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Forensic Science

Summary

Forensic science, a crucial element of the modern day judicial system, applies scientific principles to crime investigation. Forensic scientists utilize modern technology and knowledge from a variety of disciplines to analyze crime scene data, and convert it into legally acceptable evidence. Forensic science is not limited to just crime scenes, but encompasses all aspects of the judicial system.

Career Opportunities in Forensic Science

  • Crime Scene Investigation
    Crime scene investigation deals with the collection and examination of evidence. Crime scene investigators work on issues such as collection of evidence, prevention of contamination, interpretation of evidence and possible reconstruction of the event.
  • Wildlife Forensic Specialist
    Wildlife forensic specialists are involved with crimes that involve animals, including the illegal distribution of animals and animal products.
  • Forensic Toxicologist
    Forensic toxicology is a field involving the identification and revelation of illegal drugs and poisons. Toxicologists work to interpret the toxicity levels of drugs and their effects on bodily functions.
  • Forensic Psychology/ Psychiatry
    Forensic psychiatrists and psychologists assess the mental state of an alleged perpetrator, to determine whether a person is mentally fit to stand trial. They may be called on in front of a court to evaluate the psychological profile of the perpetrator.
  • Forensic Linguist
    Forensic linguists work to identify the identity and nature of the speaker by analyzing the contents of written and oral communication. They also determine whether two communications are from the same person or not.
  • Forensic Pathology/ Medicine
    Forensic pathologists determine the time and cause of death in cases of suspected murders or suicide. This involves post mortem examinations of deaths reported to determine the cause and the manner of death. (i.e. sudden and unexpected deaths or deaths due to accident or injury, suicide or homicide)
  • Forensic Serology Experts
    Serology is a field concerned with the study of blood serum. Serologists analyze blood and blood groups, and other bodily fluids to conduct DNA fingerprinting and arrive at a conclusion.
  • Forensic Odontologist
    Odontology is a branch of dentistry dealing with the collection, assessment and evaluation of dental evidence. Odontologists identify bodies and skeletal remains through dental records, interpret bite marks, and reconstruct faces from skulls.

How to Pursue a Career in Forensic Science

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII in Science streamPursue graduation in any science-related field or B.Sc. Forensic Sciences for 3 yearsPursue M.Sc. Forensic Sciences for 2 yearsPursue Ph.D for 3-4 years
Path 2
Clear Class XII in Science streamPursue graduation in any science-related field or B.Sc. Forensic Sciences for 3 yearsPursue Post-Graduate Diploma in Forensic Sciences for 1-2 years-
Path 3
Clear Class XII in Science StreamPursue MBBS for 4 yearsPursue MD Forensic Medicine for 2 years-

Important Facts

  • Most college have an eligibility criteria of minimum 50% aggregate marks in Class XII with Science Stream.
  • B.Sc./ M.Sc. Forensic Science is available as a course only in select colleges, with specialization in different fields.
  • For MBBS and Forensic Medicine, it is mandatory to have PCB in XIIth.

Leading Institutes

Top Forensic Science Institutes in India
College Location Website
IFS Indian Education Department Pune www.ifs.edu.in/courses.html
Lady Hardinge Medical College New Delhi www.fmsc.ac.in/forensic.htm
All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi www.aiims.edu/aiims/departments/forensic/forensic.htm
Department of Forensic Sciences (Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University) Agra www.dbrau.ac.in
Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science (LNJN NICFS) New Delhi www.nicfs.nic.in
Institute of Forensic Science Mumbai www.ifscmumbai.com
Amity Institute of Forensic Sciences (Amity University) Noida www.amity.edu/aifs/default.asp
Centre for Cyber Forensics and Information Security (University of Madras) Chennai www.unom.ac.in/index.php?route=department/department/deptpage&deptid=80
Institute of Forensic Sciences (Gujarat Forensic Sciences University) Gandhi Nagar www.gfsu.edu.in
Department of Criminology and Forensic Science (Dr. Hari Singh Gour University) Madhya Pradesh www.dhsgsu.ac.in
Department of Digital and cyber (Government Institute of Forensic Science) Aurangabad www.gifsa.in/Cyber.html
Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS) Allahabad www.shuats.edu.in
St. Xavier's College (University of Mumbai) Mumbai www.xaviers.edu/main/index.php/diploma-certificate-courses/forensic-science-course/diploma-in-forensic-science-and-criminal-law
Institute of Forensic Science & Criminology(Panjab University) Chandigarh www.ifsc.puchd.ac.in/index.php
Top Forensic Science Institutes in the World
Institution Location Website
University of California-Davis United States www.ucdavis.edu
University of Oxford United Kingdom www.ox.ac.uk
University of Cambridge United Kingdom www.cam.ac.uk
University College London United Kingdom www.ucl.ac.uk
University of Florida United States www.ufl.edu
George Washington University United States www.gwu.edu
Michigan State University United States www.msu.edu
University of Amsterdam Netherlands www.uva.nl/home
National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore www.nus.edu.sg

Forensic Science Entrance Exams

Postgraduate
Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
AIIMS-PG June-July Questions from different brances of medicine www.aiimsexams.org/index.html
Lady Hardinge PG May Questions from different brances of medicine www.jeeadv.ac.in

Work Description

  • Analyze samples, such as hair, body fluids, glass, paint and drugs, in the laboratory
  • Apply innovative techniques such as gas and high performance liquid chromatography, scanning electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and genetic fingerprinting
  • Sift and sort evidence, often held in miniscule quantities
  • Attend to and examine scenes of crime
  • Record, find and collect trace evidences from scene of crimes or accidents
  • Present results of work in written form or by giving oral evidence
  • Defend findings under cross-examination in Courts of law
  • Liaise with team members as well as coordinate with outside agencies and offer expert advice
  • Liaise with police to establish forensic strategies, write detailed reports for courts

Pros & Cons of a Career in Forensic Science

Pros
  • Studying and investigating crime scenes can be an exciting nature of work.
  • The work is stimulating for those interested in forensics, crime and law.
  • The work holds utmost importance for upholding the judicial system of the country.
Cons
  • The work is inherently of stressful nature.
  • The work can often stretch to long hours, and the timings are flexible.
  • The work requires one to report from crime scene, which may not be suitable for some.
  • The seats and opportunities for this career are limited.
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