Learn from forensic scientists, fingerprint experts, police officers, lawyers and judges so that you see all aspects of the profession in close-up
Apply what you learn in the workplace: you will have the opportunity to undertake a year-long placement in a forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service laboratories with the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU)
Raise your professional profile: you can become eligible for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry if you select optional modules in chemistry
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.
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.
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. Find out more below:
Dr Ana Flavia Belchoir de Andrade: Ana is a Biologist, with a Master's degree and PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a former Forensic Expert. She has previous experience in the Federal District Civil Police in Brazil as a Manager in the Forensic Drug Laboratory and a Forensic Expert in both crime scene investigation and laboratory analysis. She has developed research in forensic biology, analytical and forensic chemistry and crime scene investigation for more than ten years.
Dr Sebastien Moret: Sebastien’s area of research is finger mark detection and he focuses on the use of silicon oxide nanoparticles to detect finger marks, as well as other types of nanoparticles. He also endeavours to further our fundamental understanding of latent finger mark detection techniques. He also has a broad interest in anything related to forensic science and is currently investigating the use of drones in crime scene investigation, as well as various imaging techniques to reconstruct crime scenes in 3D.
Dr Samantha Drake: Samantha teaches a broad range of chemistry topics, particularly those relating to the analysis of samples of forensic interest. She has a number of research interests relating to the application of analytical chemistry to real world challenges. These include the chiral analysis of drugs of abuse to provide an enhanced chemical profile for determining their source; and the analysis of volatile organic compounds produced during post-mortem decay.
Dr Louise Robinson: Louise key teaching area is Molecular Biology with a specialism in Wildlife Forensics. Her current research lies within the areas of gamification, genetic methods of species identification and behavioural studies of wandering larvae relating the estimation of post-mortem interval. Louise collaborates with local authorities and national agencies in order to identify key issues faced by Rural and Wildlife Crime Officers and how they may be overcome.
Dr Kate Barnes: Kate is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Biology and teach on the Forensic Science, Biology and Zoology undergraduate programmes. Her research interests are within the field of Forensic Ecology and exploring insect-microbe interactions in the corpse environment and assessing the effect of environmental conditions on blow fly behaviour.
David Bryson: David’s passions lie within science and photography. Professionally he covers cases requiring medicolegal or personal injury photography for solicitors primarily for plaintiffs but also for defence. His research interests are in scientific, medico-legal and forensic photography, human identification, history of medicine including: 'History of acromegaly and gigantism' and 'Use of photography in medicine'.
Dr Kori Filipek: Kori has numerous research interests including human identification and recovery, forensic and archaeological multi-isotope analyses of human tissues, trace element and analyses of human tissues.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 and the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU) which will inspire and motivate you.
You’ll also benefit from the expertise of visiting police forensic trainers on projects in our crime scene house and we also offer the opportunity for you to undertake a placement with EMSOU in their forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service laboratories.
Human Sciences Research Centre
Our Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.
Our course provides a variety of learning experiences to engage you, including crime scene training, lectures, practical sessions and fieldtrips.
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.
Sebastien Moret is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science, and Programme leader of the BSc in Forensic Science. He splits his time between teaching and research. He aims to provide the best quality teaching to equip his students with practical skills they will be able to use once they graduate.
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:
Written and verbal communication
Research and analytical
Personal motivation, organisation and self-reflection
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.
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.
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 provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
You will receive a laboratory coat and crime scene suit
Access to specialist software: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
Travel and entrance fees covered for selected/important field trips
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Most assignments are submitted through an online platform but due to the nature of the course, you will need to submit several hard-copy submissions such as portfolios and case files
In your final year, you will need to submit a printed and bound Independent study (dissertation) - to print is approximately 5p per sheet, to bind is approximately £10-£15
Optional costs not included in your fees
Some students like to create their own forensic toolkit to support crime scene work - cost is dependent on the items you choose to purchase
All recommended books are available in our library, however you may wish to purchase optional textbooks or e-books to support your studies - costs for these are dependent on your choice
This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science and so you can become an associate member whilst you are studying
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.