A Forensic Science Experience
By uctzmsc, on 11 April 2016
What is forensic science? Many people would reply to that by saying something along the lines of “science as it pertains to the law”—and they are not wrong; but they are not giving the full definition of forensic science either. I was one of these people.
Before attending UCL for the Master’s degree in Crime and Forensic Science, I studied Medical Biochemistry. I went from studying the proteins and biochemical processes that make humans, humans…to a mixture of psychology, law and forensic science utilised in criminal investigations.
Getting used to this new way of thinking was the hardest aspect of this change in subject, and sometimes it still is. But it is worth it! Yes, it required that I had to catch up on a lot, from the basics to the content of the lectures (and beyond!), but I enjoyed doing it. I cannot complain about the reading; after all, it is a postgraduate degree and having no background in this area meant that I had to work twice as hard. Literally, forensic science (and food) was all I thought about. It had trapped me in an infinite loop of information—but so did proteins, so I knew I made the right choice in pursuing an additional dream!
Forensic science is a broad topic, and the CSI shows on TV only capture a small portion of what it actually entails. My advice is, if you want to go into forensic science and/or crime scene investigation, do not rely on the CSI shows to give an accurate depiction. Indeed, they are helpful as an introduction to forensic science—but just like the definition, the shows do not cover the whole arena. Undertaking a 12 month course on a given topic without a reality-check may leave you feeling disappointed; however, you get to learn about a lot of fun and unimaginable topics by pursuing a forensic science degree. I certainly did, and I am sure you can too!
Side-note: not all of those high-tech machines you see on TV exist…but there are some really awesome ones that do—refer to a previous post on https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/forensic-sciences/cfs-seminar-series-mike-ferguson-cast/.