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BSc (Hons) - Criminology with Forensic Investigation (with integrated foundation year)

You’re fascinated by making sense of crime after it has taken place and want to be part of the investigative processes.

We are here for you with a criminology with forensic investigation course designed by academics with a wealth of research and practice expertise.


Course Overview

Our foundation year has been designed to provide you with the essential university skills and confidence needed to progress onto our degree level programme.

You will immerse yourself in core aspects of criminology to understand how and why crime occurs and how forensic investigation uncovers hidden details of crimes already committed.

During a mock major incident exercise with serving police and ambulance service professionals, you will develop real-world forensic investigative skills in our crime house.

Through developing robust research skills, you will be empowered to produce knowledge, not just learn it. Our strong links with criminal justice and community-based organisations and groups in Cumbria will provide you with excellent volunteering opportunities and job prospects.

On this course you will...

  • Develop a critical insight into the criminal justice system and the role of forensic investigation in helping bring offenders to justice.
  • Learn the latest evidence enhancement techniques in our state-of-the-art laboratories.
  • Be challenged to tackle tough questions about crime, justice and society as a criminologist.

Course Structure

What you will learn

The applied nature of the programme means that you will focus on how criminological approaches and forensic investigation are used in the real world, to inform policy and practice and more generally to enhance your understanding of a constantly changing global world. This will include exploring the relationships between power, crime and social change, policing, youth justice, race, ethnicity, gender and the impact of globalisation on understanding crime and deviance. You will also be focussing on how forensic science is applied in the real world, within criminal investigations such as processing crime scenes and analysing exhibits in the laboratory.

Year one
  • Essential University Skills One
    Develop the academic and professional skills required for effective learning and successful progression through your chosen course.
  • Essential University Skills Two
    Further develop the skills acquired in Essential University Skills 1.
  • Contemporary Issues and the Media
    Explore a range of contemporary issues through the lens of the media that relates to your subject area.
  • Families, Communities and the Criminal Justice System
    Gain an understanding into the psychological and societal risk factors and pre-cursors to criminality.
  • Professional Practice in the Community
    Develop your awareness of community groups and activities to help your understanding of society.
  • Introduction to Policing, Criminology and Law
    Gain a basic understanding of the English and Welsh Legal and Criminal Justice system, and Criminology as a discipline.
Year two
  • Crime and Deviance
    An introduction to the concept of crime and deviance in both its historical and contemporary context.
  • Criminal Justice System
    An introduction to the structure of the Criminal Justice System of England and Wales.
  • Becoming a Criminologist
    An introduction to the wide range of professions that studying Criminology and associated disciplines can lead to.
  • Forensic Evidence
    An introduction to the fundamental principles of Forensic Science, including different categories of evidence and their analysis.
  • Crime Scene Investigation
    Learn to perform techniques involved in crime scene investigation and recovery of evidence as practised by UK forensic agencies.
  • Crime Stories
    Study and practice the qualitative social scientific research methods used in Criminology.
Year three
  • Explaining Crime
    Explore how society decides what is and is not ‘criminal’. Definitions of ‘criminal’ and ‘criminality’, taking into account social contexts of crime such as youth, race and ethnicity will be discussed.
  • Bringing Offenders to Justice
    Examine, analyse and evaluate policy, procedures and practices involved in bringing offenders to justice.
  • Prison and Punishment
    Consider the nature and development of penal institutions, the penal regimes within late-modern societies, and the role of rehabilitation.
  • Exploring Research
    Learn the skills required to conceive, design, conduct and interpret scientific research.
  • Social Exclusion
    Explore ways of understanding and enacting social justice in the context of social welfare and crime control polices.
  • Science and Justice
    Understanding the investigation process and the management of forensic evidence, with particular reference to the role of an expert witness presenting evidence in court.
Year four
  • New Challenges in Criminology
    Consider crime and social harm beyond national borders, exploring innovative ways to consider crime, harm and victimisation.
  • Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System
    Critically examine current debates and controversies in society concerning marginalisation, social exclusion and discrimination and their relationship to the criminal justice system.
  • Miscarriages of Justice
    Develop the skills and knowledge to record, manage and interpret evidence coherently in the written and spoken word as required in a court of law.
  • Death Investigation
    Investigate the ways in which medical science and principal evidence can assist in the resolution of legal issues in the criminal and civil courts pertaining to death.
  • Dissertation
    Pursue an investigation on a topic of interest in criminology.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.