Criminology and Forensic Studies BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Criminology and Forensic Studies
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.
This course is recognised by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS), the professional body for forensic practitioners. This recognition lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in forensic investigation when you graduate. It also allows you to register as a student member of the CSFS.
By choosing certain optional units on this course, you can get pre-entry qualifications for a career in probation work and community justice.
What you'll experience
On this Criminology and Forensic Studies degree course, you'll:
- 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
If you want to look at the practical side of crime this is the course for you. It shows you so many different roles that you wouldn't even think existed. The course is really practical too: looking at police investigations and how they're run was so interesting.
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.
The things I like about my course are the broad range of topics, the experienced lecturers, and the mixture of academic and vocational learning.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies degree
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.
- Crime Scene and Forensic Investigation
- Criminal Justice
- Essential Skills For Criminologists
- Psychology For Criminologists
- Understanding Criminology
- Questioning Criminology
- Researching Criminology
- Techniques of Scientific Investigation
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Community Justice
- Crimes of the Powerful
- Firearms Investigation
- Forensic Science
- Foundation of Economic Crime
- Global, State and Corporate Security
- Hate Crime
- Introduction to Teaching
- Learning From Experience
- Missing Persons: Issues and Investigation
- Modern Foreign Language
- Penology and Prison
- Police, Law and Community
- Policing A Diverse Society
- Principles of Economic Crime Investigation
- Victims of Crime: Key Players in Criminal Justice
- Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response
- Youth Crime, Youth Justice
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
- Dissertation / Major Project (Criminology)
- Management of Criminal Investigations
- The Future of Forensic Investigations
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response
- Crime, Exclusion and Mental Health
- Cybercrime: Deviance, Crime and Terror
- Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection
- Forensic Psychology: Investigation
- Forensic Taphonomy
- Gender and Crime
- Green Crime and Environmental Justice
- Intelligence Analysis
- Introduction to Teaching
- Learning From Experience
- Miscarriages of Justice
- Money Laundering and Compliance
- Political Extremism
- Social Policy, Justice and Crime
- Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders
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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- practical crime scene assessments
- 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
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the crime and forensics field.
Previous students have secured placement positions at organisations such as Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue.
You can also spend this year studying overseas at one of our partner universities in Europe, south Asia and North America.
We’ll help you secure a work or study placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- group discussions
- practical workshops
- forensic crime scene examinations
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Criminology and Forensic Studies degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.
The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
Extra learning support
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.
Learning Development Tutors
You'll have help from a team of faculty Learning Development Tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- understanding and using assignment feedback
- managing your time and workload
- revision and exam techniques
Academic skills support
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies degree entry requirements
Tuition fees (2019 start)
- UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
You’ll need to pay additional costs of £50–£1000 to cover travel, accommodation or subsistence if you take a placement abroad. The amount you’ll pay will vary, depending on the location and length of your stay.
How to apply
To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – LF34
- our institution code – P80
You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.