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)
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.
Our forensic science courses prepare you to become a highly skilled and confident professional, fully equipped to reach evidence-based conclusions and take a case 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, road accidents, assaults, and drug crime. This will help you prepare for the diverse scenarios that you are likely to encounter throughout your career.
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.
You’ll benefit from the knowledge, experience and networks of our experienced 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 remarkable experiences with you.
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.
"All of the lecturers are extremely passionate about the subject and have extensive knowledge, which comes across during all lectures." - Rachel Siân Dennis, Forensic Science student
The high quality of this course 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 exacting standards. Depending on the optional modules you choose, you could also be eligible for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).
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.
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.
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 selection 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.
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 on-campus Forensic Training Facility 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 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.
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.
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, as 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.
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 Scientists (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 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.