Forensic at crime scene handling keys into evidence bag

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023


Forensic evidence is a vital component in bringing perpetrators to justice. On this MSc Forensic Investigation degree course, you'll learn the practical skills and theories that underpin forensic science and its role in criminal justice, from a crime scene to the courtroom.

You'll study when and why forensic science techniques are used within criminal investigations, as well as how best to deploy them. You'll develop the ability to form strategic forensic responses in the investigation of crime, and understand how to apply them within your career.

Drawing on the expertise of our passionate and research-driven criminology team, you'll develop your skills in independent research design, data analysis and critical thinking.

You can tailor your studies with specialist subjects such as applied forensic science, aquatic forensic investigation and investigation and psychology.

When you graduate, you'll have all the skills you need for a successful career in forensic investigation or police work, or another related criminal justice field, such as intelligence or crime science.

Entry requirements

September 2023 start

Qualifications or experience

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (Social Science, Humanities, Law, Psychology, Forensic Science or Management subject). Information Technology or science related subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants with equivalent professional experience in a relevant organisation will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll study

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

You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Forensic Investigation - 30 credits
  • Crime Science - 30 credits
  • Research Methods and Research Ethics - 30 credits
  • Dissertation - 60 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Applied Forensic Science - 30 credits
  • Aquatic Forensic Investigation - 30 credits
  • Investigation and Psychology - 30 credits


Core modules in this year include:

  • Forensic Investigation - 30 credits
  • Crime Science - 30 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Applied Forensic Science - 30 credits
  • Aquatic Forensic Investigation - 30 credits
  • Investigation and Psychology - 30 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Dissertation - 60 credits
  • Research Methods and Research Ethics - 30 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2023 start)

  • Full-time: £9,900
  • Part-time: £4,950 per year

Including the Transition Scholarship for EU students

  • Full-time: £9,900
  • Part-time: £4,950 per year
  • Full-time: £17,200
  • Part-time: £8,600 per year


Standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time, 1 year)

Apply now (Part-time, 2 years)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.