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Forensic Sciences and Policing

Get connected

Take advantage of our unique partnership with Staffordshire Police

Specialist facilities

Mirror real-life experiences in our dedicated Crime Scene House

Workplace learning

Take the opportunity to complete a work placement on every course

Study a range of scientific techniques and criminal investigation to help provide answers to the questions of law. Whether your interest lies in DNA profiling or building a criminal case, we have a course for you.

Do you have what it takes to make a difference in the world of forensic investigation? In our wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, you'll learn the skills and knowledge to do just that.

Specialist facilities will be yours to use and you’ll learn from experienced former senior police officers, academic experts, and forensic caseworkers. Our Crime Scene House, analytical laboratories, and specialist rooms all mirror your future workplace. So, you can study anything from decomposition to ballistics, and you'll be practising as you will in real life.

You'll also have the option to study with a year in industry. You can study abroad in the Netherlands, USA or Canada, and our unique Staffordshire Police partnership gives you the chance to work in forensics. Here, you'll attend crime scenes, process evidence and carry out impactful research.


Work experience and careers

Whatever you choose to study at Staffordshire University you will have the opportunity of a work-placement, where you’ll gain experience and connections to give you an edge in your future career.

This work experience may link to your course, or it could be in a broader field. Alongside your studies, it will give you the best possible mix of knowledge and practical understanding.

On our undergraduate and postgraduate courses you can opt to take a placement year. You’re also be able to collaborate on research projects with organisations in the criminal justice system. These include police forces, forensic nurses, professional bodies, forensic investigation units and laboratories.

Subject-related opportunities to enhance your experience and skillset are also available. For example you could join our FaCS Student Society, learn more about forensic archaeology on a dedicated module, undertake a placement with Staffordshire or Derbyshire Police Forensic Units, or apply for an international exchange experience in the Netherlands.

Work experience opportunities

We have a unique partnership with Staffordshire Police giving you the opportunity to work in real-world forensics by attending crime scenes, processing evidence and/or carrying out impactful research and development.

This partnership is about challenging current knowledge and practice. Through it, you'll have the chance to take a placement and/or work on research projects with the Police. The outcomes of your work could affect a real change within the community in which you work and study.

Our students

Kayleigh Sheppard
Forensic Investigation graduate

The specialist crime scene house facility made the whole experience more realistic and allowed me to put my forensic science knowledge into practice in a simulated crime scene.

Tina Varley
BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation

The practical side of the degree is fantastic, giving you the opportunity to attend mock crime scenes. Staffordshire University introduced me to a research project scheme and, combined with my own determination, I was offered a temporary role in that organisation, where I have since been successful in a permanent position.

Louise Walker
Forensic Science Scenes of Crime Officer

The course has given me the knowledge and skills to collect evidence on a crime scene - skills I now use in my job. Without help from the University I wouldn't be where I am now. It's pretty much my dream job.

Nadine Jones
Forensic Investigation Graduate

Studying Forensic Investigation at Staffs gave me back my confidence and opened so many doors.

The combined knowledge of the staff as well as the opportunities for hands on learning in the labs and the crime scene house gave me the foundations to begin my dream career.

Our staff

Dr Kevin Reiling
Dr Kevin Reiling Senior Lecturer

Kevin’s research explores the environmental impacts of aerial pollutants and toxic metals. He is also interested in the public understanding of science.

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Dean Northfield
Dean NorthfieldLecturer - Criminal Justice and Forensic Science

I am a practitioner who has worked for West Yorkshire Police as a VIPER Officer (2 Years) then an Imaging Officer (6 years) eventually progressing to Senior Imaging Officer. Finishing my time within the West Yorkshire Police’s Forensic Multimedia Unit.

I began working part time for the university in 2011 then eventually leaving the Police and joining the University as a lecturer and HEIF project lead in 2012.

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Ian Ackerley
Ian AckerleyCourse Leader – Policing and Criminal Investigation

I am a former police officer and served for over 34 years as an officer both in Staffordshire Police and Nottinghamshire Police. I reached the rank of Assistant Chief Constable and served at this level with both forces as well as the Home Office. The bulk of my service was spent serving the communities of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

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Dr Lauren Metcalfe
Dr Lauren MetcalfeCourse leader

I completed my undergraduate degree in Police and Criminal Investigation at the University of Central Lancashire. I continued studying and completed a masters in Criminal Investigation, then a Ph.D in Evidence Based Policing.Following my studies, I was employed as a researcher; involved in Policing research projects, collaborating with Police Forces and their partner agencies. I was also seconded to Lancashire Constabulary’s Evidence Based Policing team. I moved to Staffordshire University in 2017 and became course leader for the Professional Policing degree in 2018.

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Duncan Parker
Duncan ParkerForensic Science Course Leader

In July 2018, I was appointed as a Lecturer in Chemistry at Staffordshire University where I have taken on further roles including membership of the University’s Women’s Academic Network and Inclusion Group. I am a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Higher Education Group and passionately believe in the advancement of teaching innovation for the benefit of future generations of scientists in Chemistry and Forensic Science.

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Our graduates

Tina Varley Forensic Investigation, 2014

Forensic examiner Tina Varley went from investigating gas and electric meter tampering for npower to working for Staffordshire Police.

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Alex Bekker Policing and Criminal Investigation, 2013

After graduating, and two years working in child protection, Alex now works in the Metropolitan Police Service, protecting the UK’s most expensive borough.

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Kayleigh Sheppard Forensic Science, 2013

Since graduating Kayleigh has joined forces with Staffordshire Police to investigate the potential of digital imaging technology in solving crimes.

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Daniel Ward Forensic Science, 2012

After working as a lab technician, Daniel changed career to become a teacher and fulfilled his dream of a move to Queensland Australia where he now teaches.

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Andy Chick Forensic Science

Andy’s expert knowledge of insects and their role in forensic science has led him to being a published author, researcher, lecturer and consulting entomologist.

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Charlotte Orphanau

Our outstanding facilities attracted Charlotte as an undergraduate, and she stayed to complete her PhD. She is now a successful Process Development Scientist.

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