Type of institution: University/Higher Education Institution
This is the only course of its kind in WA. You'll learn a range of forensic disciplines, including how to recognise blunt and sharp force injuries and the weapons that cause them. You'll study the pathology of asphyxiation, electrocution, gunshot wounds and the injuries associated with fatal fires, learn about forensic entomology (the insects that decompose human remains), be exposed to the techniques used for disaster victim identification and learn how to estimate time of death. You'll receive practical training in forensic palynology (the use of pollen grains to connect a suspect to a crime scene) and forensic anthropology (the identification of skeletal remains). You'll also learn witness imaging techniques, with hands-on training in facial approximation, using clay-based sculptures to reconstruct facial features from a human skull. In your final year, you'll build on everything you have learnt throughout your degree by investigating a murder case from crime scene to court room. Forensic practitioners from PathWest, the Chemistry Centre and the Forensic Division of WA Police all contribute to the Forensic Biology and Toxicology course. Legal practitioners from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and from the Coroner's Office also provide input so this course stays up-to-date with the latest real-world techniques and policies.
You can combine this course with Molecular Biology, Biomedical Science, Clinical Laboratory Science or Chemistry to create a unique double major and expand your career prospects. Or combine your degree with a Bachelor of Criminology to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Biology and Toxicology and a Bachelor of Criminology in just four years.
- Forensic biology and toxicology
Standard entry requirements
- Year 12 or equivalent
- Selection via ATAR
- Or mature age entry via STAT
- Or TAFE Certificate IV or higher
- English language competency
Students who complete the double major in Forensic Biology and Toxicology and Chemistry are eligible for membership of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).
An Honours year is available for suitable applicants.
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Students undertaking units in Forensic Biology and Toxicology will not be required to kill any vertebrate animal but they will be required to work with fresh tissues from dead animals in certain units. Students will also be exposed to graphic images of homicidal injuries.