Are you interested in criminal investigations and understanding how varying forensic evidence types are used to help solve crimes? This course allows you to study the theories of crime and criminality alongside contemporary forensic techniques and practice. You will explore ways in which you may combine methods of crime detection, classification and prevention with classical criminological ideas.
On this course you can:
This course has received recognition and endorsement of its content from the Chartered Society of Forensic Science.
You will be able to pursue a variety of forensic investigation, criminal justice, local government and charity sector careers such as crime scene investigation, police and probation officers, Home Office researchers, intelligence and crime analyst positions, as well as a wide range of private and public industries. While the degree does not train you to become a forensic scientist, upon graduation you can expect to be qualified for a broad range of criminal justice careers where forensic awareness plays a key role.
What makes this course a great choice is that it combines the necessary theoretical knowledge with the relevant practical skills. The staff are very knowledgeable and supportive, with a wide range of specialties giving you the chance to both widen and deepen your academic experience. Additionally, you have the chance to tailor your degree according to your interests and future plans, through the number of optional units as well as opportunities to do a placement or study abroad.
Will Bergstroem, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies student
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
Study of Languages (0 credits) - which if combined with Year 2 Languages Study, leads to a Certificate.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
Year-long language Option for credit which, if combined with Year 1 Languages Study, leads to a Certificate.
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
During your time at the Institute of Criminal Justice Justice studies, you will be actively encouraged to develop your language skills, to develop your international and comparative subject expertise, and to consider Study Abroad at one of our partner universities in Europe, South Asia or North America.
We currently have 3 European Union partnerships, plus 2 outside of Europe in Canada and South Korea. All our Study Abroad opportunities are for a full academic year – operating as a "sandwich year" at year three of a four year degree.
Our teaching approach involves lectures, seminars, tutorials, group discussions, practical workshops and forensic crime scene and basic laboratory examinations. We will teach you the necessary skills for degree-level work through study skills tutorials in year one and two, and focus on dissertation supervision in year three (This may involve primary research, practical or laboratory based projects in any aspect of criminal justice, investigation and forensic studies). You will also be introduced to the software and web-based learning materials.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
You have the option to take up a placement as the third year of a four year study programme. Opportunities are available with local criminal justice organisations, as well as in countries overseas through the Erasmus student mobility programme.
Assessment is through a combination of coursework, practical crime scene and forensic laboratory assessments and examinations. These include open, pre-seen papers and closed traditional examinations. Coursework involves seminar papers, presentations, group projects and a 10,000-word dissertation. Full support is given to help you develop the necessary techniques so you'll be able to excel in your assessed work.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
This course has received recognition from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
Through their studies students can also gain professional accreditation that will directly assist them in the development of their employability prospects. For example:
Dr Katherine Brown
Criminology and Forensic Studies
Our course provides a comprehensive view of theoretical and practical aspects of criminology, criminal justice and forensic investigation. Students study the holistic and contextual basis for social scientific and forensic methods within the Criminal Justice System, and have the opportunity to tailor their degree for a wide range of employment opportunities.
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The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies was founded in 1992 and has since grown to comprise 50 academic staff and more than 1,800 students. Now an internationally-renowned focal point for the study of crime and criminal justice processes, it draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk and security.
Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the police service and criminal justice agencies ensure that our courses reflect the changing needs of the profession. You may benefit from these links by hearing guest speakers, listening to leading-edge research and being helped to find professional work placements.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
For placements abroad, you will be required to pay for additional costs. These will vary depending on the placement and length of stay, ranging from £50 - £1,000 to cover travel, accommodation or subsistence.
You can expect to work within the police, probation and prison services, in the fields of community safety, crime prevention and criminological research, or as a forensic practitioner.
Our graduates have gone on to jobs as:
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. This gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, reflect on your experiences and learn to express this to potential employers. ICJS has strong links with employers both locally and internationally, currently our Internship Manager facilitates student internships with a range of criminal justice related organisations, and we have a collaborative partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, allowing students to serve an internship period with Crime Scene Investigators, DIgital Crime Specialists and the Chemical Development team.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
I believed study abroad would be an amazing opportunity to learn from a new culture and see more of the world. I am so happy that I was given this opportunity and that I had pushed myself to do it - definitely an incredible experience. I entered my final year in Portsmouth with more confidence in my abilities.
Damaris D'Avino, Malta 2015-16 (BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies)
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.
Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.