Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

72 (September 2022 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Extend your career scope and enhance your employability on a four-year course which brings together the skills of the forensic scientist and the insights of the criminologist.

  • Study a programme which sets high professional standards: this course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
  • 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)
3rdin the UK for careers after 15 months of graduating**Forensic Science subject area - The Guardian University Guide 2022
4thin the UK for student satisfaction with teaching**Forensic Science subject area - The Guardian University Guide 2022
8thfor student satisfaction**The Complete University Guide 2021, Forensic Science subject area
5thfor graduate prospects**The Complete University Guide 2022, Forensic Science subject area

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.

A student dusting a bottle

Expert teaching

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.

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 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

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, 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.

Employer links

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.

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

View Forensic Research: Profiling a Bronze Age skeleton video transcript

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

    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.

    Work placements

    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.

    Find out more about personal academic tutoring

    Who will teach you

    Ana Flavia Belchior de Andrade using a microscope

    Dr Ana Flavia Belchior de Andrade
    Programme leader

    As a lecture 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.

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2022 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points72
    A LevelDDD
    GCSEGCSE 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
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

    English language requirements

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

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points72
    A LevelDDD
    T LevelPass
    GCSEGCSE 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
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2

    English language requirements

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

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £9,250 per year



    £14,045 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

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

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    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. 

    Some of our former students have moved into teaching careers within secondary or further education after studying our PGCE Secondary (Schools Direct) or PGCE Post-14 (Education and Training).

    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
    • Numeracy
    • IT literacy
    • Critical awareness

    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.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    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.

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