Key facts

Location:

Stoke-on-Trent campus

Mode of attendance: Full-time
Duration: 3 years, 4 years (with placement year), 4 years (with foundation year), 4 years (MSci) full-time
UCAS code: F412, F415 (with a placement year), 8H16 (MSci)
Academic year: 17 September 2018 – 7 June 2019

Introduction

Our Forensic Investigation degree gives you the skills required for a career with the police, forensic providers, or investigative and intelligence agencies.

Our Forensic Investigation degree is ideal for those who have a strong interest in criminalistics, forensics, crime scene science and evidence analysis.

We will equip you for a career working with the police, a forensic provider or any other investigative or intelligence agency, such as the Home Office, HM Customs and Excise.

Our MSci course combines Bachelors and Masters level study in one integrated programme and we add the opportunity to undertake professional work experience. Whichever degree you choose to complete, you’ll develop a wide range of specialist skills to understand the roles of individuals involved in criminal investigation.

Our industry standard facilities include a crime scene house, specialist laboratories and equipment to capture fibre evidence and fingerprinting.

On successful completion of study, we will issue one of the following awards dependent on your chosen pathway: BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation, MSci Forensic Investigation

Professional body accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences – BSc (Hons) and MSci

Work placements

If you choose to complete one of our sandwich courses with a work placement between the second and final years of the course, our placement staff will work with you to identify a suitable location for your work placement. Please also note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your work placement, and for any accommodation costs.

Course content

In Year 1, you will be introduced to the principles and practical techniques of forensic investigation. You’ll study the power of search and arrest, crime scene documentation, the identification, recovery and analysis of evidence and the interpretation of forensic results.

During Year 2, you’ll analyse and interpret a range of criminalistic and biological evidence types, including fingerprints, questioned documents, skeletal remains and body fluids.

You will also enhance your investigative skills, gaining experience in crime scene management, developing forensic strategies and interviewing witnesses and victims.

BSc (Hons) students can opt to study the sandwich version of this course, enabling you to complete a one-year placement with a Police Force, forensic provider or other relevant organisation.

In Year 3 for our BSc (Hons) students, you’ll follow the complete process from investigating major crime, to recovering and analysing evidence to present in court.

During the fourth year our MSci students will hone in on professional skills by completing a placement or research assistantship.

Modules

This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course. 

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Before you can register on some optional modules, you may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules. Some module combinations may not be allowed.

Year 1

Semester 1
Module title
Introduction to Forensic Science Compulsory
Introduction to Policing Compulsory
Science for Justice Compulsory
Crime Scene Documentation Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Introduction to Forensic Science Compulsory
Introduction to Policing Compulsory
Techniques of Scientific Investigation Compulsory
Missing Persons Investigation Optional
Facial Recognition Optional

Year 2

Semester 1
Module title
Methods of Crime Detection Compulsory
Bodies of Evidence Compulsory
Forensic Investigative Skills Compulsory
Research and Professional Skills Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Methods of Crime Detection Compulsory
Bodies of Evidence Compulsory
Forensic Investigative Skills Compulsory
Drugs of Abuse Optional
Vehicle Collision Optional
Forensic Archaeology Optional

Year 3

Semester 1
Module title
Expert Witness and Legal System Compulsory
Analysis and Investigation of TEREFF Incident Optional
Forensic Multimedia Optional
Cyber Crime Optional
Techniques in the Identification of Human Remains Optional
Field School Forensic Archaeology Optional
Intelligence Led Policing and Major Crime Investigation Optional
Independent Project Compulsory
Investigating and Reporting Crime Scenes Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Analysis and Investigation of TEREFF Incident Optional
Forensic Multimedia Optional
Cyber Crime Optional
Techniques in the Identification of Human Remains Optional
Field School Forensic Archaeology Optional
Intelligence Led Policing and Major Crime Investigation Optional
Indpendent Project Compulsory
Investigating and Reporting Crime Scenes Compulsory

Year 4

Semester 1
Module title
Advanced Research Methods Compulsory
Advanced Investigative Techniques Compulsory
Forensic Multimedia (if not chosen at level 6) Optional
Specialist Topics in Forensic Investigation Optional
Crimes of the Powerful Optional
Transnational Justice and Organised Crime Optional
Human Trafficking Optional
Crimes against Humanity Optional
Semester 2
Module title
Forensic and Crime Science Placement Optional
Research Assistantship in Forensic and Crime Science Optional

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Your tutors are experienced practitioners who will bring real-life experiences to your learning using the most up-to-date skills and technologies.