My experience at Christ Church was beyond amazing, not only was my degree non-comparable to anything I’d experienced before but the staff were probably the most knowledgeable, helpful people I’ve ever come across. They are always willing to go above and beyond when they see the true potential in their students. I’ll always be eternally grateful to the staff.


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3 years

UCAS code:



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Take your interest in criminal justice one step further with a degree exploring the practical investigation of crime, with a specific focus on crime scene investigation.

You will be taking a step towards a career that is interesting, exciting, varied and challenging. Through this degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain an excellent grounding in the theory, processes and procedures associated with forensic investigation. You will study the practical investigation of crime to establish the facts and evidence that contribute to the resolution of crime by the police and the courts and crime prevention.

You will receive a specific focus on crime scene investigation which will allow you to develop an in-depth understanding of criminal investigation theory and the practical application to real life crime scenarios.

Why study Forensic Investigation (Criminal Investigation)?

A career in forensic investigation and criminal investigation is challenging, exciting and rewarding. It involves the investigation of crime by the police and requires people who are inquisitive, resilient, dedicated, good at problem-solving and enjoy working in a team.

Our course, which has a strong focus on criminal investigation, will provide you with an in-depth and practical insight into the concepts and procedures used by the police to investigate crime and manage criminals, victims and witnesses to ensure that the facts of the case are identified and justice is achieved.

You'll gain practical skills and an in-depth understanding of crime investigation from the police and forensic perspectives, so that you are prepared to follow your career aspirations. This may include working with the police, a forensic provider or any other investigative or intelligence agency, for example, the Home Office or HM Customs and Excise.

Entry requirements

A typical offer would be 96-120 UCAS Tariff points.

For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

You'll start the course by exploring core themes, concepts, practices and perspectives of forensic investigations, as well as essential concepts and practices within the criminal investigation processes.

From this solid foundation, you'll explore forensic investigation in more depth and you'll develop personal skills and qualities that are needed to work in the field.

Throughout the course, you'll consider aspects of police function that relate to the National Intelligence Model, including how investigation of specific crimes link to the intelligence function, and the use of covert strategies within criminal investigations.

To ensure you reach your full academic and career potential, you'll develop study and employability skills and, where possible, you'll have opportunities to participate in trips or visits to gain insight into the workings of forensic investigation. Previous students have attended mock crime scene exercises within police forces, post-mortem examinations, a shooting range trip and court trips. Occasionally, we are offered opportunities to participate in police training events, and for several years our students have been able to spend a day at the National Maritime Fire Training Centre as well as Kent Firearms and Dog Sections. 

Three members of the forensic teaching team advised and starred on an episode of the BBC Top Gear programme, which investigated forensic evidence that could be found in used cars.

One member of the teaching team is a trained coach and mentor and has injected this influence into the degree course structure, to enable students to develop as people and professionals, in addition to learning the subject. It is often personal qualities such as confidence that prevents us from reaching our potential, and this approach is actively helping students to overcome issues that might impact their success.






Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions and you will typically have around 9 class contact hours per week, supported by additional online materials. 

Lectures are used to provide information and these are supported by small group seminars to enable discussion. Practical sessions allow you to apply your theory to a practical situation and workshops will support you with key skills development. Tutorials are available to provide one to one support.

The team is dedicated to your professional development and they provide many sessions to help you develop personal, as well as academic skills.

The teaching sessions are interactive, allowing you to engage with the material on a deeper level and all practical sessions are designed to enable you to apply theory to context. You will have the opportunity to use a range of specialist methods and equipment relevant to the modules you study and we have a dedicated forensic suite, including a workshop and a range of crime scenes.

You will have the opportunity to gain extensive practical experience and the practical sessions are designed according to real life scenarios. You will also have lectures from professionals working in the field, allowing you to have regular contact with people working in the forensic industry.

We support you with getting work experience and, where possible, we arrange field trips that are designed to consolidate your knowledge (i.e. fire dynamics demonstrations, ballistics/shooting trip etc.)

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.



When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will have access to a range of resources we provide to continue learning through self-study. This typically involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your lecturers will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities where appropriate to complete before/after class and provide tutorials where necessary to support your learning.

We also recommend that you set up student study groups and support each other with your studies, as research shows that we learn much better in communities.

A range of study skills and employability workshops are available within the University and we encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities.

Each 20 credit module requires approximately 200 hours of learning, of which approximately 50 hours of this is taught class contact time with the remaining being independent study.

You will study six modules per year and this is typically 1200 hours of study per year (37.5 hours per week). 

The teaching team consists of highly qualified and experienced forensic practitioners and academic researchers. They have a range of expertise and experiences relating to forensic, research and criminal investigation issues, including post blast, police investigation, crime scene investigation, scientific investigation, terror and disaster victim identification. This experience is injected into teaching sessions and assessments to make your learning experience as realistic as possible. 

The core team is supported by other teams in the University, such as the law, policing and forensic investigation teams, and a range of professionals  currently working in the field who provide guest lectures.


Our degree is taught by forensic practitioners who offer an informative, innovative, practical and rigorous course that will open up a vast range of career opportunities for you.

Niamh SmithSenior Lecturer in Forensic Investigation

How you’ll be assessed


Assessments are a core part of the course and each module has 1-3 assessments that contribute to the 4000 word assessment quota. The course is designed to ensure that each assessment is well supported by written guides, study skills sessions, a study toolkit and staff guidance, and the course provides you with a range of assessment types to allow you to develop skills that are required in criminal justice professions. We also provide opportunities for you to gain formative feedback informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark by providing opportunities to gain feedback on assessment plans.

There are formal or 'summative' assessments during each of the modules and assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios and oral presentations, as well as written and online examinations. In your final year you have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation in an area of your choice with close supervision from a member of academic staff. This can include conducting your own research project and offers a valuable opportunity to demonstrate that you can manage your work independently, thus helping your employability skills. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark and feedback is provided to ensure that you can improve future assessments.


The team is dedicated to providing high quality feedback on all assessments to enable you to understand what action you need to take to improve your work / marks. We try to ensure that feedback is student focused and constructive. Tutorials also enable you to discuss your work. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in for all assessments and use a range of feedback methods to meet the needs of our students.

“I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and support throughout my degree, without you I definitely couldn’t have done so well.”

- Hailey Adams, Forensic Investigation graduate

Your future career

You will have the potential to enter a range of careers in crime, criminal justice and related fields on completion of this course, as the design of the Forensic Investigation with Criminal Investigation course at CCCU gives you the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills that are core to criminal justice careers and transferable to other related careers.

Graduates of the course typically secure posts within the police, the prison service, the probation service, youth work, private companies working in security, and third sector organisations working in crime control and victim support.

Further opportunities exist as investigators for: National Crime Agency, the Military, Independent Office for Police Conduct, Criminal Cases Review Commission, Security Services, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and so on. Postgraduate study is also an option for Applied Criminology with Criminal Investigation graduates and you will be encouraged to make the most of the volunteering and networking opportunities available throughout your degree course in addition to your studies in order to enhance your employability.

The Forensic Investigation course at Canterbury Christ Church University has enabled me to develop a solid foundation of knowledge and practical skills required in the field. The modules involved are relevant and include a perfect balance between classwork and practical work. The lecturers are extremely supportive in all aspects, and they cater to each individual student, for them to reach their highest potential.



The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK** Overseas***
Full-time £9,250 £14,500
Part-time £4,625 £7,250

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

**Home (UK) Fees

The fees above are for the 2022/23 academic year but may be subject to change following any announcements by the UK Government (approved by Parliament) regarding maximum Undergraduate tuition fee caps for 2022/23.

In addition, the University reserves the right to increase all full-time and part-time Undergraduate tuition fees mid-course, in line with any further inflationary increase in the Government tuition fee cap which is approved by Parliament. The University will publish information about any changes to tuition fees on its website.

***Overseas Fees (including EU fees):

Undergraduate Overseas tuition fees for International students are not subject to the Government’s regulations on maximum tuition fees.

Students with an Overseas fee status will be eligible for an International student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500, which will be applied to all Full-time Undergraduate courses with a tuition fee of £14,500.

Students with an EU fee status will be eligible for the EEA Transition Scholarship. Further details can be found here:

Professional accreditation

The Forensic Investigation course adheres to and is guided by the QAA Benchmark Statements for Forensic Science, which define expectations as part of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

Specialist facilities

The forensic facilities include a range of crime scenes, including cars, crime scene rooms, fire scenes and outside scenes and a forensic workshop and range of science laboratories. A wide range of forensic equipment is housed within these areas and the facilities and equipment used depends on whether you study Forensic Investigation as a single or combined honours degree.

We have a dedicated crime scene facility containing eight internal rooms and two outdoor scenes, a forensic workshop, five science laboratories, an incident room, a Hydra simulation centre and facilities to simulate courtroom scenarios, all with relevant equipment attached. One of our teaching rooms is an old courtroom, attached to the former Canterbury Prison.

We use our practical experience to generate realistic and complex scenarios to challenge your mind, your skills and the common misconceptions about crime.

Industry links

We have a range of external professionals involved in the delivery of the course and these professionals also act as advisors to the core lecturing team. They advise us on changes in legislation, procedure and trends, and aid the core team in course development, thereby ensuring that our degree is current, accurate and relevant to forensic employers.

We actively consult and collaborate with a range of forensic and related organisations and these change on a yearly basis, in response to changing operational commitments of these organisations and trends in forensic investigation. Collaborations include Kent Police, Kent Fire Brigade, Prometheus Fire Investigation, Metropolitan Police and a range of independent laboratories and professionals.

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3 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS

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