Criminology & Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons)
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Course code: LF64
This programme, which is aimed at those looking to progress to a career in criminology, forensic investigation or investigative policing, will enable you to understand the core causes of criminal behaviour and the principles of crime scene investigation.
Why study this degree at University Centre South Essex?
- You will be taught by tutors with industry experience
- You will receive industry-related work experience
- The course allows you to pursue a number of career and further education paths
This course is underpinned by the four key distinct disciplinary strands of Forensic Investigation, Criminology, Criminal Justice and Work Related Skills/Experience. These four strands enable you to analyse contemporary issues from a range of multidisciplinary perspectives, providing essential transferable skills for employment. In addition, the course provides you with a well-rounded knowledge base, application and experience of work-related skills for progression onto higher level educational courses or to relevant industry employment.
The course operates on a modular basis, all of which are compulsory. You will take 120 credits each year. In Year one you will take three modules weighted at 20 credits and two modules weighted at 30 credits. In Year two, you will take six modules weighted at 20 credits each. In Year three, the Dissertation is weighted at 40 credits, and you will take four modules at 20 credits each.
- 64 UCAS Tariff Points or above
- At least two A levels
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate
- BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma
- International Baccalaureate
- Access to Higher Education Diploma (minimum 30 credits at Merit or above)
- GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as Functional Skills.
For any qualification not identified above the HE Admission Team will determine equivalences through UKNARIC.
Applicants wishing to be considered for entry to the second year of study, or wishing to import credits or evidence of prior learning into the course for which they are applying, will be considered in accordance with the awarding bodies policy on Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning.
DBS Check (Disclosure and Barring Service)
Successful applicants for this programme may require an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before commencing practice placement in Year 3. DBS identification documents are verified by trained staff in line with DBS guidelines as part of the admissions process.
The administration charge for this service will be incorporated into the course fees.
Year one units
- Introduction to Criminology
- Introduction to Policing
- Introduction to Forensic Science
- Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
- Introduction to Crime Scene Investigation
Year two units
- Criminological Research Methods
- Principles of Criminal Investigation
- Cybercrime and Digital Investigation
- The role of the Expert Witness
- Serious and Serial Offenders
- Taphonomy and Forensic Entomolog
Year three units
- Professional Development
- Terrorism, Genocide and Organised Crime
- Forensic Human Identification
- Aspects of Forensic Psycholog
40 hours at Level 6 of formally agreed workplace learning within a relevant criminological or forensic investigation field.
There is a dedicated Practice Learning team to support students with the placement process.
Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that although we endeavour to make timetables as student-friendly as possible, teaching can be scheduled on any day of the week. Where possible, the scheduled timetable remains constant throughout the 3 years of the course.
There are several guest speakers during the programme; previous speakers have included:
- A crime scene Investigator from Essex Police
- A forensic psychologist
- A Detective Chief Inspector
- Forensic Fire Investigator (accompanied by the fire dog)
There may be a number of optional visits as part of the programme, these are not included in the cost of the programme.
- 13 hours per week in years 1 and 2
- 10 hours per week in year 3
Contact hours include lectures, laboratory practical sessions and tutorials.
Teaching & Learning
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. In addition, you will have timetabled tutorials.
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, undertaking research, preparing presentations and preparing for examinations.
Assessment & Feedback
There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include:
- Written examinations
- Final year dissertation
The grades from formal assessments count towards your final module mark.
You will receive feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework and practical activities. Feedback on examination performance is available on request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader. We aim to provide feedback within 20 working days for formal assessments (coursework and practical activities).
- 13 hours per week in years 1 and 2
- 10 hours per week in year 3
Fees are per academic year for Home/UK students.
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
- Loan of Personal Protective Equipment required for practical sessions
- Provision of crime scene protective coveralls
- An allowance of printing credit
Additional course costs can be found here
Potential career routes include working in mainstream policing (possibly as an uniformed officer or scenes of crime officer), joining the Police Graduate scheme, working within the criminal justice system as a solicitor, within HM prison and probation service and within financial and cybercrime investigation. Graduates from this degree programme may also seek employment in related areas such as teaching after a period of further study.
Further study options include:
- MA/MSc Criminology
- MSc Forensic Science
- MA/MSc Forensic Psychology
- MA Social Work
You could also train to teach the subject by studying the PGCE, available at University Centre South Essex.
Employment from previous graduating cohorts have included roles within Essex and Metropolitan Police, disaster victim identification, counter terrorism within financing, teaching, domestic abuse co-ordinators, laboratory testing, prison workers, crime scene investigators and within human rights groups. Students have also progressed on to higher level training and have entered Masters Qualifications in Criminology, Terrorism Studies, Digital Forensics, Anthropology and Research. In addition, graduates of the programme have also undertaken teacher training and have achieved either QTS or QTLS, enabling them to take up roles in mainstream schools across the primary, secondary and further education sectors.