Criminology and Forensic Studies BSc (Hons)

Overview

Are you interested in understanding how forensic evidence is used to help solve crime?

This BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies degree course examines the field of crime and criminality and pairs it with the world of forensic investigation. You’ll get a deep understanding of what makes a criminal, from a societal, psychological and law perspective. And you’ll get out of the classroom to get to grips with the latest forensic theory and practice.

This course leads to careers in areas such as research and intelligence analysis, crime scene investigation, and probation and police work.

What you'll experience:

  • Explore criminology while using the latest forensic facilities in one of the largest criminology departments in the country
  • Have access to a biology lab and a forensic crime scene examination house
  • Work alongside crime and forensics professionals via our partnerships with bodies including Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Tailor your degree to match your interests and workplace ambitions
  • Learn from criminology, probation and policing experts and interact with practitioners from criminal justice agencies, businesses and charitable organisations
  • Go on visits to relevant destinations, like the Hampshire Constabulary fingerprint bureau and military CSI training headquarters.
  • Attend guest talks from career specialists, such as fire investigators and forensic odontologists

You can also:

  • Spend a year abroad, studying with an international partner university
  • Learn a new language and get credits towards your degree

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

What you'll study:

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Crime Scene and Forensic Investigation – 20 credits- This module introduces you to crime scene and forensic investigation.

Criminal Justice – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll explore the theoretical and practical issues related to national and international criminal justice systems.

Essential Skills for Criminologists – 40 credits- This module introduces you to the fundamental scholarly skills required to ease your transition into higher education and succeed at University.

Psychology for Criminologists – 20 credits- This module develops your understanding of psychological theory and principles, and the relationship of theory to criminology and criminal justice issues.

Understanding Criminology – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the origins and developments of criminological thinking.

Year 2

Core modules

Forensic Evidence Analysis – 20 credits- On this module, you'll explore the role of forensic science practitioners within the investigative process, and the application of analytical techniques to serious and complex crimes.

Forensic Evidence Interpretation – 20 credits- On this module, you'll explore the methodologies used for the interpretation of forensic evidence, and their application in the forensic investigation process.

Questioning Criminology – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll examine various criticisms and challenges that have been made of criminology and the social sciences. 

Researching Criminology – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll build on your knowledge of research methodology and further develop your research skills. 

Optional Modules

Crimes of the Powerful – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll examine different forms of state crime and the responses to them.

Firearms Investigation – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll focus on the investigation of firearms related incidents.

Foundation of Economic Crime – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the concept of economic crime. Grounded in the discipline of criminology, you’ll adopt a holistic approach to looking at economic crime cases.

Global, State and Corporate Security – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll critically examine an extensive array of crime and security considerations, as well as security agencies and security strategies.

Hate Crime – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the subject of hate crime.

Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits- The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

Modern Foreign Language (IWLP) - 20 credits- In this module, you'll study 1 of 8 modern languages on the University's free Institution-Wide Language Programme.

Learning from Experience – 20 credits- On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

Missing Persons: Issues and Investigation – 20 credits- This module introduces you to a variety of issues relating to missing persons cases.

Penology and Prison – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the subject of penology and prison, looking at the focus on relationships between ethics, legislation and policy with a focus on the harms of imprisonment.

Police, Law and Community – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the subject of police, law and community.

Policing a Diverse Society – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll critically examine the complexities of policing a diverse society.

Principles of Economic Crime Investigation – 20 credits- This module gives you a foundation in the principles of investigation such as investigative techniques, including information and evidence gathering, surveillance, and whistleblowing.

Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll examine the types of wildlife crime and their environmental factors. 

Youth Crime, Youth Justice – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the core elements of youth crime and youth justice.

Optional sandwich year

Optional modules

Work Placement Year - 120 credits- With support, you'll identify and arrange a placement opportunity with an appropriate company or organisation.

Year 3

Core modules

Dissertation/Major Project – 40 credits- In this module, you’ll design and complete an extended academic or work based study which has clear and specific aims and is based on your own enquiry, research, original thought and personal learning of a specialised topic of study.

Management of Criminal Investigations – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the management of criminal investigations.

The Future of Forensic Investigations – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll take an interdisciplinary approach and look at new and existing knowledge to critically evaluate, generate ideas, and develop creative solutions to problems in the current forensic science process.

Optional Modules

Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll examine terrorism in its global context. Rooted in the contemporary context, you’ll consider, compare and contrast the rise of terrorism, and the apparent attraction of the ideological and operational contexts. You’ll focus on research on radicalisation, sociological and psychological theories of individual and social motivation, and issues of gender identity and the role of women within terrorist organisations.

Cybercrime: Deviance, Crime and Terror – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll look at activities covered by the umbrella term of cybercrime.

Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the topic of dangerous offenders and public protection in the UK.

Forensic Psychology: Investigation – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll get an introduction to forensic psychology and its practical application.

Forensic Taphonomy – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the physiology of death and the influence of the environment on the decomposition of human remains.

Gender and Crime – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll re-examine crime and the criminal justice system through a gendered lens.

Green Crime and Environmental Justice – 20 credits- As a broadening specialised area of criminology, this module charts the development of environmentalism.

Intelligence Analysis – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the different forms of intelligence analysis used in the public and private sectors.

Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits- The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

Learning from Experience – 20 credits- On this module you can gain credits from paid or unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning including self-employment.

Management of Criminal Investigations – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the management of criminal investigations.

Miscarriages of Justice – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll take an holistic approach to miscarriages of justice and examine reasons why miscarriages of justice occur.

Money Laundering and Compliance – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll be introduced to the notions of governance, risk, and compliance.

Murder Investigation: Key Challenges – 20 credits- This module introduces you to the subject of murder investigations. You’ll get the basic knowledge required to work in the criminal justice system.

Political Extremism – 20 credits- In this module, you’ll examine the significance of right-wing political extremism in the disciplines of criminology and political science.

Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits- On this module you'll develop your understanding of the job application process from the perspective of recruiters and candidates.

Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders – 20 credits- This module introduces you to disputed concepts of treatment and rehabilitation in the criminal justice system.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • practical crime scene assessments
  • examinations
  • presentations
  • group projects
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 27% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 66% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 8% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 87% by coursework

Careers and opportunities

When you complete the course, you’ll be prepared for a range of criminal justice careers where forensic awareness plays a key role. You can work as a forensic practitioner within the police, probation and prison services or in the fields of community safety, crime prevention and criminological research.

What jobs can you do with a Criminology and Forensic Studies degree?

Roles previous graduates have gone on to include:

  • investigative data analyst
  • police officer
  • probation officer
  • youth offending support officer
  • emergency planning officer
  • offender case administrator
  • prison officers
  • civilian investigator

You could also do postgraduate study in areas such as forensic sciences.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

96-128 points from 3 A levels or equivalent

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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