Forensic Scientist (NSW/ACT)
Education and Training:
To become a forensic scientist you usually have to study forensic science or forensic chemistry at university (preferably at honours level), followed by a postgraduate qualification in forensic science. You may also consider degrees in other relevant areas, which may provide entry into various areas of forensic science. Relevant areas include biology, botany, chemistry, physics, dentistry or medicine. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology are normally required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.
While the following courses are related to this occupation, they may not necessarily lead directly to employment, nor provide the most direct pathway to the occupation. Courses which provide preliminary or informal training, as well as those which provide additional job skills following initial qualifications may also be listed.
*Course is offered by more than one institution. Click link for details.
- Bachelor of Applied Science - Forensic Studies
- Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science *
- Bachelor of Environmental Forensics
- Bachelor of Forensic Biology - Biomedical Science
- Bachelor of Forensic Science - Applied Chemistry
- Bachelor of Forensic Science - Crime Scene Examination
- Bachelor of Forensic Studies / Bachelor of Laws
- Bachelor of Justice Studies / Bachelor of Forensic Studies
- Bachelor of Science *
- Bachelor of Science - Advanced Science *
- Bachelor of Science - Forensic Science
- Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts *
- Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Business and Commerce
- Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of International Studies
- Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Laws *
- Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation
- Graduate Certificate in Forensic Mental Health
- Graduate Certificate in Forensic Studies - Forensic Science
- Graduate Diploma of Fire Investigation
- Graduate Diploma of Forensic Mental Health
- Master of Forensic Mental Health
- Master of Forensic Studies - Forensic Science
- Master of Psychology - Forensic
- Master of Science *
- Master of Science (Advanced)
The main employers of forensic scientists are state and federal government health departments and state, territory and federal police forces. The Australian Federal Police, through its Forensic and Data Centres Division in Canberra, employs forensic scientists in the disciplines of crime scene examination, fingerprint identification, firearms and ammunition identification, document examination, forensic biology and forensic chemistry.
Forensic science is a highly competitive industry. Some forensic scientists have had extensive experience specialising in a particular scientific field such as microbiology, chemistry or physics before moving into the forensic area.
For Further Information:
ANZPAA National Institute of Forensic Science Australia
Department of Forensic Medicine
NSW Police, Recruitment Branch
Information for other states and territories: