Combine high-level skills as a forensic scientist with in-depth knowledge of criminology for an inspiring and broad-based study programme.
- Forensic Science at Derby is ranked third in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching (Guardian University Guide 2020)
- 96% of our BSc (Hons) Forensic Science with Criminology students are satisfied with teaching on the course (National Student Survey 2019)
- Forensic Science at Derby is ranked in the Top 10 for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2019 and Top 10 for student experience in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
- Study a programme which sets high professional standards: this course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
- Learn alongside professional forensic scientists, fingerprint experts, police officers, lawyers and judges for real insights into working life
- Gain hands-on experience in authentic environments including our high-specification forensic laboratories, crime scene cars, courtrooms and Forensic Training Facility
- You will have the opportunity to undertake work based learning in a forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service laboratories with our partner East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU)
Designed to meet the needs of employers, the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science with Criminology broadens your career scope, enhances your versatility and helps you develop professional skills from day one.
From crime scene to courtroom
This course guides you through the full range of forensic practices and processes – from collecting and examining evidence to presenting your findings in court.
You’ll investigate mock crime scenes including break-ins, assaults, vehicles and drug crime. This will help you prepare for the diverse scenarios that you are likely to encounter throughout your career. There is the opportunity to observe a post mortem too.
Your studies will be underpinned by a strong focus on the criminal justice system and the legal aspects of forensic science. You’ll explore 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 evidence in court and being cross-examined by barristers – just as you would in the world of work.
The high quality of this BSc (Hons) degree 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 rigorous standards.
Investigate our state-of-the-art facilities
Our custom-designed Forensic Training Facility, which opened in 2015, is used to create scenarios in different domestic and commercial settings, 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 feedback. You’ll be able to work on crime scenarios independently while tutors monitor your progress in real time from a control room. We also have two crime scene cars, kindly donated by Toyota Manufacturing UK.
Laboratory work is central to the role of the forensic scientist. We boast specialist forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring modern instrumentation where you can put your theoretical knowledge into practice.
Strong employer links
We work in close partnership with Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service 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.
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. We also offer a scenes of crime placement in conjunction with EMSOU.
Learn from an expert team
You’ll benefit from the knowledge, experience and networks of our enthusiastic teaching team which includes forensic scientists, criminology specialists, practising lawyers, barristers and judges.
Our active researchers conduct important studies into fields ranging from forensic handwriting analysis and fingerprint enhancement techniques to criminal investigations and witness reliability. High-profile visiting speakers also share their experiences with you and help you learn more about latest developments in the field.
Studies tailored to suit you
There are plenty of opportunities to match your studies to your personal interests and career aspirations. You’ll develop your understanding of core areas of forensic science and criminology but can also choose from a wide range of optional modules covering subjects such as policing and society, victimology, serious and organised crime, forensic anthropology, forensic imaging and the human genome.
For your final-year research project, you will have the chance to focus on a specialist theme of your choice. We support you to share your research through high-profile conferences or academic journals. Each year our students attend the East Midlands Forensics Institute Research Network (FIRN) conference to showcase their findings and network with other professionals.
Such activities can raise your profile as a talent of the future, helping you to stand out in a highly competitive job market.
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.
You’ll use our specialist facilities, including our on-campus Forensic Training Facility and crime scene cars. You’ll also have the opportunity to observe a post-mortem. 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 your second and third years 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
September 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
At least a C in Biology and/or Chemistry at A-level (or equivalent qualification). This also includes Applied Science, a BTEC Science subject or Access Science.
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
£9,250 per year*
£1,155 per module*
£14,045 per year
* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
You could follow in the footsteps of our many successful graduates and work within the criminal justice system, the police force, the prison service or forensic services. You could also pursue careers in broader areas such as law firms, pharmaceutical companies or private laboratories.
The course equips you with the skills you need to take your studies to a higher level too. Because it is an applied science course based on subjects such as organic chemistry and molecular biology, you could move on to MSc, MPhil or PhD study.
Some of our students also go on to teaching careers within secondary or further education after studying our PGCE Post-14 (Education and Training).
Take a look at the ways in which we enhance your employability.
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
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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.
Included in your fees
- You will receive a dissection kit, laboratory coat and crime scene suit
- Access to specialist software: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)
- Travel and entrance fees covered for fieldtrips where suitable/possible to examine fire scenes and observe a post mortem examination
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 £6
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 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.