Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation

Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation BSc (Hons)

Thanks to our accreditation with the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and our close links to Lancashire and Greater Manchester constabularies, this course is a solid, widely respected route into the highly competitive field of forensic science and criminal investigation. Learning from former CSIs, you’ll develop a broad understanding of forensic science from a legal perspective and, in your second and third years, you could get the chance to work alongside local police CSI and scientific support teams. This course exceeds the National Occupational Standards for VSCI’s and CSI’s and several of our recent graduates have secured employment with local forces.

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years; four years with industrial placement

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Forensic and Archaeological Sciences at UCLan are 1st in the North West for overall student satisfaction, teaching quality and academic support - National Student Survey 2019.
  • Forensic Science at UCLan is ranked 1st in the North West and 11th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide 2021.
  • Our strategic alliance with Lancashire Constabulary provides you with access to an operational policing environment such as CSI shadowing, work placements in scientific support and research opportunities.
  • You’ll benefit from state-of-the-art facilities, including dedicated crime scene house, garaged vehicle examination bay, analytical unit, laboratories, and a Hydra Minerva Simulation Suite.

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Volume Crime Scene Science
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Study Skills for Criminal Investigation
  • Introduction to Criminal Investigation

Optional modules

  • Crime Scene Photography 
  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Practice
  • Research Methods

Optional modules
Stream One

  • Advanced Crime Scene Investigation
  • Advanced Photography

Stream Two

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • The Science and Management of Death

Optional for sandwich award:

  •  Industrial Placement Year

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Application of Forensic Science
  • Dissertation

Optional modules - choose one

  • Major Crime Inquiries
  • Policing Cybercrime
  • Fraud and Asset Recovery
  • International Humanitarian and Criminal Law
  • Counter Terrorism

Plus one of:
Stream One

  • Crime Scene Management

Stream Two

  • Forensic Taphanomic Traces
  • Human Remains Recovery

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our online events Find out more about our online events

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 106-112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

Study Forensic Science at UCLan

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The complete university guide top 10 logo - forensic scienceUCLAN IS UK’S BIGGEST RISER IN NEW LEAGUE TABLE

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is the UK’s biggest riser in the first league table of the year. Forensic science was ranked in the UK’s top 10 and top in the North West.

Read more.

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At the start of the course, you will have the choice to study one stream from two choices, these being crime scene investigation or forensic anthropology. The stream you choose will be followed throughout your study. Throughout the course you will learn all aspects of the law relating to forensic science, you will also learn how to recognise, enhance and recover all evidence types from crime scenes and how to analyse that evidence in the laboratory. During your final year you will also be required to write a dissertation, largely of your own choice.

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

LFSA partnerships logo

Lancashire Constabulary and UCLan School of Forensic and Applied Sciences have joined forces to create the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.

In the first collaboration of its kind, CSIs, forensic science experts, academics and students will work alongside each other in purpose-built facilities to research, investigate and deliver forensic science services in Lancashire.

This ground-breaking partnership gives students access to an operational environment.

Find out more

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Guest speakers are brought in to talk about other areas including law, ballistics and DNA, and alumni will talk to you about their career path and how to get on.

You will be taught in a range of environments utilising our excellent facilities, you will also role play during several policing scenarios.

Assessment is by a variety of methods including but not limited to, standard written exams, written assessment, presentations, crime scene examinations, photographic portfolios, human bone identification or a combination of these.

"My passion is within crime scene investigation and the future of this area of forensic investigation. New advanced techniques are being developed all the time and the UK, without question, is one of the most advanced countries for forensic investigation in the world."

 Paul Callaghan - Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation course leader

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This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team & UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

Professional Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Our Industry Links

This course exceeds the National Occupational Standards for VCSI’s and CSI’s. Several of our recent graduates have secured employment with local forces.

Great Opportunities

In such a competitive job market, UCLan graduates stand out. You’ll find them at work as forensic scientists and analysts in both private companies and for the police force, and working as crime scene investigators, police intelligence analysts and police officers, at home and overseas.

Our Facilities

We provide state-of-the-art facilities including :

Forensic Laboratory

Crime Scene Houses

Kristina Mavrangelidou 
3rd year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation 2018

Kristina Mavrangelidou

David Green  
1st year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation 2018

David Green

Nia Bassral 
1st year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation 2018

Nia Bassral

Emily Hudson
1st year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science & Criminal Investigation 2018

Emily Hudson

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Robin Duffy

Robin Duffy

Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, 2018

UCLan Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation graduate, Robin Duffy, gained an internationally recognised qualification in Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) during his studies at UCLan. Robin’s decision to sign up for a University-led visit to the United of States of America simply couldn’t have worked out better for him.


Important Information

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.