Forensic learning outside the classroom
Third year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation student
Studying at University isn’t all about being in the classroom and attending lectures. It’s about taking it upon yourself to get out into the real world and put your skills into practice. This is the attitude taken by 3rd year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation student Kristina Mavrangelidou.
Kristina has been working on a project with Lancashire Constabulary after she was given the opportunity by her lecturers at UCLan as part of a new partnership arrangement – the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.
“To any current or future students, I would recommend taking every opportunity there is as they will definitely benefit in every way,” said Kristina, who admits her time at the Constabulary is one of the most valuable experiences she has had.
“I spent approximately a month conducting my research at the Lancashire Constabulary and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned a lot during that time and have benefited enormously.
“In my opinion these kind of opportunities are extremely beneficial as students have the opportunity to experience a research environment with the supervision of experienced practitioners who can guide the students and provide useful advice and support where required.”
Kristina is currently writing her dissertation and has been able to use her experience at the Constabulary to gain crucial information that can further her studies.
Her dissertation is based on the use of a substances to make it easier to establish fingerprints within samples of blood as well as establishing clear footprints.
Throughout her degree and the process of completing her degree, Kristina says that the help she has received at UCLan has been second-to-none.
“My dissertation is focused on validating an enhancement method which uses a chemical called Amido Black. Amido black reacts with proteins in blood, therefore it is commonly used by practitioners at the crime scene as well as in the laboratory to enhance footwear or fingerprints impressions in blood. My project validated the use of that chemical and analysed its limits when used in diluted blood.
“My supervisor was very supportive when I first started to think about my dissertation topic. As I wanted to do a research based forensic dissertation, primarily focused on footwear, she proposed to conduct my dissertation in collaboration with the Lancashire Constabulary as part of the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.
“The highlight of my course is the support and the experience of our lecturers. They are always trying to provide us with the best experience in order to educate and give us as much knowledge as possible in order to be qualified in any future related work we might apply for after graduation. We have been to Wales for leadership and team working skills enhancement, there was a trip organised to Arizona and New Haven in different universities for a plethora of courses.”
Taking into consideration both her time studying for a degree, as well as actively becoming involved within the forensic industry, Kristina said that she would recommend studying FSCI at UCLan to anyone and everyone. She also offered words of advice for students who take on extra work alongside their degree.
“I think that you should definitely study this course. It will give you unbelievable experience and you will get amazing support from your lecturers which is very important. People at UCLan are very empathetic, welcoming and kind, which is exactly what you are looking for when coming into university.
“UCLan was the only university that combined the course of forensics and criminal investigation. I both loved spending time in the lab and investigating cases. Also, Preston was a small city for a student and I felt safe coming here.
“I am a hustler and I get very easily bored if I am not in work mode. Therefore, I did take on a lot of responsibilities and roles throughout my university experience. Even though, sometimes it was difficult to manage and there were a few stresses that I went through, I never regretted having any of these responsibilities because I have learned so many things, experienced being in different roles and made many friends not only from my course but the whole university in general.
“Having many responsibilities made me even closer with the staff of our university who gave me very precious advice when I needed it.”
28 March 2018