Student Experience


One of the key aims of the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership is to enhance student employability and the student experience


To help meet this key aim the following objectives have been identified in relation to the student experience:

  • Give students opportunity to gain relevant work experience or work in partnership
  • Give students opportunity to be involved in the development of strategic and/or tactical policies and training
  • Give students the opportunity to research topics currently of concern/interest to Staffordshire Police
  • Give students the opportunity to make real change within the community in which they live and study

Student Comments

Below are comments and video  from students who undertook  placements with Staffordshire Police over the last few years and an indication of where they are now.

I was successful in application to complete a 6 week research project for Staffordshire Police within the Forensic Recovery Unit (FRU).  The experience I gained during this time was phenomenal, and I would strongly advice to take this opportunity.  The experience for me has enabled me to be where I am today, currently working as a Digital Forensic Examiner for Staffordshire Police.” Tina Varley, Digital Forensic Examiner.

One of the Partnerships 2019 students, Rebecca Edwards did a two part blog of her experiences – links to them are here:

Part 1

Part 2

Here is a video recorded just after the 2019 presentations at Staffordshire Police Headquarters.

Two previous  students are also now employed by Staffordshire Police, hear what they had to say about their placements.

After proposing a research project of my choice, I felt excited and privileged that I was accepted to undertake a research placement with Staffordshire Police. The nature of the project I undertook gave me the opportunity to gain real world experience at crime scenes, working with Scene of Crimes Officers, enabling me to put my knowledge from my Forensic Science degree into practice. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Staffordshire Police, who were really helpful and friendly, and the six weeks finished far too quickly. It was an invaluable experience, one that I would undoubtedly take again, and without it, I would not be where I am today, continuing to research crime scene documentation technologies as part of a PhD.” Kayleigh Sheppard, PhD student.

Hear Keyleigh talk about her experience below:

Working with Staffordshire Police provided a unique opportunity to bridge theoretic and practical knowledge working by with real life Digital Forensic experts. This experience also helped me realise and better understand the day-to-day challenges for law enforcement, and my potential in this specialist field. This fantastic experience has led to the formation of my own company called Semantics 21, who are now in partnership with Staffordshire Police, where we provide specialist algorithms and software to law enforcement“ Dr Liam Owens

Types of Placement Opportunity’s

The partnership offers a variety of opportunities some of which are cyclical in nature with others and a more ad hoc basis.

Each summer starting in May there is an opportunity for a set number of graduating students to volunteer for 6 weeks placements doing research projects.

Each Autumn starting in January there are 13 week MSCi placement projects.

In addition where there is the opportunity then PHD students are supported including having their research supervised by police staff.

Below are listed those projects which have been completed over the last few years.

MSCi Placements

2022 Placements

  • Investigation in to the GoodSam app & its Potential Use within Staffordshire Police
  • Analysis of Accuracy of Reporting Results Cocaine and Crack Cocaine from Drug Testing Kits (continuation of 2021 6 weeks)

2021 Placements

  • An Evaluation and Comparison of Handheld LED Torches for the use in Crime Scene Examination
  • An Investigation into the Use of the Footwear Service at Staffordshire Police
  • Determining the Effectiveness of Cleaning Techniques on Mobile Devices

2020 Placements

  • Android Rooting
  • Pedestrian Throw

Six Weeks Projects

2022 Six Weeks Projects

2022 saw for the first time since 2019 a ‘normal’ six weeks placements concluding with an in person presentation at Police Headquarters. It was good to be back to normal.

  • Use of the Crime Scene Assistant App in both Policing and Academic Contexts
  • DNA Recovery Comparison
  • Forensic Packaging Guidance for Officers and Staff
  • One Time Message Retrieval for Mobile Applications

2021 Six Weeks Project

Again, 2021 saw COIVD 19 disrupting the placements but some work was completed.

  • Quality Standards – Audits during COVID Restrictions
  • Validation – Chemgene use at Volume Crime Scenes
  • Analysis of Accuracy of Reporting Results Cocaine and Crack Cocaine from Drug Testing Kits
  • Type and Quality of Data Available on Social Media Platforms

2020 Six Weeks Projects

Sadly, due to the COVID 19 pandemic the 2020 placements have had to be cancelled. However we did manage to get two remote projects completes

  • KEV SOMU – A app to support Sexual Offender Management Unit Officers
  • NABIS – Firearms Efficiency Effectiveness – Evidence Recovery Processes between Staffordshire Police and NABIS

2019 Six Weeks Projects

  • Games Consoles – A Study into the Issues Faced by Staffordshire Police during Live Analysis.
  • Identification of Bodily Fluids, Fibres and Fingerprints using an Alternative Light Source.
  • The Efectivity and Longevity of Packaging Tape on Carboard Packaging.
  • Sexual Offender Management Unit Officers Guide to Searching Windows Computers.
  • An Investigation into the Amazon Echo and Alexa App.

2018 Six Week Projects

Titles of projects undertaken by students on 6 week placement:

  • Researching Non- Mainstream Messaging Apps and Data Retrieval.
  • Anti-Contamination NCALT Training Video Package.
  • The Validation of a Presumptive Blood Testing Kit.
  • Effectiveness of NABIS Recovery Process and its Effect on Evidence.
  • Extracting Data from Fitness Tracking Devices.
  • Gap Analysis of ISO 17025 of 2005 Compared to ISO 17025 of 2017.
  • Feasibility of ILAC G19 in Relation to Quality Standards at Crime Scenes.
  • Evaluation of Electronic Devices for Capturing Footwear Impressions
  • Effectiveness Comparison of Indandione and DFO
  • Best Practice for Examination & Data Retrieval from Games Consoles.
  • Researching Non- Mainstream Messaging Apps and Data Retrieval.

Forensic Students Impress on Staffs Police Placements – 2018

2017 Six Week Projects

Titles of projects undertaken by students on 6 week placement:

  • Easylift tapes
  • Recovery of DNA from Aluminium Fingerprint Tape Lifts Using DNA17
  • Verification of Fingerprint Powders and Brushes at Crime Scenes for ISO17020
  • Planning DNA Validation at Crime Scenes for ISO17020
  • Validation of Presumptive Blood Tests
  • Preventing DNA Contamination – An NCALT Resource
  • Password Cracking Systems (joint project)
  • An Investigation into the Impact of Rooting Android Devices on User Data Integrity

2016 Six Week Projects

Titles of projects undertaken by students on 6 week placement:

  • Gel lifting of footwear marks
  • Presumptive drug analysis research (Psychoactive Substances)
  • Evaluating the storage of accelerants and development of a packaging guide/App
  • Whether DFO has any effect on ninhydrin treatments compared with ninhydrin only
  • DNA Success rates- the efficiency of cellular DNA recovery from a crime scene
  • The digital presentation of fingerprint evidence in a court setting
  • Fooling fingerprint scanners
  • Health data from smart watches and fitness watches

Previous Projects

Some examples of projects undertaken in previous years as part of the student placements within Staffordshire Police Forensic Services Department include:

  • 360o photography
  • Validation of Drying Cabinet
  • Comparison of Laser Measures
  • Barcoding / Exhibit labelling review
  • Success rates for superglue
  • Software development to extract & process data from iPhones (before there was anything on the market)
  • Process mapping the submissions process