• Question: you said when you was at school you wanted to be a forensic scientist when you grew up, why did that change?how come you never went on to become one? I am quite interested in becoming one myself.

    Asked by soph17 to Daniel on 15 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Daniel Patten

      Daniel Patten answered on 15 Nov 2013:

      Hi soph,

      Thanks for your question!

      Forensics is a fascinating subject and I know several people that have been, or currently are, a Forensic scientist and they all say it is an amazing job, but I suppose the main reason that I didn’t become a Forensic scientist is simply that my personal interests changed over time and I ended up following a different career path!

      Although my overall aim was to become a Forensic scientist, I also had a strong interest in Microbiology (the study of small things, such as bacteria and viruses) and so, after I’d finished school, I chose to study a degree subject (BSc in Molecular Biology at the University of Sheffield) that covered lots of Microbiology, but also lots of Genetics (the theory behind the part of Forensics I was interested in most!). During my degree, I had to do a laboratory research project and I enjoyed so much it made me reconsider my career choice and start looking for jobs in research, but, after a while of not getting a job in research, my mind went back to Forensics and I started a Forensics course (MSc.) at the University of Huddersfield. During this course, I had to do another laboratory research project, which, again, I enjoyed so much I got converted back to research! I managed to get a PhD (a research degree) with the same supervisor at the University of Huddersfield and, having passed that earlier this year, I am now a researcher at the University of Birmingham!

      A number of universities now offer really good degree courses in Forensics and here’s a link to list of the ones accredited by the Forensic Science Society (the bigwigs of Forensics in the UK!):

      I hope this helps and good luck!