• Question: Hi guys, When im older i want to be a biologist (possibly marine) or a forensic scientist, i know they're both connected but which would i be better of doing???? from annabel

    Asked by annabellllllllll to Jamie, Jodie, Kat, Mark, Niamh on 21 Mar 2011 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Katherine Davies

      Katherine Davies answered on 21 Mar 2011:


      Both areas are very different. I would suggest you study a general biology degree at University, and choose then, because you will get to experience many different aspects of biology and will be able to make an informed decision. Get looking at some degree courses on university websites, to see what is involved in them and see what excites you the most. Also, check out the lecturers teaching each course to see what their research experience areas are, to see what you would be most interested in.

      There is no ‘better’ one, its what you prefer. Lots of travel involved in both, similarly hard to find work in both (I think). Up to you!

    • Photo: Jamie Pringle

      Jamie Pringle answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hello annabellllll,

      A difficult question to answer annabel, which do you think that you would enjoy more?

      You also need to think about how many jobs may be in both professions. For example, I have a friend who did a MSc (masters) in marine biology who is now a podiatrist! I would say wait until you are doing your ‘A’ levels then decide what interests you most as that way, you will probably do best at your preferred one.

      Or you could study for both, here at Keele (not that I want to sound like an advertising salesman!) we do Dual Honours Degrees and that is a combination students can study. Im sure other Universities also do similar courses, and then you can decide if you wanted to drop one subject after a while, or major in one subject in your final year for example.

    • Photo: Niamh Nic Daeid

      Niamh Nic Daeid answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      HI Annabell

      Your best bet would be to aim for a University degree specialising in biology. You can get into forensic science at a later date but a good undergraduate degree in science (in you case biology) is essential for both of the careers your interested in. Many employers in forensic science also look for a Masters degree in either forensic science (and there are a few about).

    • Photo: Jodie Dunnett

      Jodie Dunnett answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      I think it completely depends on which one you would prefer to do – you work for a long part of your life so it needs to be something that you enjoy doing day in day out. Also, you need to consider the job prospects and things such as how easy it would be to rise up through the ranks.

    • Photo: Mark Hill

      Mark Hill answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hello Anabellllllllll,

      Follow your strengths and do something that you enjoy.

      Science forms such an important part in daily life that science skills are found, or needed, in many areas. Science careers can be found in engineering, both mechanical and construction, medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical, agricultural science, research (which is a really big area) and forensic science. I am obviously involved in the forensic science aspect, in a really specialized role. However, so is Jamie, in geophysics, Kat, in forensic entomology, with her flies, Niamh, in her drug and forensic analysis and Jodie in her chemistry disciplines.

      However, all of us come from the same starting point – science in school. It is just that we have pursued our interests further.

      Forensic science is literally ‘science for the courts’. There are Scenes of Crime Officers, who are usually police staff who visit and examine crime scenes, from burglaries to rape and murder scenes.

      Forensic scientists are usually lab based. They analyse and examine evidence submitted to them by the police and other agencies. They also deal with submissions from the defendants legal teams as well. Some forensic scientists also visit the scene of crimes, to conduct tests such as those Jamie makes, to try and find hidden objects, bodies and the like. Other scientists, such as those who analyse blood patterns also visit scenes, amongst many others.

      I have only just started this list. It would be very large if I was not to miss out any science discipline. However, your best way to find out more would be to speak with your science teachers, or contact science lecturers at colleges and universities. You are bound to find someone who can give you a lot of advice in how to find your way into a fascinating and very varied world.

      I wish you the very best of luck, in finding an aspect of science that you really enjoy.

      Thanks for your question.