Start your journey at foundation year stage: the knowledge you’ll gain is invaluable if you are thinking about changing your career plans or if you want to discover fascinating new subject areas
Develop an impressive combination of professional skills to enhance your versatility and open up new opportunities in the graduate job market
Chart how cases are progressed from crime scene to courtroom
Gain practical experience in our first-rate facilities, including forensic laboratories, crime scene house, courtrooms and crime scene cars
Place your knowledge of forensic science in a wider context, by exploring themes such as miscarriages of justice, policing and society, and victimology
Enjoy compelling insights into working life by learning alongside professional forensic scientists, fingerprint experts, police officers, lawyers and judges
Experience real-world learning at its best: you will have the opportunity of a year-long placement in a forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service lab thanks to our partnership with the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU)
Forensic Science with Criminology at Derby
You’ll combine high-level skills as a forensic scientist with specific knowledge of criminology. We explore questions surrounding the causes of criminal behaviour and whether nature or nurture is responsible for such characteristics. We also cover legal aspects of forensic science, including the court process, and the role played by expert testimony and evidence.
Studying Criminology alongside Forensic Science will give you a comprehensive knowledge of how cases unfold – from collecting and examining evidence to presenting findings in court. We take you through the full spectrum of forensic techniques as you investigate mock crime scenes and have the opportunity to develop your skills in fingerprint, drugs, DNA, bodily fluids and blood pattern analysis as well as entomology, anthropology and taphonomy.
At the same time, we broaden your understanding of the criminal justice system and the legal aspects of forensic science. Your studies will span issues such as expert testimony and evidence, miscarriages of justice, the court process and the roles of the judge, jury and witnesses. You’ll also gain practice in delivering findings in court and being cross-examined by barristers.
Our dynamic and forward-thinking teaching team includes forensic scientists, criminology specialists, practising lawyers, barristers and judges, so you can look forward to a stimulating study experience. They are supported by visiting speakers who will give you insights into the latest debates surrounding forensics and criminology, plus guidance to help you make informed decisions about your career.
Our team is pursuing studies into highly topical subjects 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:
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.
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 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.
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, replica courtroom for presenting evidence, two crime scene cars, and forensic imaging facilities.
Laboratory work is central to the role of the forensic scientist. We provide specialist forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring modern instrumentation where you can put theory into practice.
We work hard to make your learning experience as authentic as possible, so we call on our numerous contacts within the forensic science and criminal justice sectors to contribute to the course. From workplace visits and placement opportunities to masterclasses and real-life case studies, they help place your learning in a professional context.
Our partnerships include longstanding alliances with Derbyshire Constabulary and the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU). You could apply to undertake a placement with EMSOU in their forensic imaging unit, footwear unit, forensic analytical service or scenes of crime team.
Tailor your degree
While you’ll cover all the core areas of forensic science and criminology, you can also ‘personalise’ your degree to tailor your studies to your career plans. We offer fascinating optional modules for you to choose from, so you can focus your studies on areas as diverse as forensic anthropology, victimology, toxicology and the human genome.
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.
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.
You’ll use our specialist facilities, including our brand new on-campus Crime Scene House and crime scene cars. You’ll be taught through lectures, practical sessions, fieldtrips, crime scene training and your own study.
How you're assessed
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.
Between stages 2 and 3 there is the chance to work within the industry for three months to a year. This will give you a unique experience as you enter your final year and will give you a head-start when applying for jobs after university. You will also be given the opportunity to learn alongside industry professionals.
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.
Dr Ana Flavia Belchior de Andrade Programme leader
As a lecturer in Forensic Science and a specialist in Crime Scene Investigation, Dr Andrade delivers a series of modules related to this area. She also develops innovative research in the field of New Psychoactive Substances and sensors.
Our graduates have gone on to realise their career ambitions within the criminal justice system, the police force, the prison service and forensic services. The skills and knowledge you gain on the course will also make you well suited to roles in insurance companies, law firms, pharmaceutical companies and private laboratories.
You could also build on your analytical and research expertise to pursue postgraduate study with an MSc, MPhil or PhD in subjects related to forensic science and criminology.
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 necessary tools for dissection, 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
All final year students (L6) without any backlogs of L5 modules will get one-year free student membership to the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSoFS)
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
In addition to the dissection kit we provide, 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 Sciences 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.