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UCLan wins gold and silver in national forensic science competition

UCLan wins gold and silver in national forensic science competition Banner Image

Nia Davies-Sheldon (r) is presented with her gold medal by Special Olympic medallist Kiera Byland

Graduate and student win top two prizes at annual event

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has claimed the top two prizes at a national forensic science competition by winning gold and silver awards.

Recent forensic science and criminal investigation (FSCI) graduate Nia Davies-Sheldon won the top prize and current third year student Jessica Ramm was handed silver in the forensic science category at the annual WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals in Birmingham.

The competition is an annual event that attracts more than 80,000 visitors and aims to inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Through competition activity, the UK is able to share best practise in apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards across the nation.

At the event Nia and Jessica competed against six other finalists over two days, analysing a mock missing person crime scene followed by laboratory examinations.

The UCLan FSCI course gives a great number of external opportunities in addition to academic studies, with World Skills being one of them. I was very privileged to represent UCLan and to win gold.

Nia, 21, is now working as a crime scene investigator for Greater Manchester Police.  She said: “The UCLan FSCI course gives a great number of external opportunities in addition to academic studies, with World Skills being one of them. I was very privileged to represent UCLan and to win gold.  Having won the silver last year, I found it quite a challenge as I knew that I was competing for one goal and one goal only.  I didn't necessarily want to show a competitive streak, however with the thought of getting less than last year, I had to push myself.”

The UCLan students secured a place in the competition finals after scoring highly in the forensic science competition heats that took place earlier this year.

UCLan has a history of doing very well in this competition and this year is no exception. I am very proud of Nia and Jessica’s achievements and their success is testament to all of the hard work they’ve put in.

Kevin Pritchard, Course Leader of UCLan’s BSc in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, said: “UCLan has a history of doing very well in this competition and this year is no exception.  I am very proud of Nia and Jessica’s achievements and their success is testament to all of the hard work they’ve put in.

“The course team put a lot of effort into making sure our students have all the up-to-date skills ready to walk straight into industry and indeed our course is designed so that it exceeds the national occupational standards for careers as crime scene investigators.”

The Forensic Science Competition is managed by Complete Forensics C.I.C.

Lyndsey Boardman | 09 December 2016