Forget what you’ve seen on TV – this is forensics in real life. Learn how to recognise different types of sharp force injury, how to estimate the time of death and much more in the only course of its kind in WA.
- Part or full-time
(Student visa holders must study full-time)
- Part or full-time
- 3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Put your curiosity to work as you investigate crime from a scientific viewpoint. Our course is unique in WA as it focuses on biology and life sciences forensics as well as crime scene investigation and chemistry.
Industry terms such as forensic palynology (the use of pollen grains to connect a suspect to a crime scene), forensic anthropology (the identification of skeletal remains) and forensic entomology (the insects that decompose human remains) will become part of your professional vocabulary as you get hands-on training in these areas.
Learn how to recognise blunt and sharp force injuries and the weapons that cause them. Study the pathology of asphyxiation, electrocution, gunshot wounds and the injuries associated with fatal fires, be exposed to the techniques used for disaster victim identification and learn how to estimate time of death.
You’ll work in our labs learning witness imaging techniques, with hands-on training in facial approximation, using clay-based sculptures to ‘reconstruct’ facial features from a human skull.
You’ll also explore DNA sequencing and work on simulated crime scenes on and off campus collecting evidence and brushing and dusting fingerprints.
7 reasons to study Forensic Biology and Toxicology at Murdoch
- Work with international and local organisations on real projects as part of our work integrated learning program. In 2018, a group of our students travelled to Malaysia to take part in an elite forensic science program where they learnt from forensic investigators who worked on the MH17 case.
- Get hands-on experience as you apply DNA sequencing and other forensic techniques from the lab to simulated crime scenes on and off-campus.
- Study the latest analytical techniques for toxicology in our state-of-the-art laboratory, which is part of the Australian National Phenome Centre.
- Learn the latest real-world techniques and policies, with course input and guest lectures from forensic experts from PathWest, ChemCentre, WA Police, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Coroner’s Office.
- Build your network of contacts by becoming a member of professional bodies and associations through our industry connections.
- Learn from respected forensic practitioners who take a practical approach and are experts in their field.
- In your final year, you’ll build on everything you have learnt throughout your degree by investigating a murder case from examining the crime scene to presenting evidence in a court room.
What you’ll learn
- forensic science and miscarriages of justice
- crime scene investigation
- forensic DNA analysis
- forensic anatomy and anthropology
- forensic toxicology.
Customise your courseCustomise your course with a second major or combined degree. Adding a second major or combined degree enhances your career prospects and allows you to specialise in two areas of study. Here are some combinations we recommend:
- Biomedical Science
- Clinical Laboratory Science
- Genetics and Molecular Biology
- Criminology (Crime Science or Criminal Behaviour) + Forensic Biology and Toxicology
- Law + Science.
Your future career
With a degree in Forensic Biology and Toxicology, you could pursue a range of roles in Australia or overseas.
Careers could include:
- Crime Scene Officer
- Forensic Biologist
- Forensic Investigator
- Forensic Toxicologist
- Wildlife Forensics Officer.
If your dream is to become a Scene of Crime Officer or Forensic Investigator, you can progress your studies to apply for our Master of Forensic Science (Professional Practice) after completing this degree.
For further admission information about this course, please download our Information Pack.
- Perth Campus (some units external)
- Mid-year start available (Domestic students)
- Mid-year start available (International students)
Each course has a number of credit points that must be completed for you to graduate. Find out what’s required to meet the credit points for this course.
Entry requirements for
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 and to human cadavers.
Fees & Scholarships for Domestic StudentsInternational Students
At Murdoch, you pay for the individual units you enrol in, not an overall course fee. The total cost of your course will therefore vary depending on what units you choose. Use our online Course Fee Calculator to estimate the amount you will need to pay.
We understand you may need help financially whilst studying for your qualification. We therefore offer eligible students a wide range of scholarships, prizes and awards across a variety of categories. Find out what scholarships Murdoch has on offer, and whether you’re eligible to apply.
How to apply as a Domestic StudentInternational Student
Apply now to be eligible for a place at Murdoch University. To start studying in Semester 1, you can apply directly to Murdoch using our easy-to-use online application system.
Apply now to be eligible for a place at Murdoch University. To start studying in Semester 2, you can apply directly to Murdoch using our easy-to-use online application system.
Your Application Checklist
Your Document Checklist
Ready to apply? Before you start, make sure you have some or all of the following documentation ready for a quick application.