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BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation (with Foundation Year option)

Designed specifically for those interested in the investigative side of forensics, the course deals with the theoretical and practical aspects of forensic investigation of crime scenes and disaster investigations.

  • Clearing
  • UCAS Code:
    F401
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

With foundation year: F402

Places still available to study this September with flexibility in our entry requirements.

Call us on +44 (0)1202 966777 or apply online.

Why study BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation at BU?

  • Forensic investigation is a wide-ranging and compelling subject, drawing from scientific methods and practical training within criminal investigation
  • Taught by professional practitioners and guest speakers who are experts in their fields
  • Covering biological and analytical science, the degree provides an understanding and knowledge of key concepts in relevant law, professional skills, crime scenes and forensic sciences
  • Carried out in a variety of stimulating environments, including science labs, IT labs, field trips, and dedicated crime scene teaching labs in used for crime scene reconstruction
  • Year one is shared with students taking BSc (Hons) Forensic Science, with the option to switch degrees at the end of the year
  • Gain valuable work experience on your placement if you choose to take one and springboard into a career as a forensic investigator post-graduation. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

Foundation year: We have a foundation year option for UK students who do not meet the entry requirements for the degree course. This additional year of study will give you a grounding in the scientific skills required for this course, building your confidence, knowledge and skills for further study. After successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the full degree.

For September 2021 entry: In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses. This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in June 2021 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

Course accreditation

Accreditation by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences provides an indicator of quality and can help you work towards Chartered Forensic Practitioner status.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years with an optional short placement, or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement. Foundation year: 4 years full-time with a 5-week placement or 5 years with a 30-week minimum placement.

Accreditations:

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

Places still available to study this September with flexibility in our entry requirements.

Call us on +44 (0)1202 966777 or apply online.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 and September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry. Teaching methods include practical experiences within lab and field, lectures, discussions and group work.

Field trips are an important part of this course, to ensure you are exposed to as many real-world situations as possible - click on the tab for more information about the places you might visit. The laboratory work is varied and includes science labs, IT labs and crime scene reconstruction within a dedicated crime scene teaching lab.

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found in the programme specification for your course.

Download the programme specification (pdf 2.22mb)Download the foundation year programme specification (pdf 338kb)

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. That’s why we offer every new student the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement as part of their course.

A placement plays a vital role in developing well-rounded and industry-ready graduates, and we have many links to outside agencies and organisations to best support you along your professional development. You can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 104–120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*CC, ABC, BBB or BCC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

If you do not meet these you may want to consider our foundation year, a one-year course that will prepare you for degree-level study.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2021 and 2022 entry

Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs)

GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.

A-level and AS levels 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate

We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.

Access to HE Diploma 102–118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification as part of the overall tariff.
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction (104 UCAS tariff points)
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 28–31 points.
Scottish Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable). 

Foundation year entry requirements

Numeracy and literacy requirements There are no GCSE requirements. The foundation year will cover these skills in preparation for degree study.
For September 2021 and September 2022 entry 48–72 UCAS tariff points.

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2021 and September 2022 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 61-71%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 60-70%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 60-70%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6 or 7. Grade depends on the course

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2021 and September 2022 entry: IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

This course will be suited to students with:

  • An understanding of what archaeology and forensic sciences are
  • Enthusiasm for applying science to solve problems both in the study of the past and the present
  • An interest in both laboratory and field sciences
  • Good written and oral communication skills, and the ability to think analytically
  • An interest in archaeology, and forensic science (e.g. by attending an excavation, visiting museums, entering science competitions, school project work, or relevant volunteer work).

How to apply

Careers

Forensic investigation is a broad and fascinating area of study that predominantly prepares you for work in the field of criminal investigation, although the principles and skills you learn can be applied in a variety of scientific and investigative contexts.

They have gone on to work for organisations such as Trading Standards, HM Revenue & Customs, and The Environment Agency, as well as taking positions in forensic laboratories and private consultancies. 

Fieldwork

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.  You’ll also find you could benefit from a range of discounts as a student.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Hear from our students

Zoe Fradley

The career prospects for students on this course are very broad as it covers many different areas such as labwork, law or the investigation route.

Hear from our staff

Professor David Osselton

You will participate in many practical exercises in our unique purpose-designed facilities. Our Crime Scene Training Centre has bedrooms, a lounge-kitchen-diner, a bank and a drugs lab.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.