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BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation

UCAS code: 
F410
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Suffolk New College

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

Introduction

In the ever-changing world in which the criminal justice system operates, the need for reliable collection and evaluation of evidence is vital. The integrity of the process from the crime scene to the courtroom can determine the outcome of criminal investigations. The role of forensic scientists and investigators must be supported with established protocols, scientific principles and reliability.

Studying forensic investigation will guide and teach you the underpinning knowledge, skills and professional practice that will lead to a rewarding and satisfying career. Through the course, you will cover units in four key themes: Investigation, Evidence Recording & Recovery, Legal and Scientific Principles. You will start with key concepts and foundations in a range of disciplines at the start of the course, with a view to equipping you for the more advanced analytical units as the course progresses.

You will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of a range of analytical techniques and instruments with different detection systems. We have a variety of microscopes available, as well as a selection of specialised forensic equipment. In addition to benefiting from the knowledge and skills of our specialist staff, you will have guest lectures from practitioners in a range of forensic science specialism and you will gain an understanding of the industry through enrichment activities, such as attending conferences, and visits to places of work. 

Assessment on the course will include practical assessments, professional development portfolio, independent research, and comprehensive reports, both verbally and in writing.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

English Legal System (Requisite)

This module will introduce students to the legal systems that forensic and criminal investigations operate within.

Introduction to Crime Scene and Forensic Applications (Mandatory)

This modules introduces the key topics of crime scene investigation, evidence collection and analysis.

Introduction to Laboratory Practice (Mandatory)

This module introduces learners to the key concepts of laboratory practice and analytical techniques.

Introduction to Forensic DNA (Mandatory)

This module introduces key theoretical concepts of Biological science and its application within forensic investigation.

Introduction to Forensic Chemistry (Mandatory)

This module introduces key theoretical concepts of Chemical science and its application within forensic investigation.

Investigative Photography (Requisite)

This module will introduce students to the theoretical and practical application of photography in the forensic context.

Forensic Biology (Mandatory)

This module focusses on the application of biology and genetics to the field of forensics and the use of these in a criminal investigation.

Crime Scene Investigation (Mandatory)

The module provides the student with the opportunity to undertake practical work in the recovery of evidence at various scenes and highlights the problems that different types of scenes can bring.

Forensic Laboratory Investigation (Mandatory)

The module will cover the basic principles of the forensic examination of the evidence within a laboratory setting.

Investigation Management (Requisite)

This module will enable students to gain relevant knowledge and understanding of the role of the investigator, as well as the processes involved in the investigation of volume and serious crimes.

Research Methods (Mandatory)

This module explores approaches to academic research, by combining skills of research, academic referencing, critical analysis, reflection, selection of sources and reviewing of literature through a piece of academic writing.

Analytical Chemistry and Laboratory Quality (Mandatory)

This module is designed to provide students with knowledge and experience of analysing samples using a variety of chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques and develop an understanding of the underlying quality management principles that are involved in such analyses, good laboratory practice and method validation.

Human Identification Techniques (Mandatory)

The module is designed to demonstrate the ability of analytical techniques in providing Individualising evidence for both medical and legal investigations.

Forensic Anthropology (Mandatory)

This module looks at the role of the forensic anthropologist and the application of physical and biological anthropology to criminal investigations.

Advanced Crime Scene and Forensic Applications (Mandatory)

This module will examine the professional practice that underpins all the modules, consolidating the skills and knowledge gained throughout level 4&5. Opportunities to explore ethical, legal, contractual and financial responsibilities as well as developing employability skills. This module will also incorporate personal development planning

Dissertation (Mandatory)

The dissertation will provide an opportunity for individuals to develop an area of scientific interest arising from either course-based or work-based experience. The focus of the dissertation will be a research-based study, central to which will be some form of hypothesis testing or problem solving. It will enable students to utilise practical, intellectual and decision-making skills in novel situations. The dissertation will provide a mechanism for the development of autonomy and self-direction whilst undertaking a problem-solving approach to a research topic.

Career opportunities

Graduates are highly employable, both in the specialist area of forensic investigation and in other associated fields requiring an enquiring, scientific and legal mind. Graduating from this course prepares you for a range of careers including crime scene investigation and laboratory analysis. In addition, the skills and knowledge you acquire are transferable to a wide range of scientific and analytical-based jobs. Furthermore, you will be equipped to follow a career in other areas such as research, teaching, business, the law or further education.

Careers include:

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Scenes of Crime Officer 
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Laboratory Scientist
  • Police Staff
  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Scientific laboratory technician
  • Teaching laboratory technician
  • Toxicologist

The knowledge and skills you have gained in this degree could also be used to pursue careers as:

  • Further Education Lecturer
  • Secondary School Science Teacher 
  • Paralegal
  • Science Writer

Graduation from this course will also open up the opportunity to continue your studies in a range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses.

Fees and finance

2020-21

  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £13,330 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Tuition Fees 
  • Financial Support 
  • Loans and Grants
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC) or Access to Higher Education Diploma – a minimum of 30 Level 3 credits at merit grade or above.

GCSEs - English, Mathematics and Science
A Level - Biology or Chemistry
BTEC - Applied Science or Forensic and Criminal Investigation
Access to HE - Science. 

How to Apply

 

 

International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

International and EU

Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.