Available through clearing

 - Call +44 (0)1332 592018

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fee

£12,500 per year (2018/19)

UCAS points

64-96 (September 2018 entry)

UCAS code

F413

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Interested in taking your first steps towards a career in forensic science – one of the most pioneering professions of all? Achieve your ambitions by embarking on this dynamic four-year course which includes a foundation year.

The Chartered Society of Forensic Science Accreditation Logo

If you want to become a highly skilled, confident and forward-thinking forensic scientist, this course is the ideal stepping stone.

A strong foundation for your studies

We have devised the foundation year route to open up new opportunities for students who have the ability, ambition and interest to study Forensic Science at Derby. It’s an excellent choice if you lack the formal qualifications to join our BSc (Hons) Forensic Science directly, if you are considering a career change or if you want to improve your skills in a discipline which is new to you. By commencing your studies at foundation level, you can complete the full honours degree in four years.

During your foundation year, you will gain a solid grounding in subjects which prepare you for the challenge of studying an honours degree – not only forensic science but also human anatomy and physiology, cellular biology, chemistry, research methods, data handling and study skills in science.  

A degree with foundation year is continuous, so you won’t need to apply again for the BSc (Hons) after completing the first year successfully. And you’ll have the full benefits of being a University of Derby student from the outset.

Professional Recognition

The high quality of this BSc (Hons) degree is reflected in its accreditations from professional bodies. We have full accreditation from The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which means you can be confident our teaching meets exacting standards. Our Forensic Science courses were praised by the CSFS for their link to industry standards and relevant curriculum, our student-centred approach, employment experience available, our excellent facilities and accessibility for our students to engage with real-life cases.

Separate fact from fiction

Forget what you’ve seen in TV programmes like CSIPrime Suspect and Silent Witness. At Derby you’ll learn how real crime scene investigators go about their work – and you’ll be fully equipped to join the next generation of forensic science professionals. 

From crime scene analysis to presenting evidence in court, our expert teaching team will guide you through the entire range of forensic practices and processes, standing you in good stead for the diverse challenges you’ll face in your career.

In our exceptional training facilities, you’ll investigate mock scenarios ranging from break-ins, arson and assaults to road traffic accidents, drug and computer crime. Using latest biological and analytical equipment, you’ll study how every contact leaves a trace such as fingerprints, human tissue, DNA and blood patterns. You’ll also gain an understanding of how entomology and tissue decay can assist the forensic scientist and will have the opportunity to observe a post mortem.

In addition, we foster your skills and confidence in delivering evidence in court: you’ll present your findings in our courtroom and will be cross-examined by barristers, exactly as you would be in the world of work.

Get hands-on in our Forensic Training Facility

One of the highlights of this course is the chance for you to build impressive practical techniques in our custom-built Forensic Training Facility. You will investigate a range of ‘crime’ scenarios in different domestic and commercial settings, including a bedroom, bathroom, garage, office, store and pharmacy.

The building, which also features a blood pattern analysis room, was designed to such a high specification that it is used by external clients such as the emergency services for their own training purposes.

State-of-the-art digital surveillance, including panoramic CCTV recording and equipment for two-way audio feedback, means that you can work on crime scenarios independently while tutors monitor your progress in real time from a control room.

To add an extra dimension to your studies, our resources also include two crime scene cars donated by Toyota Manufacturing UK.

Skills at the cutting edge

Employers are seeking forensics professionals who are, above all, highly analytical. Ours is an applied science course designed to match their needs and expectations, so you will gain a strong grounding in subjects such as organic chemistry and molecular biology.

You will spend significant amounts of time putting your theoretical knowledge to the test in our well-resourced forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring up-to-the-minute instrumentation.

We hold a Class A drugs licence and a firearms collection. Students who choose our Forensic Anthropology module will also work with a variety of archaeological specimens including Anglo Saxon skeletons loaned by Derby Museum.

Benefit from our employer partnerships

Thanks to our strong links with employers, we can make your learning experience even more authentic, realistic and meaningful. We have long-established associations with Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU) which will inspire and motivate you.

You could, for example, find yourself taking part in interactive fire demonstrations at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Training Station or learning from the police forensic trainers who use our crime scene house for their projects. Some of our students take the opportunity to go on placement in the forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service laboratories at EMSOU.

Learn from an expert team

With almost 30 years of commercial forensic experience between them, our staff will give you vital insights into every aspect of the profession. They are not only highly knowledgeable but also enthusiastic, supportive and dedicated to your success.

Their research expertise spans fields such as forensic handwriting and document analysis, forensic entomology, forensic photography, fingerprint detection and enhancement techniques, blood pattern analysis and fire investigations. 

This course also benefits from the input of visiting speakers who have their fingers on the pulse of latest developments and ideas in forensic science. To broaden your perspectives, we welcome other criminal justice professionals too, such as police officers, lawyers and judges.

Pioneer high-profile research

From ballistics and trace detection of explosives to forensic photography and document analysis – our students have undertaken in-depth investigations into some of the key challenges facing today’s forensics experts.

You will have the chance to add your own voice to the debate by conducting a final-year research project on a theme that interests you most. You could then share your findings through prestigious conferences or forensic journals.

Each year our students showcase their work at the East Midlands Forensics Institute Research Network (FIRN) conference. This represents an exciting opportunity to network with other professionals and raise your profile. Some of our former students have scooped national awards from organisations like FIRN and the Fingerprint Society or have been invited to present their ideas at the Houses of Parliament.

A female sports player focused on the match

Our Clearing hotline is now open

Worried your exams haven't gone to plan or changed your mind about where you want to study? Call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)1332 592018 to secure your place for 2018.

Find out moreFind out more

What you will study

You’ll study modules such as:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Study Skills in Science
  • Research Methods and Data Handling
  • Foundation in Forensic Science
  • Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Principles of Cellular Biology
  • Principles of Chemistry

If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules.

  • Induction Module - This module is designed to prepare students for the undergraduate programmes by providing an online environment in which students can become proficient in the skills required for Higher Education study
  • Genetics‌ - You will gain a broad introduction to, and basic understanding of, the key concepts in classical and molecular genetics
  • Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation - You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts, techniques and processes used in the examination, documentation and analysis of the crime scene and specialist examinations
  • Introduction to Forensic Chemistry‌ - This module covers core aspects of chemical theory and practical techniques that form an important foundation for forensic chemical analysis
  • Introduction to Forensic Science‌ - You will be provided with a broad introduction to the fundamental concepts, techniques and processes used in the collection, processing, analysis and storage of forensic evidence and data
  • Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice for Forensic Science‌ - You will gain a broad introduction to English Criminal Justice, the Police and Crime Scene Support, the Expert Witness and providing evidence to the court, basic statistics for Forensic Scientists to evaluate evidential value as well as an understanding of the key concepts of classical and contemporary criminology
  • Chemistry of Life - You will be introduced to the basic concepts of chemistry and how molecules are used in the functioning of the cell unit and its biochemical processes
  • Preparing for Independent Research - The module will prepare students for their Independent Studies research project undertaken at level 6 and deliver important information regarding research design and ethics
  • Crime Scene to Court‌ - Students will develop the skills necessary for the full investigation of the crime scene, laboratory examination through to the presentation of this evidence in a court room scenario
  • Molecular Biology - You'll develop an understanding of the molecular basis of fundamental biological and forensic processes, such as transcription and translation
  • Forensic Analysis‌ - You will develop an understanding of the core analytical chemistry techniques used in the identification and quantification of substances of forensic interest
  • Trace Evidence‌ - This module gives the student insight into how trace evidence is used in forensic investigation

Optional modules:

  • Analytical Chemistry‌ - This module introduces you to some of the methods used for quantitative chemical analysis, with reference to their relevance in forensic science
  • Forensic Anthropology‌ - Using skeletal remains to assist in human identification this module provides an introduction to the practice of Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Imaging‌ - This module develops the student’s ability to use a wide range of imaging scientific techniques and modalities to analyse and record forensic evidence
  • Wildlife Crime and Forensic Entomology - You will gain specialist knowledge of two fields of forensic science in relation to non-human evidence
  • Independent Studies for Forensic Science - You will undertake an independent piece of work of your choosing (subject to approval). This module is a continuation of personal skill development initiated in Stages 4 and 5
  • Serious and Organised Crime - Using recent forensic research, police protocols, guides and criminal law, students will study current approaches and techniques in serious and organised crime investigation
  • Professional Practice‌ - You will act as a professional Forensic Scientist in various aspects of the profession including Crime Scene Investigation, Laboratory manager and evidence examination, Pre-trial and court appearance as an Expert Witness

Optional modules:

  • Medical Forensics‌ - This module provides an overview of processes that occur after death and how they can be used to give temporal, causal and trace evidence in forensic investigations
  • Toxicology and Drugs of Abuse‌ - This module provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of toxicology, from the biological and biochemical processes which occur when a poison is administered to the chemical analysis of toxicological samples
  • The Human Genome‌ - We take a tour around the human genome, you will learn how it can be used and applied to answer questions ranging from human evolution to forensic biology
  • Vocational Module - The student has freedom to select an appropriate host organisation to undertake a placement within a company, voluntary body or public establishment

Between stages two and three, you can apply to work in industry for a period of extended professional experience. This will give you a great opportunity to use your theoretical and practical skills. Placements commence in the summer and last for a period of approximately 36 weeks. You'll also be able to select optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to your future career aspirations, and keep a continuous personal development portfolio which will help prepare you for life after university.

Each module has a minimum of four hours of contact time per week in each semester. A typical student takes three modules per semester and would therefore have 12 hours of contact time per week. Students are expected to additionally undertake 16 hours of directed study per week, per module.

How you will learn

Our course provides a variety of learning experiences to engage you, including crime scene training, fieldtrips, lectures, and practical sessions. We hold licences for drugs and firearms to provide a realistic forensics training environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to observe a post-mortem.

You’ll be assessed through a range of mediums, including formal witness statements and expert testimony, as well as case studies, essays, laboratory reports, portfolios, examinations and presentations.

Entry requirements

September 2018 typical entry requirements

UCAS points64-96 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSEN/A
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£12,500 per year

N/A

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Information for international applicants

Applying for an undergraduate degree

Careers

With a Forensics Science degree from Derby under your belt, you will have a head start in a challenging and fascinating profession. You could pursue your career not only the forensic science sector and criminal justice system but also in any industry where a good science degree is valuable. You could also consider roles with law firms or insurance companies.

Derby graduates now work as scenes of crimes officers, analytical chemists, forensic laboratory technicians, forensic intelligence analysts, microbiologists and PCR analysts. They are realising their potential with police forces as well as companies like Scientifics, Rolls-Royce and LGC Forensics.

This degree also paves the way to postgraduate level learning. As an applied science course, it will equip you to advance to qualifications in medicine and to MSc, MPhil or PhD study. Some of our students are now enjoying teaching careers within secondary or further education after completing our PGCE Post-14 (Education and Training) qualification.

Contact details

EnquiryEmailPhone
Course: Adam Long (Programme Leader) A.Long1@derby.ac.uk +44 (0)1332 591759
Admissionsaskadmissions@derby.ac.uk+44 (0)1332 591167
Generalmarketing@derby.ac.uk+44 (0)1332 590500

† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Unistats

You might also like