Choosing to study Forensic Investigation was a great decision for me because it has helped me to gain confidence in the use and application of multiple forensic techniques.


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    4 years

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    Forensic investigators are key players in investigating and solving crime and they often provide the evidence that ensures offenders are brought to justice. Work at the cutting edge of crime in a job where every day is different.

    You will develop practical skills using a range of mock crime scenes, laboratories, policing and court facilities, supported by our expert teaching team who have worked as practitioners or researchers within forensics and other related fields.

    Our students say that this course is both engaging and exciting, and the extensive experience of the teaching team is invaluable. Current forensic professionals confirm that our course is accurate, innovative and relevant to a range of careers.

    The foundation year is designed to cement your confidence in the foundations of key forensic and scientific principles as well as study skills. These will be needed to help you progress through the rest of your degree studies.

    Why study Forensic Investigation with Foundation Year?

    A career in forensic investigation is challenging, exciting and rewarding, and it requires people who are inquisitive, resilient, dedicated, good at problem-solving and enjoy working in a team.

    Our course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to forge a successful career in forensic investigation, working with the police, a forensic provider or any other investigative or intelligence agency, for example, the Home Office or HM Customs and Excise.

    During the foundation year, you'll develop the study skills and self-confidence needed to start Year 1 of the degree. You'll learn about forensic investigation and forensic science and you'll study principles and concepts in biology and chemistry.

    As you progress through the degree, you'll gain a solid grounding in core areas of forensic investigation, such as crime scene investigation, forensic science and interpretation, and presentation of evidence. You'll also benefit from a significant amount of practical and laboratory work.

    Throughout the course, you'll build your research skills and cast a critical eye over forensic investigation processes. We will support you with finding work experience and volunteering opportunities to help build your confidence and resilience, and enhance your CV.

      All about the course

      During the foundation year, you'll gain fundamental knowledge and skills needed to progress to Year 1 of the degree. You'll focus on core aspects of forensic investigation as well as developing your academic study skills.

      You'll start the degree with an introduction to forensic investigation and aspects of science and psychology, and you'll explore crime, offences and justice. 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.

      As you progress through the course, you'll be able to select optional modules focusing on specific areas, such as sexual and domestic abuse, cyber security, fire and explosion scene investigation.

      In your final year, you'll conduct independent research on a specific aspect of forensic investigation. You'll carry out in depth studies with the support of an academic supervisor.

      Throughout the course, you'll develop study and employability skills to ensure you reach your full academic and career potential 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.

      Entry requirements

      Qualification type


      A Levels EEE
      BTEC PPP
      Access Pass 45 Credits
      International Baccalaureate 24 points
      Combinations A combination of qualifications totalling 32 UCAS points minimum

      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

      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 14 class contact hours per week, supported by additional online materials. Your actual contact hours depend on the optional modules you select.

      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, who have a range of expertise and experiences. This experience is injected into teaching sessions and assessments to make your 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.

      HellenCourse Director for 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 and staff guidance and the course provides you with a range of assessment types to allow you to develop skills that are required in forensic professions and opportunities to repeat each assessment type in each year of study so that you can hone your skills. 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 developmental practice assessments or opportunities to gain feedback on assessment plans.

      There are formal or 'summative' assessments during each of the modules and assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, forensic paperwork, forensic statements, portfolios, oral presentations and your final year dissertation. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark and feedback is provided to ensure that you can improve future assessments.


      The programme is designed so that each assessment informs a later assessment and 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 and tutorials are also common to 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.

      Your future career

      This course provides an excellent grounding for any career that involves the collection, analysis and interpretation of evidence, as these skills are taught in core modules and transferable to many careers. The graduate (or key) skills that are routinely required by employers are embedded into the Forensic Investigation curriculum and therefore, graduates are normally able to evidence these skills, preparing them for a range of careers and this is evidenced by ex-students who have secured positions in forensic organisations, police forces, prisons, medical laboratories, schools, universities and many went on to do higher degree study.

      One of our students volunteered for Kent Police for one year and was placed within the CID office during that time, thereby liaising with detectives and gaining first -hand experience of criminal investigation.

      Several of our students have become special constable and are therefore operational police officers while doing their degree course, which provides invaluable experience and also provides them with the opportunity to network and apply for jobs advertised internally within the police.

      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.



      Tuition Fees for some 2022/23 have not yet been finalised. These course web pages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once they have been agreed.

      Diamond Jubilee Scholarships and Bursaries

      To celebrate 60 years of transforming lives through education new cash bursary and scholarship opportunities are available for students starting a degree in September 2022. See full details.

      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

      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.

      We also welcome visiting lecturers, who are practitioners working in the forensic field. They will share their expertise and experience with you to give you an insight into real life forensics. You may also have opportunities to participate in field trips.

      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.

      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.

      Apply now


      4 years

      UCAS code:



      Apply via UCAS

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