Forensic science is the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during a criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure.

Forensic science may prove the existence of a crime, the perpetrator of a crime, or a connection to a crime through the:

  • Examination of physical evidence
  • Administration of tests
  • Interpretation of data
  • Clear and concise reporting
  • Truthful testimony of a forensic scientist

Forensic science has become an integral part of many criminal cases and convictions, with objective facts through scientific knowledge serving both defense and prosecution arguments. The testimony of forensic scientists has become a trusted component of many civil and criminal cases, as these professionals are concerned not with the outcome of the case; only with their objective testimony based purely on scientific facts.

Forensic scientists may be divided into three major groups:

  • Forensic Pathologists: These include medical examiners and other professionals who oversee autopsies and clinical forensic examinations
  • Forensic Scientists: These include forensic professionals working in law enforcement, government, or private forensic laboratories who are responsible for dealing with any number of specific tests and analyses, such as toxicology, ballistics, trace evidence, etc.
  • Associated Scientists: These include scientific professionals lending their knowledge to forensic science, such as forensic odontologists, forensic botanists, forensic anthropologists, etc. These scientists apply their knowledge to the forensic science field as to provide investigators with crucial information regarding everything from bite marks to insect infestation on the postmortem body.

Courses and Duration

Forensic science is not a branch or discipline of science, but it is a catch-all for various distinct branches. Various universities in India offer certificate, bachelor and master courses in Forensic Science.

Undergraduate Course (3 years):

  • B.Sc in Forensic Science

Postgraduate Courses (2 years) :

  • M.Sc in Forensic Science.
  • PG Diploma in Forensic Science

Doctoral Course (3 years):

  • Ph.D. in Forensic Science
  • M.Phill in Forensic Science

Below are some specializations in the field of forensic science:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Serology
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Ballistics
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Botany

Admission Procedure

Reputed institutes rely on the merit-based admission process. Such institutes make use of relevant entrance test to select deserving candidates.

Firstly candidates have to complete their 10+2 examination from science branch for admission into UG degree and after completing a bachelor degree i.e. B.Sc, they can apply for the master degree that is M.Sc in Forensic Science.

Admission to the course is based on the candidate’s performance at the 10+2 level. Institutes offering the course admit students based on whether they meet the minimum, set cut- off scores at the 10+2 level. A few institutes, however, shortlist students based on their performance in an additional entrance test conducted at their own level.

Below are some universities or institutions that offer the degree in forensic science:

  • Punjabi University
  • Bhim Rao Ambedkar University
  • Manipal University
  • University of Delhi
  • University of Lucknow
  • Gujarat Forensic Sciences University

Eligibility Criteria

  • The basic criterion of eligibility needed to be met for admission to the course is a Higher Secondary (10+2) or equivalent qualification from a recognized educational Board, with Physics, Chemistry and Biology and/ or Math as main subjects and a minimum aggregate score of 55 %.
  • Course Certification: Graduation in any discipline from recognized School, College, Institute or University. (Final year appeared students can also apply)
  • Advanced Diploma Course Certification: 10th (SSC) or 10+2 (HSC) or Diploma passed in any discipline from recognized Board/ School/ College. (Final year appeared students can also apply)
  • Postgraduate programs: Candidates must have completed relevant Bachelor’s Degree program in order to be considered eligible to pursue PG courses.
  • Doctoral Degree programs: Candidates must have completed a relevant Master’s Degree program in order to be considered eligible to pursue Doctoral Degree courses.

Examination

List of Criminology and Forensic Science Entrance exams

  • Banaras Hindu University M Sc Entrance Exam
  • Bundelkhand University M.Sc Entrance Exam
  • Common Entrance Test for Post Graduate Diploma Courses
  • Delhi University M.Sc Entrance Exam
  • Hari Singh Gour Vishwavidyalaya Post Graduate Entrance Test
  • Karnataka University MA in Criminology and Forensic Science Entrance Exam
  • National Law University‘s National Entrance Test
  • Osmania University M Sc Entrance Exam
  • Punjabi University M.Sc Criminology and Forensic Science Entrance Exam
  • University of Madras M.A Criminology Entrance Exam
  • University of Madras Ph.D. Entrance Exam

Examination Pattern

The entrance test for Criminology and Forensic Science may include multiple choice questions along with descriptive type questions. The topics covered under this entrance test includes :

  1. Criminology and correctional administration
  2. Forensic science and forensic prints and impressions
  3. Police administration and police science
  4. Forensic medicine and toxicology
  5. Forensic psychology and correctional psychology
  6. Research and statistical methods in criminology and forensic science
  7. Cybercrime and cyber forensics
  8. Victimology and human rights
  9. Criminal major acts
  10. Security and vigilance

Jobs & Career Opportunities

Due to the increase in crime rate and criminals, the scope of Forensic Science is increased exponentially. There are lots of job opportunities in the field of Forensic Science. The need for forensic scientists is huge all around the world, especially in India.

Some of the forensic scientists visit the crime scene to collect the evidence themselves and another one work in a forensic laboratory to perform analysis on objects.

Forensic scientists can be employed in the government sector. They work in different law enforcement agencies and investigation departments such as police, investigative services of state and central government and legal system. Some of the private agencies also employed those candidates who have some qualification in this field.

Below are some of the top designations in the field of forensic science:

  • Investigative officers
  • Legal counselors
  • Forensic Expert
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Teacher / Professor
  • Crime Reporter
  • Forensic Engineer
  • Law Consultant