Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

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

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code

F411

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

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

Course description

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

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

2ndin the UK for teaching quality**The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, Forensic Science subject area
3rdin the UK for careers after 15 months of graduating**The Guardian University Guide 2021, 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

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, 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.

Expert teaching

Our staff are supportive, approachable and passionate about their subjects. In addition to their academic expertise, they have nearly 30 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.

Visiting speakers will 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.

If you choose our Forensic Anthropology module, you will also work with a variety of archaeological specimens including Anglo Saxon skeletons loaned to us by Derby Museum.

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.

Take a look at Sanita Nezirovic, lecturer in Forensic Science, discussing her involvement, as an anthropologist, in profiling a Bronze Age skeleton recently 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.
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
Student Odhran gazing upwards in front of a grey and black background

Fast Track to Clearing

If you're still looking for a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or your gap year plans are on hold, don't worry. Register with us today and fast forward to your future. Make it Real at Derby.

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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.

Omar Soomro

Open Day Live

Join us at our Undergraduate Open Day Live on Saturday 3 July, featuring Radzi Chinyanganya. There will be lots of exciting activities, live entertainment and much more. We’ll be limiting numbers though, so make sure you book your place today.

Book your placeBook your place

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

2021 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2021 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
A-levelsBBB (at least a grade C in Biology and/or Chemistry at A-level (or equivalent qualification). This also includes Applied Science, a BTEC Science subject or Access Science)
BTECDDM
GCSEAt least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above
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)

2022 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112-120
A-levelsBBB-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)
BTECDDM-DMM
GCSEAt least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above
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

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)

 Full-timePart-time
UK

£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module

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

How to apply

Apply for 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.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Careers

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.

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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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