How to Get Into Forensics

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Do you love watching crime shows and figuring out mysteries? If you dream of having a job that mixes science and the law, then consider getting into forensics. In this guide about How to Get Into Forensics in the UK? we’ll show you the steps to start a satisfying career in the world of solving crimes and making sure justice is served.

No matter if you want to become a forensic scientist, a crime scene investigator, or a forensic psychologist, this article will open the door for you to explore these fulfilling careers in the United Kingdom.

Now, first thing first. There are many ways to get into it as the field is vast, and there are many branching paths in it.

Let’s start with a brief note of the very basics.

Close-up of Forensic Science Investigation

What is Forensic Science?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s figure out what forensic science is. Think of it like a puzzle where science and the law come together. Forensic scientists’ jobs demand the usage of scientific methods to solve crimes. If you’re a person who enjoys thinking logically, notices even the tiniest details, and wants to make a big difference in the world of justice, then forensics is just the thing for you.

blog-star Are you curious about forensic psychology and how it's used?

Study Plex offers a Forensic Psychology Diploma course where you can learn about it. You'll understand the basics of forensic psychology, explore its different areas, and gain skills to work in this field. Whether you're already in this career or want to specialise in it, this course can help you become a better forensic analyst.

Forensic scientists have an essential job in the legal system – they help solve crimes and bring criminals to justice.

So, what are the steps if you want to get into forensics?

 Close-up of truth concept arrangement at a crime scene

Steps on How to Get Into Forensics in the UK?

Instead of giving you a ton of information to digest, let’s break down the process into chunks.

The foundation for a successful career in forensics begins with a solid education. It’s crucial to focus on science-related subjects as you progress through your academic journey. The following steps are essential to prepare for a career in forensics:

Step 1: Pick Your Way

There are lots of options in the world of forensics. You could be a forensic scientist, a forensic psychologist, a criminal scene investigator, or even a forensic anthropologist. It’s up to you to choose the one that excites you the most.

Step 2: Ensure Basic Educational Foundations

Make sure that you have the basic educational qualifications to branch into forensics. As a prospective forensic scientist, it’s beneficial to start by obtaining relevant A-level qualifications.

Choose Relevant A-Level Qualifications

Subjects such as biology, mathematics, and chemistry provide an ideal starting point. These subjects will serve as the building blocks for your future in forensic science.

 Close-up of male crime investigator in coat collecting evidence at a crime scene on the construction site

Step 3: Pursue Higher Education

After establishing a strong educational foundation, you’ll need to advance to higher education. Most aspiring forensic scientists pursue a degree in forensic science, available in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Here’s how to proceed:

Select a Forensic Science Degree

Choosing the right educational path is important for anyone aspiring to become a forensic scientist. The most common and highly recommended route is enrolling in a forensic science degree program, which is available at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. These programs offer a holistic education in various forensic techniques, principles, and practices. They will design their programs to enable you to have the knowledge and skills to excel both in investigating a crime scene and meticulously analysing evidence in a laboratory.

Getting a job in this field is challenging, so it’s a good idea to pick a university program approved by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Requirements for Entry:
To get started, you typically need

  • 2 or 3 A levels or something equal to them, including chemistry.
  • If you’re considering postgraduate studies, you’ll need a degree in a related subject.

Continue Education While Working

You don’t have to stop learning once you start working in forensics. Some forensic science programs allow you to keep studying while gaining hands-on experience. This means you can use what you’re learning in real-life situations, which is super important for your future career. It’s like getting better at your job while you’re actually doing it. Pretty cool, right?

Requirements for Entry:
Normally, you’ll need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs with grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).
  • You’ll also need A levels, or something similar if you’re aiming for a higher or degree apprenticeship.

Stay Updated

Since forensic science is always changing, it’s important to keep up with the newest techniques and standards in the field. You should consider ongoing education to stay in the loop with these new developments. It’s like upgrading your skills to stay on top of your game.

Consider Pursuing a Master’s or PhD

Think about going for a Master’s or PhD if you want to become a real pro in forensics. These higher degrees let you focus on a specific area you’re passionate about, making you an expert. It’s like levelling up your skills and knowledge to stand out in the competitive world of forensics.

Close-up of a forensic scientist examining bullet casing

Step 4: Gain Practical Experience

Practical experience is an invaluable aspect of preparing for a career in forensic science. Given the competitive nature of this field, hands-on experience can give you a significant advantage. Here’s how you can gain practical experience:

Volunteer and Shadow

To get a deep dive into the world of forensics, consider volunteering with law enforcement agencies or shadowing experienced forensic scientists. These opportunities offer valuable insights into the day-to-day challenges and responsibilities of the profession.

Secure Placements

Look for opportunities to secure placements in hospitals, research centres, or organisations connected to forensic science. These hands-on experiences will equip you with the skills needed to handle real-world scenarios you’ll encounter throughout your career.

Step 5: Specialisation

Forensic science has many different areas to explore. Here’s how you can pick a specialisation that matches your interests and career goals:

Identify Your Passion

Think about what you love and what parts of forensic science really interest you. You can choose from many different areas like chemistry, biology, toxicology, or even forensic psychology.

Match Your Interests

Pick a specialisation that lines up with your career goals. For example, if you’re curious about the psychological side of crime, you can go for forensic psychology. Or if you’re more into examining physical evidence, you might want to specialise in things like studying blood spatter or investigating arson cases.

Step 6: Continuous Learning

Forensic science keeps changing, so it’s important to keep learning. Here’s how you can stay up-to-date:

Attend Conferences and Workshops

Join conferences, workshops, and seminars about forensic science. These events let you meet experts, find out about new technologies, and share ideas with others.

Pursue Further Education

If you want to be a real expert in your chosen field, think about getting an advanced degree like a Master’s or PhD. This extra education can lead to specialised jobs.

Forensics researcher photographing some items at a murder scene

Additional Skills and Knowledge

Let’s talk about the skills and knowledge you’ll need for this job:

  • Being very thorough and paying close attention to details.
  • Having patience and staying calm, even when things get stressful.
  • Being open to criticism and working well under pressure.
  • Thinking logically and clearly.
  • Knowing about public safety and security.
  • Being great at written communication.
  • Having the ability to work alone.
  • Understanding the law, including how courts work and government rules.
  • Being good with computers and common software.

Besides, the rise in cybercrime makes digital forensics more important for people wanting a job in this area. Technology-related crimes need experts to investigate and study digital evidence. Give our blog on digital forensics a thorough read to learn more about this topic.

Restrictions and Requirements
You’ll have to:

By following these steps, you can start an exciting career in forensic science, whether you aim to be a forensic scientist, a forensic psychologist, or another expert in this field. Keep in mind that it’s a path of learning, hands-on training, and constant development.

Becoming a forensic scientist or a professional in related fields like forensic research jobs, crime investigator jobs, forensic studies jobs, etc., takes commitment, education, and hands-on learning. Although it may be tough, the impact you can have on criminal justice and investigations make it all worth it.

Close-up of forensic Scientist examining hard drive with evidence

Different Kinds of Forensic Science Jobs

There are various jobs in forensic science positions, each with its own specific focus. Some common types of forensic science jobs are:

  • Crime Scene Investigator: These investigators gather and save evidence from crime scenes. They also document the scene and take pictures.
  • Forensic Scientist: Forensic scientists inspect evidence from crime scenes, like DNA, fingerprints, and ballistics. They use what they find to help solve crimes and identify criminals.
  • Forensic Pathologist: Forensic pathologists do autopsies on deceased people to figure out why and how they died. They may also collect evidence from the body and the scene to help solve crimes.
  • Forensic Toxicologist: Forensic toxicologists check bodily fluids and tissues for drugs, alcohol, and other poisons. They might also help figure out why someone died in cases where poisoning is suspected.
  • Forensic Psychologist: Forensic Psychology jobs demand the usage of psychology and criminal behaviour to solve crimes and help a forensic Psychologist understand the mental state of suspects.

Forensic Science Jobs Salary

Starting with Forensic Psychology. The salary of a beginner forensic psychologist revolves around £27,000 per year, while an experienced one can make up to £54,000 annually. On the other hand, a beginner forensic scientist is paid around £18,000 per year, while an experienced one can make up to £45,000 annually.


We hope you have your answer on how to get into forensics in the UK. Getting into forensics is like entering a world of finding things out, facing difficult tasks, and always striving for what’s right. Keep in mind that the field of forensics isn’t only about solving crimes. It’s also about making a big difference, often working in the background to make sure justice wins. If you build a strong educational base, stay dedicated, and keep learning, you can be like those who work tirelessly to uncover the truth and bring justice through the clues.


Is forensic science a good career?

Yes, forensic science is a very satisfying profession for those who enjoy paying attention to details and thinking logically. It lets you help seek justice by finding out what happened in crimes. There are different areas to specialise in, so you can keep growing professionally and feel proud of solving mysteries to help the community.

What A levels for forensic science are needed?

To pursue a career in forensic science, it’s a good idea to choose A-level subjects like biology, mathematics, and chemistry. These subjects give you a good base of scientific knowledge and abilities that are important in forensic science. They help you make sense of and handle the evidence found at crime scenes.

What is forensic science about?

Forensic science uses science to study evidence from crimes. It’s vital for solving crimes by looking at physical, biological, chemical, and psychological evidence. The results help in legal cases to make sure justice is done.

Is forensics a good career?

Yes, working in forensics can be a very rewarding job if you enjoy helping with the justice system and solving crimes. There are many specialities to choose from, so you can keep growing in your career and make a real difference. So, it’s not just about solving mysteries; they also contribute to a fair and just legal system.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.