Full-time: 4 years
£9,250 per year* (2020/21)
£14,045 per year (2020/21)
72 (September 2020 entry)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
Combine strong psychological insights with the skills of the forensic scientist – and you’ll be ideally prepared for a career to take you far. Choosing to embark on your studies with a foundation year gives you a great starting point too.
- 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 according to the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
- Forensic Science at Derby is ranked third in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching, Guardian University Guide 2020
- Study a programme which sets high professional standards: this course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
- Start out at foundation year stage if you would like a thorough grounding in key aspects of your subject before progressing to honours degree studies – ideal if you are planning a career change or exploring areas which are new to you
- Balance forensic science skills with fascinating perspectives on the criminal mind and criminal behaviour
- Look forward to exciting career prospects: this course can lead to fulfilling roles in the worlds of forensic science, criminal justice and law
- Take full advantage of our exceptional facilities, including a crime scene house, forensic labs, psychological observation suites and courtrooms
- Draw on our flourishing links with the police, emergency services and hospitals for a learning experience rooted in contemporary professional practice
- Gain valuable workplace experience: you will have the opportunity to undertake work based learning in a forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or the forensic analytical service laboratories of our partner, the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit
Set yourself apart as an adaptable, forward-thinking and highly capable graduate who can offer a lot to an employer. By bringing forensic science together with psychology, this qualification will help you stand out in the graduate job market.
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 exacting standards. Our Forensic Science courses were praised by the CSFS for their link to industry standards and relevant curriculum, our student-centred approach, employment experience available, our excellent facilities and accessibility for our students to engage with real-life cases.
Become a multi-skilled and versatile professional
We take you through the full spectrum of forensic practices and processes. You’ll learn how to collect and examine evidence, developing your practical abilities in areas such as fingerprint recovery and analysis, blood pattern analysis, and human tissue analysis. There is also the opportunity to observe a post mortem.
Allied to your practical forensic skills, you’ll extend your knowledge of key psychological theories and principles so that you develop a more incisive understanding of the criminal mind. You even gain practice in presenting evidence as an expert witness and being cross-examined by barristers in a courtroom setting.
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.
Realistic crime scenarios
Mock crime scenes will give you the chance to locate and analyse traces of ‘evidence’. Our custom-designed is an impressive resource for our forensics students. It includes a blood pattern analysis room used for both teaching and research as well as settings such as a bedroom, lounge, garage, office, pharmacy or pub where you can put your investigative skills to the test.
We have invested in digital surveillance – including panoramic CCTV and equipment for two-way audio recording and feedback – at the house. It means tutors can monitor your progress from a control room as you work independently on the crime scenes. This high-tech learning environment is complemented by two crime scene cars, kindly donated by Toyota Manufacturing UK.
Excellent laboratory facilities
You can put your theoretical knowledge into practice in our modern forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring modern instrumentation. You’ll also enjoy access to our insectary, osteology laboratory and imaging suite.
Your understanding will be enhanced further by our superb facilities for psychology teaching and research. They include computing labs with specialist software for experiment design, together with a full complement of psychological recording resources such as the latest eye tracker equipment for analysing eye movement. We also provide an observation suite equipped with two-way mirrors and DVD recording technology.
A powerful professional perspective
We place a strong emphasis on keeping you up to date with new developments within the industry as well as latest research. You’ll gain valuable insights into professional practice thanks to our longstanding partnerships with Derbyshire Constabulary, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Royal Derby Hospital and the East Midlands Scientific Operations Unit (EMSOU).
These collaborations give you access to real-world industry experience, including the chance to apply for a placement in EMSOU’s forensic imaging unit, footwear unit or forensic analytical service laboratories.
Supporting you all the way is our expert academic team made up of forensic scientists, psychologists and practising professionals. They have an impressive reputation for research which is shaping the future of forensic science and psychology, including investigations into fingerprint enhancement techniques, psychopathy, organised crime and witness reliability.
Match your studies to your personal interests
If you have a specific career path you want to follow – or an area of study which particularly enthuses you – this course gives you ample opportunity to pursue those interests.
While you will build a strong core of knowledge in forensic science and psychology, you can also select from a range of optional modules to tailor your degree. Examples include Medical Forensics, Applied Entomology, Forensic Imaging, Forensic Anthropology, Abnormal Psychology and The Dark Side of Psychology.
There is a further chance to ‘personalise’ your degree when you choose a specialist theme for your final-year research project. From your Foundation Year you will start to develop skills in research and data handling to prepare for this in-depth study. We can also support you to present your findings at conferences or by contributing to academic journals too.
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 learn through lectures, practical sessions, seminars, and crime scene training.
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 based learning
Between stages two and three, you can apply to work in industry to give you an opportunity to use your theoretical and practical skills. Work based learning can be during your summer break, three to four months, or up to a whole year. We have a range of optional modules allowing you to tailor your degree to your own interests and career aspirations. You will also keep a continuous personal development portfolio, helping you to prepare for life after university.
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||72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2.
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*
£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
Your in-depth practical knowledge of forensic science, coupled with psychological insights, will also open doors to a broad spectrum of graduate-level jobs.
You could progress your career within the forensic science sector, the criminal justice system, local constabularies, insurance companies, law firms or private laboratories.
Take a look at the ways in which we enhance your employability.
The degree also provides a firm foundation for postgraduate level learning. As it is an applied science course, it 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 Post-14 (Education and Training) qualification.
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)
- Use of equipment for all practical sessions and crime scene examination (including PPE, CSI materials and photography)
- 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 neeed 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.