A biomedical science degree gives you options and lays the foundations required for work across a...
What was your course?
Bachelor of Forensic Biology. Note: This course is no longer being offered but a similar course on offer is the Bachelor of Forensic Science.
What exactly does your work/job entail?
The NSW Police Force Document Examination Unit assists operational police by examining documents related to serious crime. In any given week, I could be examining a counterfeit passport, a forged cheque or a handwritten threat letter. It's my job to reveal any class or identification evidence derived from these exhibits. For cases involving the examination of handwriting, for example, I compare each letter or formation of the document in question to specimen handwriting attributed to a suspect or victim, and provide opinion evidence on whether that person produced the writing.
What part of your work inspires you the most? Why do you find it interesting?
It's important for forensic document examiners to maintain up-to-date training and keep abreast of research across the discipline. I do this by attending conferences and reading journals and articles relating to a wide range of topics, such as print identification, trends in teaching styles and writing systems, typewriters, security features, manipulation techniques and software, simulated handwriting, reconstruction of burnt and charred documents, and digital forgeries. This ensures my job is always interesting!
Do you find the skills you learnt during your degree useful and versatile? If so how?
The skills I learnt during my UTS degree have been useful and transferrable in the workplace. Similar personal protective equipment worn during practicals at university is used in my lab. I also write reports and expert certificates, which, of course, I had great experience at producing during my degree.
The analytical and research skills gained through subjects such as Crime Scene Investigation and Complex Forensic Cases – Law have also proven very useful in my day-to-day work, as have the opportunities to give oral presentations and make posters. I use these skills when I train detectives, present on the services my unit offers, speak at public science forums and give expert evidence in court. Meeting deadlines takes time management skills, resourcefulness and efficient work practices; these skills were also honed during my university studies.
A biomedical science degree gives you options and lays the foundations required for work across a wide range of disciplines. A career in forensic science is both challenging and rewarding. I'd encourage anyone to study at UTS.