: It deals with the detection and identification of illicit drugs, accelerants used in arson cases, explosive and gunshot residues, trace evidence, including paint, glass, polymers and fibres.
Ballistics: It deals with the study of the flight paths of projectiles, related firearms, and determination of the angle and distance a gun was fired from to hit a specific target.
Forensic Pharmacy: It involves drug research with criminal justice and legal practice. It will test side effects of a drug or may perform research to determine the effect that a drug had in a person’s death.
Toxicology: It deals with the detection and identification of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs and poisons, interpreting toxicity levels and the effects on the functions of the body.
Crime Scene Investigation: It deals with scene investigation which involves issues such as security, prevention of contamination, locating and collecting relevant items of evidence, interpretation of evidence and possible reconstruction of the event such as accidents, fire in a multi-storey building, city bombing etc
Clinical Forensic Medicine: It deals with clinical forensic medicine to examine victims of crime and suspects who may have sustained an injury while allegedly committing a crime.
Cytology: It deals with bullets and its effects on the human body to determine which part of the body a bullet went through by the tissue which is left on the bullet.
Forensic Botany: It deals with plants and plant parts including pollen, seeds, leaves, flowers, fruits and wood in the investigation of criminal/ non criminal cases, legal questions, disputes, etc
Forensic Accounting: It covers forensic ways of accounting concepts, tools, techniques, analyze business needs and make decisions on the basis of the accounting information.
Digital Forensics: It involves the investigation of computer-related crimes with a variety of computer forensics tools.
Forensic photography: It deals with crime scene photographs usually have a very specific purpose for capturing each image that records the initial appearance of the crime scene and physical evidence, in order to provide a permanent record for the courts.
Document Examination: It deals with forensic document examination including analysis, comparison, and evaluation of handwriting.
Mobile Device Forensics:
It deals evidence is located on a smartphone, to recover deleted data from a mobile device, decode evidence stored in third-party applications, detect, decompile, analyze mobile malware and spyware, etc
Admission to BSc/ BSc (Hons)/ BVoc in Forensic Science are based on merit in most colleges. But some institutes are admitting through entrance examinations. Some Entrance Exams are :
- Jain Entrance Test JET, Banglore
- Amity JEE
BTech related Forensic Science admission is based on the score JEE Main or SAT score, State/ Institution Entrance
MSc in Forensic Science admissions are based on merit in most colleges/universities. But some institutes are selecting based on entrance examinations. Some Entrance Exams are:
- Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, UP
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, GandhiNagar
MD in Forensic Science admission is based on score NEET-PG
MTech admissions are based on the score GATE or individual entrance exam from the institute
MBA is Forensic Science or related admission is based on the scores of different Management Aptitude Tests like CAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP, TISSNET, IBSAT, CMAT etc or individual entrance exam form the institute.
MPhil/ Phd in Forensic or related courses admissions are based on Entrance Tests.
MPharm/ Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic or related subjects are either on merit basis or through entrance examinations.Diploma and Certificate courses are admitted mostly based on merit basis.
Compared to growth in crime rate and criminals in all around the world, there is a huge gap for efficient forensic experts. Hence the demand for Forensic Experts is high. There are multiple fields of expertise in Forensic Science and candidates can join in as any of the following designations according to their field of expertise.
- Crime Reporter
- Crime Scene Investigator
- Cyber Crime Expert
- Forensic Accountant
- Forensic Anthropologists
- Forensic Artists & Sculptors
- Forensic Chemist.
- Forensic Engineer
- Forensic Expert
- Forensic Geologists
- Forensic Lab Assistants
- Forensic Pathologists
- Forensic Photographer
- Forensic Scientist
- Freelance Forensic
- Handwriting Expert
- Investigative officers
- Legal counselors
- Teacher / Professor
Forensic Science is a unique and attractive field, which if followed in the right direction can shape up a good career path for a student both financially and professionally. There are lots of job opportunities in the field of Forensic Science under both government and private agencies. Candidates can explore the career in Forensic Science in the USA and other developed countries. Followings are some of the firms where jobs for forensic science experts are available:
- Central Bureau of Investigation
- Commercial Tax Department
- Crime Branch
- Educational Institutes.
- Fire Department.
- Forensic Laboratories.
- Forensic Research Firms.
- Hospitals and Clinics.
- Income Tax Department
- Insurance Firms
- Intelligence Bureau
- Investigating Agencies.
- Law Enforcement Agencies.
- Military Department.
- Police Department.
- Private Detectives
Following are some of the Top Institutes in India for studying Forensic Science.
Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, Delhi, Established in 1972 by the Bureau of Police Research and development, this is one of the pioneer institutes for the studies of Forensic Sciences in India. This institute is offering MSC & Post graduate Diploma courses.
Institute of Forensic Science, Mumbai, is offering courses from Undergraduate B.Sc in Forensic Science to Masters and PostGraduate Diploma
IFS Pune has got recognition from various institutes like the Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and in addition, being registered with the Dun and Bradstreet, US Federal go.vernment. The courses are provided online with the option of short duration and long term through online.
Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar, is a part of the Central University of Madhya Pradesh offers Forensic courses in Postgraduate and Doctoral degrees.
Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, UP offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in Forensic sciences.
Osmania University, Hyderabad offers Masters and Doctoral courses only.
Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar is the first University of India, which is completely dedicated to the study of Forensic Science. Students can opt for a Master’s or Doctoral degree here or can also avail of the facility of E-learning with short term courses.
Apart from above institutes/ universities, there are other universities like Chandigarh University, Amity University, University of Madras, etc. It is recommended prior to take admission, go through the website, talk to faculty and past students for the complete details on the course.
Questions & Answers
Q) What is Forensic Science?
A) Forensic Science is the application of scientific principles and methodologies to facilitate the modern investigation of crimes.
Q) What is the scope of Forensic Science?
A) The demand is high for highly qualified and trained Forensic Science experts all over the world due to high growth of crimes.
Q) What is the difference between BSc and BSC (Hons) courses of Forensic Science?
A) Bsc Forensic will teach foundation knowledge of forensic science along with other science subjects. But BSc (Hons) will teach in a more subject-oriented way, thoroughly imparting knowledge in one subject with specialization in any one of the major subject.
Q) What is BVoc course of Forensic Science?
A) BVoc (Bachelor of Vocation) is providing adequate skills required for Forensic Science to candidates. The course is different from traditional academic programmes as it deals more with application-based studies rather than focusing on only theoretical knowledge.
Q) Which are the major subjects taught in BSc Forensic Science?
A) Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Psychology, Cyber Forensics and Law are some of the major subjects.
Q) What are the major specializations in BSc (Hons) Forensic Science?
A) Specializations like Forensic Pathology, Psychiatry, Psychology, Toxicology, Biology, etc.
Q) What’s the difference between Forensic Science and Forensic Medicine?
A) Forensic Science is science consisting of Toxicology, Serology, Ballistics to Psychology, Forensic Medicine is a branch which deals in civil or criminal legal cases (investigation). Forensic Medicine is also known as Forensic Pathology.
Q) What’s A Forensic Scientist?
A) Forensic scientists analyse various evidence collected from the crime scene and use the latest and advanced techniques to convert these clues into evidence which are later produced in court for prosecutions of the criminals.
Q) What is the course fee for BSc Forensic Science?
A) It will vary according to the institutions. The fees will be low in government institutes compared to private institutes. Average Fee for the course is 6000 to 2.5 lakh.
Q) What is the average salary for jobs based on BSc Forensic Science?
A) It will vary according to the governments and private organisations. Average remuneration per year is 2 lakh to 5 lakh.