Forensic science careers – scope, courses, institutes, jobs,

If you enjoy science and like to help solve crimes, a career in forensic science is just for you.

Forensic science is about the applying scientific knowledge to the investigation of a crime.

Forensic science careers

Before you go in to the details of requirement for forensic science careers, it is important that you have the following skillset for this field.

  • good hold on Science subjects (esp. biology and chemistry)
  • an enquiring (probing) mind
  • high degree of accuracy and attention to detailing in your nature of work
  • observation skills
  • patience
  • able to work under pressure for long hours and team spirit

These skill-set are the basic requirement for every aspiring forensic scientist.

What you do on the job
You would be using your knowledge of science to analyse the evidence found at a crime scene.

Analysis could be anything, from an object at the crime scene, to soil, blood stains, saliva, bodily fluids, bones, fingerprints, dna profiling, recovering data from computers, researching new techniques/technology etc.,

You generally work in a lab and the results you analyse are then used to help solve cases and catch criminals.

Courses for forensic science careers

After 12th courses

  • B.Sc Forensic Science
  • Diploma in Forensic Science and Criminology (diploma doesn’t need you to have a science background)
  • Diploma in Forensic Science and Law (science and arts background preferred)

Take the above courses if you are focused and determined to go for a career in forensic science.

  • B.Sc Regular (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Botony, Biochemistry and Microbiology)
    This is a safer option for students who are unsure whether to go in for forensic science and for students who wants to take up forensic science studies in their Masters degree.

It is not mandatory that you go for BSc Forensic Science after 12th, as taking it during Masters viz., M.Sc. Forensic Science is well and good. However, you need to complete your graduation in either chemistry or biology, or their specialised fields viz., zoology, botony, biochemistry, microbiology, or in B.Pharma, or dental science, or applied science.

  • MBBS is yet another course which can lead you to the forensic science field in your masters level

After graduation courses

  • M.Sc Forensic Science & Criminology

Post-graduation courses

  • MD Forensic Science (after MBBS)
  • PhD (Research in area of interest)

Institutes for graduation, post-graduation and research in forensic science

  • Anna University, Chennai
  • Bureau of Police Science and Research and Development
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh,
  • Central Forensic Laboratory, Kolkata
  • Department of Forensic Science, Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra
  • Department of Criminology and Forensic Science, Dr. Harisingh Gour Viswavidhyalayam, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
  • Dr. MGR University
  • Government Institute of Forensic Science, Aurangabad
  • Gujarat Forensic Sciences University
  • Institute of Forensic Science and Criminology, Bundelkhand
  • Karnataka University, Pavatenagar, Dharwad -580 003.
  • Loknayak Jaya Prakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science, New Delhi
  • Neutron Activation Analysis Unit of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai.
  • Osmania University,Hyderabad
  • The Forensic Sciences Department, Mylapore, Chennai
  • The University of Madras
  • Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science, New Delhi
  • University of Lucknow
  • University of Delhi

Job scene
A forensic scientist works in the following roles

  • a crime scene investigator
  • forensic pathologist
  • forensic anthropologists
  • forensic psychologists
  • forensic chemist
  • trace evidence analyst
  • expert analyst toxicologists
  • teacher

Forensic scientists mainly work in state and central government departments of criminal investigation and law enforcement.

The advantage of this is that you get a secured government job with the perks, while the downside is that government jobs have restrictions on age. Once you pass the eligible age for the job, it is very difficult to get through.

The other options are working with private detective agencies who work along with the government.

Attractive opportunities could be found in developed nations in Europe and the US where there is demand for specialists in forensic science.

Bureau of Police Research and Development provides fellowships for research studies in forensic science


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