Undergraduate Course

Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Forensic Science

BSc (Hons)

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Become a highly skilled and confident forensic scientist, fully prepared to investigate crime scenes, analyse evidence and present findings in court.

6thfor graduate prospectsForensic Science subject area - The Complete University Guide 2024
11thfor student satisfactionForensic Science subject area - The Complete University Guide 2024
Top5for career prospectsForensic Science subject area, The Guardian University Guide 2024
Top20for Forensic ScienceForensic Science subject area, The Guardian University Guide 2024

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.

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.

Two students analysing a mock crime scene

Expert teaching

Our staff are supportive, approachable and passionate about their subjects. In addition to their academic expertise, they have years of commercial forensic experience between them. You’ll be taught by active researchers conducting important studies into fields such as entomology, forensic photography, anthropology, taphonomy, drug analysis, fingerprint detection and enhancement techniques, blood pattern analysis and fire investigations. Find out more about our teaching team below:

Visiting speakers will also share their experiences with you and help you learn more about latest developments in forensics. There are opportunities to hear from other criminal justice professionals too, such as police officers, lawyers and judges.

Specialist facilities

Our purpose-built Forensic Training Facility includes several domestic and commercial crime scenes, including a bedroom, lounge, garage, office, and a commercial area such, as a pharmacy or pub. It also features a blood pattern analysis room used for both teaching and research. The house is fitted with state-of-the-art digital surveillance including panoramic CCTV and equipment for two-way audio recording, and live feedback during your investigations.

Other facilities include an osteology lab for skeletal study, a wet forensic lab, a darkroom for specialised light searching, an entomology lab for insect investigation, a Clandestine Burial site, a ballistics laboratory, replica courtroom for presenting evidence, two crime scene cars, and forensic imaging facilities.

This is an applied science course based on subjects such as organic chemistry and molecular biology, so it teaches you to be highly analytical. We boast dedicated forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring modern instrumentation where you can put your theoretical knowledge into practice. You will also have access to our well-equipped imaging suite and insectary.

CCTV of students taking part in an assessment in our Forensic Training Facilities.
Students taking part in an assessment in our Crime Scene Training Facility

Accredited course

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, so you can be sure that the quality of our teaching, and the content of our course is of the highest standard. 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

Strong employer links

We work in close partnership with Derbyshire Constabulary and the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU). These collaborations open up exciting opportunities for you and help make your learning experience as realistic as possible. Previous site visits and demonstrations have included interactive fire demonstrations at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Training Station and mock scenarios with the Rail Accident Investigations Branch.

You’ll 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.

Rebekah Muldowney in our Forensic Training Facility

Not just watching the detectives – working with them too

Our Forensic Science student Rebekah Muldowney is working with police forensics officers and detectives as part of her extended work placement in a CSI unit.

Find out how Rebekah is standing out from the crowdFind out how Rebekah is standing out from the crowd

Conduct your own research

For your final-year research project, you will have the chance to focus on the area which interests you most. Our students have undertaken fascinating investigations into everything from ballistics and trace detection of explosives to forensic photography and document analysis to entomotoxicology and analysis of new psychoactive substances.

We support you to share your research through high-profile conferences or forensic journals. Such activities can raise your profile as a talent of the future, helping you to stand out in a highly competitive job market. Our students and graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from organisations like FIRN, Royal Society of Chemistry and the Fingerprint Society, or to present innovative projects at the Houses of Parliament.

A female graduate examining an insect collection.

Two Million Insects!

Ashleigh Whiffin, Forensic Science graduate, has a keen interest in entomology. She now looks after a collection of two million insect specimens at the National Museums Scotland.

Read more about Ashleigh's storyRead more about Ashleigh's story
A female in PPE analysing a blood splatter in a shower

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.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

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.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dr Esther Crooks in the analytical chemistry laboratory

Dr Esther Crooks
Programme leader

Esther is a lecturer in Forensic Chemistry and teaches Analytical and Forensic Chemistry on the Forensic Science undergraduate programmes. She also teaches Chemistry at the Foundation level and supervises third-year students interested in analytical techniques during their final-year projects.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112-120
A LevelBBB-BBC (At least a grade C in either Biology, Human Biology or Chemistry (or equivalent qualification). This also includes Applied Science, a BTEC Science subject or Access Science)
T LevelMerit in Science
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,900 per year


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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


Forensic science at Derby gives you a solid foundation for success in a challenging profession. You could pursue your career in the forensic science sector, criminal justice system, insurance companies or any industry where a good science degree is invaluable.

Our graduates now work in roles such as:

They are employed by police forces as well as companies like SOCOTEC, Cellmark, Minerva Scientifics, Rolls-Royce, Lubrizol and LGC Forensics. This course has a strong reputation for producing highly employable graduates: in one of many success stories, graduate Natalie Harrison secured a position as a toxicology analyst within a week of finishing her final exam.

The degree also provides a firm foundation for postgraduate level learning. As it is 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 students also go on to teaching careers within secondary or further education after studying 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.

Contact us Contact us

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 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
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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