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Phd Personal Statement Examples Science Investigatory

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This degree is focused on introducing you to a wide range of scientific disciplines that are involved in the detection of criminal activity. You will gain an understanding and knowledge of key concepts, professional skills and forensic sciences. Due to recent advances in forensic science, particularly in the area of DNA analysis, the investigating powers of practising forensic scientists has greatly increased, making this a field of increasing important when solving crimes.

It covers a wide range of disciplines, most of which are based on chemistry and biology. The programme gives a balanced and intellectually challenging study of a full range of forensic applications, including crime scene investigation techniques, advanced microbiological and chemical analysis and specialist areas such as forensic anthropology and forensic entomology. 

The degree’s aim is to produce high calibre, versatile graduates who are able to analyse forensic evidence competently, and who can interpret and present evidence through both oral and written testimony in a court of law.

It is suitable for anyone wishing to pursue a career in forensic science or a related subject. A degree in this subject is particularly suited to careers in forensic science, scientific journalism, the pharmaceutical industry, environmental monitoring, laboratory-based employment and accident investigation. Possible future employers can be the emergency services, forensic science providers, government agencies, medical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, consultancies, local authorities and contract laboratories.

Forensic science degree course overview

Students will be exposed to cutting edge technology and methodology that is at the forefront of forensic science research and development. They will be given a thorough grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of forensic science, and learn skills which will give them the ability to carry out professional investigations and research.

Many courses give students the option to study a wide range of specialisms including DNA analysis, toxicology, bone and skeletal analysis. Indeed the subject as a whole can be studied alongside other disciplines such as criminology, computing or psychology.

You will be taught under the guidance of teaching staff who are, in many cases, professional forensic practitioners themselves. On the practical side you will gain invaluable lab and fieldwork experience, including mock crime scenes and disasters, utilising our field station and streetwise facilities.

The assessment methods can be examinations, written assignments, laboratory reports, presentations or a combination of these.

Upon graduation you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, the role of a forensic scientists within the system, and the application of science to law and its enforcement.
Typical course modules and areas of study on a forensic science degree 

  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Quantitative Methods in Science
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Introductory Biology
  • Applied Forensic Analysis
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Biology
  • Fire & Explosion Investigation
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Post-mortem Processes
  • Drugs and Toxicology
  • Separation science
  • DNA profiling
  • Population genetics
  • Law for forensic science
  • Marks and traces
  • Research methods
  • Incident investigation
  • Biological evidence
  • Case assessment and interpretation
  • Body Fluid Analysis
  • Forensic Analysis of Drugs and Poisons
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Forensic Science
  • Advanced Fire and Explosive Investigation

Students will learn about

  • Crime scene science
  • Toxicology
  • Chemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Forensic archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Genocide investigation
  • Trace evidence analysis
  • Court procedures
  • Planning
  • Time management
  • Fibre analysis
  • Chemical analysis
  • Human Psychology
  • Laboratory techniques
  • Fingerprinting

Students will learn how to

  • Examine crime scenes.
  • Assist law enforcement agencies to detect criminal activity.
  • Present scientific evidence in a court of law.
  • Carry out full-scale simulated crime scene investigations.
  • Investigate and analyse evidence.
  • Assess the credibility of your investigations.
  • Test and analyse tissue samples and substances of blood, bodily fluids, bones and plant and animal remains.
  • Use scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Use mathematics to solve problems.
  • Examine and compare materials such as fibres, paints, cosmetics, oils, plastics, glass, metals, soils and gunshot residues.
  • Present oral testimony in court.
  • Perform complex examination and analyses of evidence, including body fluids and body fluid stains, hair and any other items needing DNA or related analyses.
  • Provide objective expert advice on related issues.

Forensic science personal statement

Below is a forensic science personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing. 

Forensic science personal statement example

"I consider myself to be an honest, motivated, and responsible person who is able to keep information private. In any work I do I am thorough, methodical, accurate and careful, with an eye for detail. I feel I am a mentally stable individual who can handle pressure, unpleasant crime scenes and the stress of giving evidence in courtrooms.

I have always liked science, problem solving and a bit of intrigue, and think that a career in forensic science would be a good way of combining all of the these subjects. At school I enjoyed reading crime novels or watching popular detective series on TV, although I realise that they are exaggerated, I found that they always got me involved in the plot and eager to learn who did what to whom, and why.  

Another reason that I want to study this subject is that it’s graduates are highly employable individuals, who possess the knowledge and skills required for both subject-related employment, and also non subject-related employment in a wider range of other careers.

I am a mentally strong person with a calm personality, who is willing and able to work whenever and wherever crime occurs, indoors or outdoors, and who can cope with extreme cases like dead bodies and other messy situations.

I am already aware of the major aspects of the subject, its terminology and the principle techniques of forensic investigation as well as their application to different evidence types. I can quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns, and also identify and detect patterns. As an excellent observer I can come to conclusions quickly after undertaking creative, rigorous and relevant research using appropriate methodologies. I always pay close attention to detail, have excellent powers of observation and concentration, both of which help me considerably when figuring out problems mentally.

As this course requires students to work with a wide assortment of people, in situations that are often stressful, it is crucial that they have exceptional "people" skills. I have these and am also a good speaker and proficient writer.

At college I took a BTEC in Science, which included me to a lot of material related to the forensic side of things. The course was superb and the lecturers were brilliant, they made each lesson interesting and supported me all the way through it. Due to my time at college I now posses considerable knowledge of the main theoretical and practical skills of a forensic scientist, and I feel my time at college has fully prepared me for a degree course at university. 

During the summer vacation I worked as a junior laboratory assistant with a pharmaceutical company. I provided administrative and technical support for work in scientific research, and worked in a modern well equipped department carrying out a wide range of tasks which required good hand to eye coordination, attention to detail and manual dexterity. This valuable work experience has given me the ability to examine material evidence from a biological point of view, and to be able to present evidence and findings clearly to colleagues and superiors. 

Right now my ambition is to join a degree course that fulfils the growing demand for expertise in investigatory, enforcement and monitoring work.

I chose to apply to your university because of your reputation as leaders in teaching science and laboratory based skills in a vocational setting. I am impressed by your fully equipped analytical science laboratories, experienced and enthusiastic teaching team, and extensive learning support facilities, which all provide for a stimulating and enjoyable study environment. I strongly feel that my reliability, communication skills, responsibility and friendly nature are all valuable assets that I would bring to your course. In closing I hope you will look favourably on my application and I look forward to hearing from you."

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Writing the Personal Statement


This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.

Contributors:Jo Doran, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-03-07 02:18:40

The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:

1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:

This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.

2. The response to very specific questions:

Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.

Questions to ask yourself before you write:

  • What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
  • What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
  • When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
  • How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
  • If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
  • Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
  • What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
  • What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

General advice

Answer the questions that are asked

  • If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
  • Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.

Tell a story

  • Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.

Be specific

  • Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.

Find an angle

  • If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.

Concentrate on your opening paragraph

  • The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.

Tell what you know

  • The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.

Don't include some subjects

  • There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).

Do some research, if needed

  • If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.

Write well and correctly

  • Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.

Avoid clichés

  • A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.

For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast.