Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

72 (September 2021 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? Achieve your ambitions by embarking on this dynamic four-year course which includes a foundation year.

Forensic Science - your questions answered

In the below video, Senior Lecturer, Jon Wright, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Forensic Science at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.

Jon Wright, Programme Leader for Forensic Science.

View Forensic Science - Your questions answered video transcript

3rdin the UK for careers after 15 months of graduating**The Guardian University Guide 2021, Forensic Science subject area
2ndin the UK for teaching quality**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, Forensic Science subject area
3rdin the UK for student experience**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, Forensic Science subject area
8thfor student satisfaction**The Complete University Guide 2021, Forensic Science subject area
96% overall student satisfaction - BSc (Hons) Forensic Science**National Student Survey 2020
Top10in the UK for graduate prospects**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, Forensic Science subject area

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

Forensic Science at Derby

Separate the facts from the fiction on this dynamic course. We will fuel your passion for a forensic science career in a way that TV shows like CSI cannot match – and you’ll be fully equipped to join the next generation of forensic science professionals. 

The world is rapidly changing, with ever more sophisticated methods required to solve crimes. Harnessing our specialist facilities, you’ll be guided through the full range of forensic practices and processes – from crime scene analysis to presenting evidence in court. You’ll investigate mock crime scenes including break-ins, assaults, road accidents, and drug and computer crime. You’ll present your findings in our newly refurbished courtroom and will be cross-examined by barristers just as you would be in the world of work. This will help you prepare for the diverse scenarios that you are likely to encounter throughout your career.

Using the latest biological and analytical equipment, you’ll have the opportunity to develop high-level skills in areas such as fingerprint, drug, DNA, bodily fluids and blood pattern analysis. You can also explore how entomology, anthropology and taphonomic processes can assist forensic investigations, and there is the opportunity to observe a post mortem.

You'll work alongside forensic scientists, fingerprint experts, renowned researchers, police officers, lawyers and judges for current and fresh perspectives on the role of the forensic scientist.

Forensic Science labs

Expert teaching

The research expertise of our teaching team includes areas such as entomology, forensic photography, drug analysis, anthropology, taphonomy, 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 the 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.

Take a look at Sanita Nezirovic, lecturer in Forensic Science, discussing her involvement as an anthropologist in profiling a Bronze Age skeleton discovered in Northumbria:

Sanita Nezirovic, Leader in Forensic Science with Criminology, discusses her involvement, as an anthropologist, in profiling a Bronze Age skeleton recently discovered in Northumbria

View Sanita's Skeleton Profiling video transcript

Accredited course

The high quality of this course 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. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you could also be eligible for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).

Forensic science students studying fingerprints

Forensic Training Facility

This custom built facility offers seven replica domestic and commercial crime scenes, a blood spatter room and fully panoramic CCTV and audio for live feedback.

Take a virtual tourTake a virtual tour

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-designed . 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 analytical 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 modern instrumentation. You will also have access to our well-equipped imaging suite and insectary.

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.

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What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Live Subject Chats

Join us on Saturday 6 February for a day of Live Subject Chats. You’ll be able to ask our teaching team questions about the courses we offer, speak to Admissions advisors about applying and chat to current students about their experience.

Book your live subject chatBook your live subject chat

How you will learn

Our course provides a variety of learning experiences to engage you, including crime scene training, lectures, practical sessions and fieldtrips, including the opportunity to observe a post-mortem.

You’ll be assessed through a range of mediums, including, but not limited to, formal witness statements and expert testimony, case studies, essays, laboratory reports, portfolios, examinations and presentations.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Adam Long conducting a fingerprint examination in the Forensics lab

Adam Long
Programme leader

Adam Long is the Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for Forensic Science at the University of Derby and teaches across all levels, with particular interest and expertise in fingerprints, their capture and comparison. Adam also sits on Governing Council for The Chartered Society of Forensic Science and is the main point of contact for the Fingerprint Working Group.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

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 Level 2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
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

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)

 Full-timePart-time
UK

£9,250 per year

N/A

International/EU

£14,045 per year

N/A

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

Additional costs and optional extras

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Supporting your UCAS application

We know there have been changes and there is some uncertainty, however we are here to help and support you every step of the way with your university application.

Take a look at how we can help youTake a look at how we can help you

How to apply

Apply by 29 January to start September 2021

Need help applying? Find out how we can help you with your UCAS application

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Careers

With a Forensic 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 in the forensic science sector and criminal justice system, but also insurance companies or any industry where a good science degree is invaluable.

Derby graduates now work as scenes of crime 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 SOCOTEC, Cellmark, Minerva Scientifics, Rolls-Royce, Lubrizol and LGC Forensics.

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

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

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.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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