BSC (HONS) FORENSIC SCIENCE AND CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION (2014)
A love of popular TV show ‘CSI’ inspired Laura Bailey to pursue a career in the Forensics Industry. Since graduating from UCLan in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, she has secured a job as a Forensics Submissions Offer for Thames Valley Police.
During her time at University, Laura took full advantage of all opportunities that came her way in order to boost her employability. In her second year, her interest in all areas of the subject grew and she voluntarily undertook an additional module in Forensic Entomology and competed in the WorldSkills UK Forensic Science completion run by Complete Forensics where she won the Gold Medal. She continues to volunteer for Complete Forensics, acting as a judge in the 2014 and 2015 competitions.
Laura also participated in the University’s Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) and completed a summer internship in collaboration with the School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences and the Grenfell Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment examining the attraction of synanthropic diptera to domestic food waste. She cumulated her research into a report for Preston City Council and presented her findings at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held at the University of Kentucky in America.
Towards the end of her final year, Laura was selected as of one of 16 successful applicants from a worldwide application to complete an internship in Forensic Anthropology at the Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s Office, organised by the St Mary’s University in Canada. She elected to delay her exam period and graduate late in December in order to take part. The two week placement was a mixture of lectures and practical sessions within the Bone Lab and Mortuary, watching both routine and forensic post mortems. Alongside this, she was required to complete a variety of assignments including a journal, field report and 20 minute presentation and was awarded an A+ for all of her hard work.
Over summer 2014 she volunteered with the Greater Manchester Police for three months within the Forensics Department and upon graduating returned to begin her first job in a temporary role as a Forensic Intelligence Assistant.
In her current role as a Forensic Submissions Officer for Thames Valley Police, Laura is responsible for sending the authorisation of exhibits for testing to external laboratories for the entire county of Oxfordshire.
Laura explained: “This involves controlling and managing part of the Thames Valley Police Forensic Budget to ensure that only exhibits which will provide value to a criminal investigation or provide a new line of enquiry are examined. Once results have been obtained, I am then responsible for the dissemination of these results to those investigating the crime. In addition to this, where DNA hits are produced by the National DNA Database, I am responsible for reporting these hits to the Officer in Charge and conducting elimination and legality checks to ensure that the DNA hit can legally be reported under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.”
Reflecting on her time at UCLan Laura said: “The most influential aspect about UCLan is being taught by professionals, lecturers who have been Crime Scene Investigators and who have been involved in Major Incident Investigations. This wealth of knowledge provides a strong academic structure where I personally felt I had learnt far more than I would have had I been learning from a textbook or from research alone.”
TOP TIP FOR UNDERGRADUATES: “Your interest and drive are key factors. If you lose interest in your degree, you won’t want to be employed within that sector, so focus upon what you want to do. Do not be put off if people say no, keep asking for opportunities and make chances so that you have both a degree and experience – that is what employers look for.”