BSc combined honours Applied Criminology with Forensic Investigation 2019/20

Year of entry

Clearing places available

*Subject to validation

Are you interested in understanding crime, criminals, victims and criminal justice?  Do you want a career that really makes a difference to people and society and in a world where crime is a part of everyday life? Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behaviour and Forensic Investigators are key players in investigating and solving crime; they often provide the evidence that ensures that offenders are brought to justice and therefore studying these two subjects together gives you the opportunity to access a wide range of exciting, challenging and remarkable careers in the criminal justice sector. Crime is ubiquitous in today’s society, it dominates national and world news reports and is a constant feature in entertainment media. This degree programme allows you to explore the true nature, extent and causes of a range of crime types and the methods used to manage crime and criminal behaviour.  You will do this by exploring key criminological and forensic theories and applying them to specific types of crime (e.g. violence, hate crime, terrorism, drug crime and sexual crime). The varied expertise of the teaching staff and our guest lecturers allows you to explore these themes from a range of perspectives.

Our single honours degree in Applied Criminology has an 89% overall student satisfaction rating for access to learning reosurces.

National Student Survey, 2017

Are you aspiring to embark on a career that is interesting, exciting, varied and challenging?  Are you interested in contributing to the fight against crime and crime prevention? Are you interested in understanding crime, criminals, victims and criminal justice?  If you are, Applied Criminology may be the degree for you, as it provides you with an excellent grounding for a range of criminal justice and related career pathways. 

The Applied Criminology course at Christ Church covers the key criminological concepts in your compulsory modules, thereby providing you with a strong grounding in criminology.  This grounding is then applied to specific crime types / scenarios, such as interpersonal violence, drug crime, terrorism and political violence, hate crime and youth crime in compulsory modules. A range of optional modules are offered to allow you to specialise in the types of crime that interest you most.  The nature of the programme enables you to develop your research skills and to cast a critical eye over the processes of criminalisation and crime control and set these processes within wider social, economic and political contexts.  We have developed close links with local, national and international criminal justice agencies to enhance our distinctive ‘applied’ focus to learning about crime. Through our ‘insights from practice’ initiative, you will experience a range of guest speakers who are professionals and practitioners working within the justice system

The scope of the programme is innovative, as the compulsory modules enable you to gain a solid grounding in core areas of forensic investigation and applied criminology, while the optional modules allow you to either choose from a range of related topics, such as policing, law, psychology and cybercrime or to choose a specific focus, such as hate crime or mental health and crime.  This variety is appreciated by our students and highly regarded by the professionals and companies who recruit criminal justice professionals.  In addition to ensuring that the scope, quality and currency of the programme content meets the demands of future employers, we have also embedded a significant amount of practical and laboratory work into the crime scene and forensic science modules, to enable the development of practical skills, competency in completing a range of forensic documentation that you will use when you are employed in the field and an understanding of the application of concepts to real cases. We use seminars and trips to allow you to apply the criminological theory that you have learned in the course.

Our degree is delivered by staff who have worked as practitioners or researchers within criminology or related fields and we therefore have a wealth of knowledge and experience that brings the theory to life. We have an excellent understanding of the core knowledge and skills required for criminology job roles.  We also have a range of visiting lecturers, who are professionals working in the criminal justice field currently, who support the core content of the course with lectures about their field of expertise.  We support our students in gaining work experience in the field through volunteer work, paid work, projects with external partners and through regular exposure to criminal justice professionals through guest lectures. 


Finally, we view our students as partners in learning, as you know the career that you wish to embark on and we understand the knowledge, skills and personal qualities required to achieve that career. We know that self-awareness is very important in criminal justice careers and we therefore invest significant resources in helping you to understand yourself as a professional and we provide you with opportunities to develop your personal and professional skills, such as problem solving skills, the ability to critical evaluate, communication skills, presentation skills and the ability to work alone and in teams.  We also support you in developing the personal qualities that may impact your chances of attaining employment, such as confidence, resilience and curiosity. This holistic approach is appreciated by our students and has been noted as excellent and innovative practice by professionals working in the field.  Many members of the academic team have been repeatedly nominated by our students for Golden Apple Awards which are internal teaching excellence awards and two members of staff have won the faculty award.

“Studying at Canterbury Christ Church University has opened my eyes to a whole new field of learning. Not only are the modules well-structured and thought out, they also simulate the working conditions for everyday life as a CSI. The lecturers themselves are approachable and kind mannered, which makes the whole experience enjoyable and rewarding.”

Luke Spencer, graduate of Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation, 2018

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

The three-year full-time course moves from a thorough grounding in criminological issues and perspectives to an in-depth critical understanding and application of these ideas to contemporary crime problems. Applied Criminology can be studied as a single honours degree or in combination with other courses from across the University. This allows considerable flexibility in what exactly to study, and emphasises the multidisciplinary nature of the degree. The course is built around a number of core modules which engage you in key criminological themes, concepts and debates, and a range of optional modules which explore crime topics in more depth and breadth.

You will be strongly encouraged and assisted to engage in relevant volunteering activity during your degree. Criminology students have gained work experience in a number of areas, including in prisons, the probation service, the police, victim support, and in a variety of charities. We have developed a second year optional module in which volunteering is part of the assessment process, and have a new third year core module in which employability plays a vital part, including in its assessment.

As a Single Honours student you will have the chance to study modules across the three years which allow you to build up competence in two distinct areas: Criminal Psychology and Policing. The aim of having these two pathways is also to enhance your employment prospects in these areas. Students who complete the Policing pathway will also have the chance to attain the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing (CKP). The CKP is a nationally recognised qualification located within the Qualifications Curriculum Framework (QCF) and accredits learning for pre-service for the purposes of supporting flexible entry into the police service.

Guest lecturers are an important part of our course, particularly during the third year. These are experts and professionals in the field who contribute to the applied nature of the course.

We have optional visits, such as prison visits, which are popular and provide additional insight into the workings of the justice system.

You will also have the opportunity to engage in the development of the course through our Criminology Student Forum and can play a full part in making sure that this is a course that listens to students.

“My experience at Christ church was beyond amazing, not only was my degree (forensic investigation) 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..."

Alex Dorrington, Forensic Investigation Graduate

Core modules

These are the 2018-19 modules and these are under review for 2019-20.

Year 1

Crime in Context (20 Credits)

This module develops your ability to analyse and comment upon various issues relevant to an understanding of crime and crime control. The module includes exploration of how crime is experienced through a number of social factors, such as gender, ethnicity, social class and age, together with wider structural issues. The extent to which crime is socially constructed is explored through analysis of crime statistics and the influence of the media.

Forensic Practice and Law (20 Credits)

The module develops the concepts you study in ‘Introduction to Forensic Investigation’ further and explores the multi-agency approach to criminal investigations in more detail.  Particular focus is placed on the relationship between law and forensic investigation and the significance of the chain of evidence from crime scene to court and you will gain a thorough understanding of the multi-agency approach used in forensic investigations and the roles of key personnel involved in forensic investigations. 

Introduction to Criminological Thinking (20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the ways in which notions of crime and criminality are constructed, explained and understood. You will be introduced to the historical, social and cultural contexts of the development of criminology and the key shifts in criminological thinking about crime and the justice system. The approach is to break down theories into manageable units but also to recognise that theories overlap, develop over time and contradict one another. The focus is on a critical approach to the application of theories which have an impact on criminal justice policy and practice.

Introduction to Forensic Investigation (20 Credits)

This module examines the key forensic concepts that underpin the entire degree programme, such as the principle of evidence (what constitutes forensic evidence?), Locard’s exchange principle (‘every contact leaves a trace’) and individualisation (linking evidence to particular sources).  You will also be introduced to key investigative concepts, such as logic, reasoning and building arguments, so that you develop an ability to assess the value of forensic evidence within the context of a specific investigation.


Year 2

Crime and Social Control (20 Credits)

This module builds on the theoretical knowledge of the year one module, Introduction to Criminological Thinking. The primary aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of formal and informal means of control in the historical and social context of crime and responses to crime. An important component of this is studying how the main institutions of the criminal justice system – the police service, the prison service, and the probation service – emerged and have developed over time.

Crime Offenders and Society (20 Credits)

This module builds on the issues introduced in Crime in Context in year one, and aims to develop your critical understanding of the nature of crime and the characteristics of specific types of crime. The complexity of crime as a problem is a central theme including addressing relatively under-researched issues such as the criminalisation of certain groups, crimes committed by the state, organised crime and white collar crime.

Crime Scene Investigation (20 Credits)

This is the fundamental module that explores crime scene investigation theories, procedures and methods and it includes topics such as contamination, search methods, recovery and packaging of evidence. There is a significant practical component and this provides you with valuable experience in the examination of volume and major crime scenes. You will also learn how to follow standardised forensic procedures and complete forensic documentation and the module also aims to dispel the myths around crime scene investigation.

Recovery and Identification of Human Remains (20 Credits)

This module focuses on the methods and procedures involved in locating, recovering and identifying human remains.  It aims to provide an understanding of the key profession, such as pathology (post mortem examinations), odontology (use of teeth in identifying humans), anthropology (use of bones in forensic investigations), archaeology (locating and recovering human remains) and ecology (use of environmental materials in forensic investigations and focuses on mass disasters (e.g. tsunamis, bombings etc.) and mass graves, as specialist cases.

Year 3

Applications of Criminology (20 Credits)

This module draws together knowledge and conceptual understanding from years one and two. It consists of a series of research-informed lectures designed to demonstrate the application of theory and research to our understanding of contemporary crime issues. It aims to enable you to apply a range of criminological theories, methods and perspectives to in-depth examples of crime and criminal activity. It also explores the strengths and limitations of criminological research.

Expert and Professional Witnesses (20 Credits)

This module familiarises you with the English legal system in order to develop an understanding of the law, structure and processes that an investigator/scientist is required to adhere to when presenting their evidence in court. The roles, responsibilities and scope of both professional witnesses and expert witnesses are explored in detail, and the module culminates in moot court exercises that will build your confidence and practical experience.

Fire and Explosion Investigation (20 Credits)

This module builds on the Crime Scene Investigation module studied in year 2 by applying the knowledge gained to the investigation of fire and explosion scenes, and where possible, the module is taught by current fire investigators and includes a trip to a fire facility where demonstrations of fire dynamics are provided. The practical component of the module allows you to gain valuable experience in fire and explosion scenes, and the assessments further develop your practical scene skills.

Youth Crime and Justice (20 Credits)

This module explores the changing concepts and discourses used to address the notion of youth, youth crime and justice. You will investigate contrasting media representations of youth crime and deviance, and explore research into the area of youth offending. You will also explore the link between youth justice policy and legislation and the tension between different ideas about how youth crime should be approached and dealt with.

Likely optional modules

These are the 2018-19 modules and these are under review for 2019-20.

A number of modules which are core for Single Honours students are optional for Combined Honours students. In year one, these are Crime, Punishments and Societies; Law and Criminal Justice; and Introduction to the Criminal Justice System.  In year two, this is Research Methods. In year three, this is the Individual Study. Please see descriptions of these modules above.

Year 1

Crimes, Punishments and Societies (20 Credits)

This module is an opportunity for you to explore some of the contextual issues that arise when exploring academic areas of criminology, criminal justice and policing. In particular, this module is concerned with the different societal, historical, cultural, geographical and political contexts in which crime and justice occur.

Introduction to the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)

This module is designed to provide you with a grounding in the wider role and function of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in the UK. This will act as a foundation for your further undergraduate study, providing context and background knowledge to your subject areas. The main aim of the module is to introduce you to the various stages of the justice process and the agencies that manage them. You will also develop an understanding of the interactions of the various professionals at all stages of the criminal process, from initial reporting to the reintegration of offenders. Through the use of case studies and alternative theories you will develop a critical understanding that the way things are is not the way they necessarily need to be and that change (both future and historic changes) can be beneficial as well as damaging to the functioning of the CJS.

Introduction to Forensic Biology (20 Credits)

This module explores the structure and function of forensic science in the United Kingdom, by exploring the UK forensic providers, the national forensic regulations, key standards, relevant laws / policies and the stringent quality procedures that forensic science personnel and laboratories must adhere to.   The module also aims to educate you on the role of the forensic biologist, to explore the key concepts of forensic biology and how they apply to case work and to introduce the stringent procedures that forensic scientists must follow to ensure evidence continuity and integrity and train students to complete forensic documentation.

Law and Criminal Justice (20 credits)

This module aims to introduce you to the criminal law and the criminal justice system in the UK. It will explore some of the basic legal principles necessary for understanding how the criminal law and criminal justice system operate. This module also aims to enable you to think critically about laws and legal processes. This will be achieved by exploring how social and political factors can influence the interpretation and enforcement of law.

Psychology and Crime (20 Credits)

The module aims to introduce you to the discipline of psychology and its applications to the study of crime and offending behaviour. It explores the contribution of psychology to the development of explanations of various types of crime and antisocial behaviour. The module also encourages you to critically evaluate the literature you read, by examining the strengths and limitations of relevant research and literature.

Year 2

Crime and Popular Culture (20 Credits)

The module aims to give you the opportunity to examine theories and issues in criminology through the lens of popular culture. The module will explore the key role of popular culture in reflecting and shaping public views on crime and criminal justice. Through close engagement with a wide range of crime-related popular culture products (films, TV shows, music, novels, comic books, video games etc.), you will acquire an in-depth understanding of the cultural processes through which crime is constructed as a social problem.

Criminal Investigation (20 Credits)

The main aims of this module are to develop your knowledge and understanding of police investigations in the UK and the law underpinning these investigations.  Key concepts will include ‘discretion’, ‘consent’ and legitimacy’.  The module requires you to become acquainted with the structure and function of UK police forces and the concepts and procedures underpinning police investigations of volume, series and major crimes.  In addition, you will acquire a knowledge and understanding of the current police law that is utilised to determine whether a crime has been committed and develop your investigative skills.

Criminology for a Just Society (20 Credits)

This module aims to develop a broad and nuanced understanding of sustainability and criminology’s potential to further it. It will also enable you to synthesise and consolidate prior learning in criminology and related disciplines and to apply that to address contemporary problems of environmental, social, cultural and economic justice. The module aims to encourage creativity, reflection, initiative and personal responsibility, and provide an opportunity for practical uses of subject-specific and transferrable knowledge and skills. In so doing it aims to enhance your employability.

Hate Crime (20 Credits)

This module introduces you to the concept of hate crime in its various forms, including race, religious, homophobic and disability hate crimes. The module examines the issues involved in hate crime and aims to develop your ability to identify relevant academic literature and to engage with the core issues in the area. There is particular reference to hate crime victimisation, legislation, and the policing of hate crimes.

Media and Crime (20 Credits)

This module explores the relationship between media, crime and criminal justice. You will explore criminological theories related to media and develop an understanding of the significance of pop cultural representations of crime and criminal justice within the public, political and cultural spheres.

Mental Health and Violence (20 Credits)

This module gives you the opportunity to explore the relationship between mental health and violent crime, and how this is responded to by the criminal justice system and other institutions. You will learn about criminological and psychiatric research into the relationship between mental disorder and violent offending and the ideologies and practices that are central to the management and treatment of mentally disordered and violent offenders.

Psychology and the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)

This is an optional module only available to students who passed the module Psychology and Crime in Year One, or who are Applied Criminology/Psychology Combined Honours students. This module aims to give you an introductory understanding of forensic psychology and its impact on the criminal justice system. It will explore how psychology has changed criminal justice procedures, impacted on police practice and given a better understanding of people involved in the criminal justice system such as: perpetrators, victims and witnesses. Special attention will be paid to vulnerable people with lectures on addiction and mental health. Additionally, this module will explore the psychology of the court process and the prison system utilising psychology to understand trial proceedings, the impact of psychological processes on sentencing and the application of psychology to the treatment of offenders.

Research Methods (20 Credits)

This module addresses the purpose of research and highlights the ethical considerations important to high quality research. This is followed by a critical assessment of some of the key methods used, both quantitative and qualitative, for research design, as well as for generating and analysing criminological data.

Year 3

Crime in a Global Context (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity to explore global criminological issues. You will be encouraged to consider the implications of globalisation on changing crime patterns. Topics covered in this module include terrorism, war crimes, state crime, organised crime and human trafficking.

Crime Scene Management (20 Credits)

This module extends the knowledge and understanding you obtained in the Crime Scene Investigation module by teaching the students about crime scene management and the role of the crime scene manager. This module continues the theme that crime scenes and people are sources of forensic evidence and provides more in-depth teaching on the roles and procedures of modern crime scene investigators and, in particular, develops your practical skills relating to crime scene investigations and the management of personnel and evidential resources in support of enquiries. This will include your ability to recognise, record, recover and contextualise fingerprints, shoe marks, tool marks, DNA evidence and other forms of material relevant to volume and major crime scenes.

Forensic Criminalistics (20 Credits)

This module investigates the collection, analysis and interpretation of a range of physical evidence types, with particular focus on marks and impressions, ballistics and documents. Critical scrutiny of these techniques will be a key aspect of the module, using case studies to illustrate key points and the concepts will be applied practically through compulsory practical sessions based on mock exhibits. This module includes extensive practical work, developing competency in laboratory work and completion of forensic documentation.

Forensic Individual Study (40 Credits)

This is an independent research project module, where you carry out research on a topic that you chose according to your own interests and career aspirations. You can select whether to do a literature based project or a practical project depending on the subject, and you will work alongside an academic supervisor who will guide you through the process. Forensic employers consider an independent research project to be a desirable experience for potential employees, as successful completion of such a project indicates independent thinking, problem solving, research abilities, resilience, and communication skills. Hence, this is a substantial piece of work and you work on this throughout the entire academic year.

Individual Study (40 Credits)

This module is core if you are a single honours student and optional if you are a Combined Honours student taking 80 credits in Applied Criminology. This module provides you with the opportunity to engage in an in-depth study on a topic of your choice, which is supervised by a member of the criminology team. It also provides an opportunity to apply your developing research skills and develop a critical appreciation of scholarship and methods of enquiry. There may also be an opportunity for you to undertake an empirical study (subject to achieving 60% plus in the second year Research Methods module).

International Justice and Human Rights (20 Credits)

This module aims to provide a critical understanding of both well-established and emerging principles of International human rights, focusing on their reality, impacts and effects on state practice. The module considers the interplay of law and power in international law and in-depth issues of international human rights such as the evolution of practices and regulating global business and environmental protection.

Police Cultures and Societies (20 Credits)

This module explores the challenging notion of police culture and its effectiveness as a means of examining what police officers believe and how they act. It will look at how police culture has evolved through a number of stages and seek to explain the types of behaviour seen within the police, the politicised dimensions of research into this area of study, and the effectiveness of strategies used to transform occupational cultures within law enforcement agencies.

Modelling Crime Events (20 Credits)

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the potential of intelligence systems within the forensic investigation process, and the application of modelling techniques for crime scene reconstruction. The intelligence systems are not just employed by investigators in a ‘reactive’ manner (for example, in the use of DNA databases) but increasingly more proactively. Modelling is used to derive testable hypotheses for events before, during and after a crime and is often based upon principles from the physical sciences.

Prisons and Penality (20 Credits)

This module examines the nature of prisons and their role in society. It focuses on the aims and objectives of the prison service set within a historical context. It looks at current debates about security, justice and control as well as the privatisation of prisons and prison performance. Central to these issues are questions about what prison is for and whether prison works.

Psychology of Serious and Prolific Offending (20 Credits)

The module is open to students who successfully passed Psychology and Crime, or the first year of their Applied Criminology and Psychology programme. It aims to explore specialist areas of research and application within criminal and forensic psychology, particularly in relation to serious and prolific offending behaviours and ways to address them. The module will critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of the featured research and literature and in doing so facilitate your development of both subject specific and transferable skills appropriate to the level of study.

Victims and Victimology (20 Credits)

This module examines sources of information about victims such as national and local victim surveys, and also important issues within victimology, such as repeat victimisation and vulnerability. It covers theoretical perspectives including positivist, radical, critical and feminist approaches. It also looks at the place of the victim within the criminal justice system and how this has changed over time. It considers victim support initiatives and alternative forms of justice for victims, such as Restorative Justice.

You will have the potential to enter a range of careers in crime, criminal justice and related fields on completion of this programme, as the design of the Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation course 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 our Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation course typically secure posts within the police, forensic facilities, the prison service, the probation service, youth work, private companies working in forensics and security, and third sector organisations working in crime control and victim support.  Further postgraduate study is also an option for Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation graduates and you will be encouraged to make the most of the volunteering and networking opportunities available throughout your degree 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.

Jessica Man, graduate in Forensic Investigation

“Just thought I'd say thanks! I can distinctly remember being an undergrad criminology student at Christ Church and thinking 'I want to publish something in the British Journal of Criminology someday' and now my first journal article is about to be published. I'll always be grateful for the wonderful teaching and enthusiasm, it really set me on my way.”

Thomas Rayman, graduate in Applied Criminology with Legal Studies, now PhD candidate


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,900
Part-time £4,625 N/A

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

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


Top 20 in the UK for student satisfaction with the quality of teaching.

The Guardian University League Tables 2019


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 to allow you to apply your theory to a practical situation and workshops to support you with key skills development.  Tutorials are available to provide one to one support. The team is dedicated to developing the whole person and therefore provide many sessions to help you develop your personal skills, as well as your 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 in 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 programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this 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.

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

Each assignment and in particular the Dissertation in year three will require you to undertake independent research. The dissertation will be carried out under the supervision of a member of the course team, who you will meet regularly.

Overall workload

Each 20 credit module requires approximately 200 hours of student, and approximately 50 hours of this is taught class contact time. You will study 6 modules per year and this is 1200 hours of study per year, which works out as 37.5 hours per week, or approx. 12.5 hours study per module per week. Many students choose to use holiday periods as intensive study periods, which decreases the amount of work you would do in a week. There is some flexibility in deciding how to study.

Academic input

The core teaching team consists of highly qualified and highly experienced ex forensic practitioners and academic criminology researchers, who have a range of expertise and experiences. This experience is injected into every teaching session, and every assessment to make your experience as realistic as possible.  Some members are also qualified coaches / mentors, who aim to help you to overcome barriers to success and learning, which is an innovative and revered approach.

The core team is supported by other teams in the university, such as the law, policing and criminology teams and a range of professionals who are currently working in the field who attend the university to provide guest lectures.

"My degree gave me an advantage due to the knowledge I had accumulated, but I felt that the added advantage was the experience I had gained whilst volunteering that helped secure me the role. My work has offered me experiences that would otherwise not have arisen. An example of this is when I was given the opportunity to appear on BBC Question Time.”

Charlotte Sherratt, graduate in Applied Criminology

Criminology was ranked in the top 5 in the UK for Feedback.

The Guardian 2018 League Table


Assessments are a core part of the programme 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 criminal justice 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

.Tutorials also provide an opportunity for 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 a huge thank you for all your help and support in my endeavours to do well in Criminology. I have just received a job offer to train as a Probation Service Officer, which I have accepted

Adrian Hukin, graduate in Applied Criminology

Some of our year two and three modules have prerequisite modules, which you must have studied in a previous year. You will be advised of these when choosing options each year to ensure you make informed choices.

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

The Criminology team have access to the Canterbury Prison site as this is part of the University estate and our students are able to get involved in research and work in this area.  In addition, the staff arrange visits and trips to allow students to experience a range of criminal justice settings where operationally possible.

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.

We have a range of external criminal justice 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 criminal justice and related organisations and these change on a yearly basis, in response to changing operational commitments of these organisations and trends in criminal justice. Collaborations include Police forces, the prison service and a range of independent laboratories and professionals.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team



Fact file

UCAS course code

  • MF94 Applied Criminology with Forensic Investigation

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

    Professional placement option available


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



More about



No 1 in the UK for student satisfaction with the quality of feedback.

The Guardian 2019 League Table

Last edited 02/07/2019 16:10:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 02/07/2019 16:10:00