Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

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.

The Chartered Society of Forensic Science Accreditation Logo

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.

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.

Sanita Nezirovic, Leader in Forensic Science with Criminology, discusses her involvement, as an anthropologist, in profiling a Bronze Age skeleton recently discovered in Northumbria

Professional Recognition

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.

Crime tape at a crime scene with forensic scientists working in full personal protective equipment

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. 

What you will study

You’ll study modules such as:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Study Skills in Science
  • Research Methods and Data Handling
  • Foundation in Forensic Science
  • Fundamentals of Human Behaviour
  • Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Principles of Cellular Biology

If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules.

  • Induction Module - This module is designed to prepare students for the undergraduate programmes by providing an online environment in which students can become proficient in the skills required for Higher Education study
  • Genetics - You will gain a broad introduction to, and basic understanding of, the key concepts in classical and molecular genetics
  • Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation - You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts, techniques and processes used in the examination, documentation and analysis of the crime scene and specialist examinations 
  • Introduction to Forensic Science - You will be provided with a broad introduction to the fundamental concepts, techniques and processes used in the collection, processing, analysis and storage of forensic evidence and data
  • Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice for Forensic Science - You will gain a broad introduction to English Criminal Justice, the Police and Crime Scene Support, the Expert Witness and providing evidence to the court, basic statistics for Forensic Scientists to evaluate evidential value as well as an understanding of the key concepts of classical and contemporary criminology
  • Chemistry of Life - You will be introduced to the basic concepts of chemistry and how molecules are used in the functioning of the cell unit and its biochemical processes 
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology - You will be introduced to the relationship between theory and data in both quantitative and qualitative research and learn key principles of research methods and design
  • Does Psychology Matter? - You will use a number of key topic to explore how psychologists discuss and debate critical issues
  • Crime Scene to Court - Students will develop the skills necessary for the full investigation of the crime scene, laboratory examination through to the presentation of this evidence in a court room scenario
  • Qualitative Methods: The Individual in Society - You will explore the different insights which qualitative approaches bring to the area of individual differences
  • Trace Evidence - This module gives the student insight into how trace evidence is used in forensic investigation 
  • Preparing for Independent Research - The module will prepare students for their Independent Studies research project undertaken at level 6 and deliver important information regarding research design and ethics 

Optional modules:

  • Psychopathology: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Issues - The module aims to develop in students a critical understanding of the main forms of mental illness from a psychological perspective
  • Molecular Biology - You'll develop an understanding of the molecular basis of fundamental biological and forensic processes, such as transcription and translation
  • Forensic Anthropology - Using skeletal remains to assist in human identification this module provides an introduction to the practice of Forensic Anthropology 
  • Forensic Imaging - This module develops the student’s ability to use a wide range of imaging scientific techniques and modalities to analyse and record forensic evidence
  • Wildlife Crime and Forensic Entomology - You will gain specialist knowledge of two fields of forensic science in relation to non-human evidence

This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Serious and Organised Crime - Using recent forensic research, police protocols, guides and criminal law, students will study current approaches and techniques in serious and organised crime investigation
  • Forensic Applications of Psychology - You will be introduced to the application of psychology to our understanding of criminal behaviour and the criminal justice system
  • Independent Studies for Forensic Science - You will undertake an independent piece of work of your choosing (subject to approval). This module is a continuation of personal skill development initiated in Stages 4 and 5
  • Professional Practice - You will act as a professional Forensic Scientist in various aspects of the profession including Crime Scene Investigation, Laboratory manager and evidence examination, Pre-trial and court appearance as an Expert Witness

Optional modules:

  • Medical Forensics - This module provides an overview of processes that occur after death and how they can be used to give temporal, causal and trace evidence in forensic investigations
  • The Dark Side of Psychology - This module explores the dark and hidden history of psychology which is often neglected in conventional textbooks
  • The Human Genome - We take a tour around the human genome, you will learn how it can be used and applied to answer questions ranging from human evolution to forensic biology
  • Vocational Module - The student has freedom to select an appropriate host organisation to undertake a placement within a company, voluntary body or public establishment

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.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about Forensic Science with Psychology

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 Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

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.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/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.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£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

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


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.

Adam Long conducting a fingerprint examination in the Forensics lab

Adam Long
Programme leader

Adam Long is the Undergraduate Programme Coordinator for Forensic Science at the University of Derby and teaches across all levels, with particular interest and expertise in fingerprints, their capture and comparison. Adam also sits on Governing Council for The Chartered Society of Forensic Science and is the main point of contact for the Fingerprint Working Group.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

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

Download programme specification

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.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

You might also like