Undergraduate study
Crime and Investigation

BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigation

UCAS code: FM49 BSc/CI

This interdisciplinary programme draws upon different subject areas such as criminology, law and forensics. It looks at what crime is and where our ideas about crime and punishment come from. Exploring the law, the criminal justice system, and how this is related to understanding offences and offenders, also the forensic element which would consider forensic evidence and courtroom procedures.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Law, Policing & Investigation facilities

    The School of Social Sciences, Business & Law is equipped with excellent facilities, including a courtroom that replicates Teesside Combined Court. The courtroom has all the features of a modern court and can be used as a fully functioning facility. Our specialist crime scene house is one of only a few such facilities in the country.

  • Student profile
 

This course uses a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions to give you a thorough grounding in all aspects of crime and investigation, both from a social science and a forensic science perspective. These discipline areas sometimes produce competing theories, all of which are central to the study of the investigation process.

During your second and third stages, you can choose from a wide range of modules to cement your expertise in certain areas, such as understanding domestic violence, or drugs and society. You have access to our superb facilities throughout your degree, and you're in good company.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Crime Scene Examination

This module develops your range of oral, written and professional skills needed to work as a member of an investigative team dealing with the wide range of challenging situations you are likely to encounter in the workplace. You will be involved in simulated crime scenes and practical exercises.

You develop the knowledge and skills to work effectively as a member of a team within a criminal or civil law enforcement investigation.

A series of keynote lectures from qualified crime scene examiners, police and forensic personnel are linked to tutorials dealing with study skills, simulated crimes scenes, role-plays and practical exercises.

Assessment
Typically a trial is used for this 250 word report, an example is: In 250 words describe the outcomes of a recent criminal trial and how it affected the admissibility of evidence, such as the 1993 Daubert ‘v’ Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical Incorporated (30%).

You also submit a portfolio which may contain a range of simulated court attendance and associated statement; fibre tapings from seat; fibre tapings from window; blood swab; powdered footwear mark; powdered and lifted fingerprint from flat surface; powdered and lifted fingerprint from a curved surface; set of ten prints; hair combings from suspect; item of clothing packaged; and a presentation.

This portfolio meets a number of Skills for Justice National Occupational standards for crime scene investigators and the Crime Scene Investigation component for the Forensic Science Society.

Foundations of Investigation

This module begins by examining the historical role of the enforcement of laws, within England and Wales. Particular attention focuses upon the historical development and contemporary role and function of policing, forensic investigation, the investigation of sudden death, the process of criminal investigation and the role of victims and witnesses. The module also introduces you to a range of theoretical explanations of crime and deviance.

Foundations of Law

This module is the foundation of the programme. It introduces the English legal system and equips you with the methods and skills you need to study law at undergraduate level. You cover legal research and writing - essential skills for success throughout the degree. You also develop your key skills and begin to critically reflect on your own performance. In this module you are introduced to the University’s replica courtroom where you begin to develop law-specific and general presentation skills.

Information, Security and Cybercrime

This module covers a range of issues relating to information and computer security. It includes systematic approaches to managing security risks, as well as elementary cryptography. How computers are used in crime is examined, along with how such crimes can be investigated.

Learning the Lessons – Historical Investigations

This module begins by introducing you to historical, criminal investigations. This will then develop your awareness of some of the most important investigations in criminal history in England and Wales.

Studying for Professional Practice

This module develops and strengthens the skills which are essential for study within a higher education environment. These skills include the ability to work effectively and independently within the guidelines operated by the school and the University, such as; adherence to academic regulations, time management and the organisation of academic work, analytical thinking and writing skills, the use of basic research and data presentation technique(s), referencing and employability related skills such as developing a CV and building/seeking opportunities to develop work related experience through volunteering and placements.

 

Year 2 core modules

Exploring Investigation

This module introduces you to issues relating to contemporary investigation practices. Building on knowledge gained in level 4 modules, it will expand your existing knowledge of criminal investigations, broadening the focus to include state and political crime, and issues relating to the recording of crime and the sentencing of offenders. Assessment focuses around researching a topic, presenting it, and reflecting upon that process.

Fingerprints and their Uses in the Investigative Process

This module allows you to demonstrate a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of fingerprints and their use in the investigative process. It lets you synthesise, appraise and evaluate data and evidence from relevant and reliable sources to make independent judgements on the analysis, comparison, verification and evaluation of fingerprints.

This module will be assessed by the completion of practical sessions classifying and verifying fingerprints and the writing of a 2,000-word critical discussion.'

Investigation in Context

This module will develop your existing knowledge in relation to crime and its investigation, drawing on existing cases to offer an updated context, focusing on current investigative practices, preparing you for your final year of study.

Law and Procedure

In this module you are provided with an opportunity to develop a critical knowledge and understanding of the nature and purpose of the criminal law, the basic elements of a crime, and a variety of specific criminal offences and defences. You will also develop a detailed and critical understanding of the rules and regulations which impact on the modern investigation of crime, with a particular focus on human rights.

Research Skills for Social Scientists

Develop a more advanced understanding of research methods and build on the foundations you gained through Study Skills for Social Scientists in Year 1.

You learn why researchers use particular research methods to investigate specific social issues and how to evaluate methodological decisions. You also develop a sound understanding of ethical and practical issues in research. And you take part in practical activities to develop your skills in designing, conducting and analysing research.

 

and one optional module

Gender, Crime and Justice

An introduction to how gender shapes male and female experiences of crime and the criminal justice system, highlighting gendered identity, victimisation, justice and the way men and women are portrayed as victims and offenders.

You explore theoretical perspectives and conceptual questions, considering the place of women in criminological analysis. You also question gender in the understanding of crime, focusing on the feminist contribution to criminology and theories of masculinity.

As the module progresses, you consider how gender shapes legal outcomes, punishment, fear of crime and experiences of victimisation and criminalisation.

Introduction to Concepts of Terrorism

You are introduced to a range of theoretical concepts relating to terrorism, and explore a number of key issues including definitions of terrorism; ideologies; typology; traditional and contemporary group structures; strategies and tactics; methods of operation; target selection; use of technologies; funding; and media impact.

You study a number of influential terrorist groups, which provide you with the opportunity to relate theoretical concepts to terrorist motivations and organizational structures. These groups will include Irish nationalist/republican groups; Islamic; political and domestic extremist terrorist organizations.

Policing and Security

Explore developments in the function, organisation and practice of the police in modern society. Examine key concepts, theories and debates in the sociology of the police. You consider policing within the wider institutional configuration of security and social control and you gain an understanding of how economic, political and ideological factors shape these areas.

A range of historical and comparative issues in police organisation, deployment and practice are approached from a British and comparative perspective, encouraging you to reflect on the implications for democratic government, civil liberties and human rights.

Volunteering

You gain an understanding of the different ways volunteering is conceptualised in contemporary society. and critically examine the voluntary and community sector and the landscape of volunteering through policy, practice and research.

You have the opportunity to enhance your employability and gain academic credit by volunteering and you develop and strengthen your personal, professional and transferable skills. By contributing to the development of a chosen organisation you develop knowledge and understanding of volunteering in various sectors.

 

Final-year core modules

Applied Investigation

You will explore a number of key issues in this module including new police products such as the core investigative doctrine, the impact of the growth in serious and organised criminal activity upon national and transnational investigations, the increasing use of technology within investigation and the role of other professionals in investigation.

Criminalistics

This module allows you to demonstrate a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of fingerprints and their use in the Investigative Process. It will allow you to synthesise, appraise and evaluate data and evidence from relevant and reliable sources to make independent judgements on the assessment, comparison, evaluation and verification of fingerprints.

Defendants and Witnesses in the Criminal Justice System

This module focuses on the law concerned with the obtaining and admissibility of evidence at trial. It challenges you to explore the relevance of evidence in the investigatory process and during the criminal trial. Whilst the module is suited for those who wish to continue their studies and join various legal or investigative professions, it is an academic module and examines the law of evidence from an academic viewpoint.

Dissertation

This module begins with formal lectures and seminars covering topics like how to conduct a dissertation and the research process – timetabling, supervision, structure and guidelines will be covered. You will be provided with a supervisor to support and guide you through the dissertation process. Personal development is embedded within the process as you are expected to complete a reflective diary.

 

and one optional module

Are we Doing Youth Justice

In the first part of this module you will focus on youth crime and causation exploring a range of theories about why children and young people get involved in crime. The module also focuses on children and young people as victims of crime. Building from the first part of the module, the second part examines youth justice. You will look at how or if theories of youth criminality underpin youth justice practice.

Crime and Consumer Culture

This module introduces you to the rich vein of criminological research and theory on the relationship between crime and global consumer culture.

After a period of perceived injustice, the 2011 urban riots in England saw ‘aggravated shopping’ committed by people who seemed to have little else on their minds. Is Britain a nation of consumer addicts, and if so does this combine with other factors to drive some people to crime? How can politics and policy respond to the problem?

You investigate the rise of acquisitive crime that occurred alongside the rise of consumer culture in the late 20th and early 21st century. You also cover the history of consumerism, critiques of consumer culture, the global consumer marketing industry, the empirical relationship between consumer culture and crime, identity and social exclusion, the social psychology of consumer culture, and criminality and the politics of regulation.

Race, Crime and Social Exclusion

An exploration of the ways the categories of race, ethnicity and social class are constructed and represented by the various forms and institutions that constitute the criminal justice system and wider systems of social control.

You examine the ideological, historical, economic and socio-political context of how race and class came to be associated with crime and criminal justice. We discuss how this association has been generated in part through early criminological discourse and through contemporary academic assessment of evidence and explanations about whether, and to what extent, minority ethnic criminality and victimisation is constructed through racism.

Case studies of criminality and victimisation, policing, stop and search, the courts, penality, genocide, and racial violence are used. You are asked to acquaint yourself with relevant theoretical and policy perspectives and debates about minority ethnic groups in relation to the criminal justice system, and to ask yourself whether theories of racism can enhance a criminological understanding of this area.

Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence

Critically examine the nature, extent and impact of sexual and domestic violence from a range of academic, theoretical, research, policy and practitioner perspectives. Explore the links between the various aspects of domestic and sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, honour based violence and sexual exploitation.

You engage with the conceptual, methodological and ethical issues which characterise historically hidden problems – and we focus on the continued need for sensitivity in exploring and addressing these issues. The module traces the emergence of sexual and domestic violence as criminological problems, and critically examines the changing legal, policing, criminal justice and community responses.

Understanding Drugs in Society

The study of drugs and drug use is at an important stage and views of drug use are changing. This module introduces key issues and debates in the field of drug use and misuse. It critically examines the changing status of drug use and the way drug use is conceived as problematic for individuals and societies. The module also highlights how changing attitudes and policy towards drug use reflect broader socio-economic and cultural changes.

You examine how drug policies have attempted to control and regulate intoxication in society by different health and crime prevention strategies. You consider: changing patterns of drug use and the implications of this change for drug users; the representation of drugs and drug use in popular culture; the nature of care provision for ‘problem’ drug users; the conflicting nature of drugs education and the dichotomy between harm reduction and ‘just say no’ strategies and crime prevention strategy as it relates to the ‘war on drugs’.

You also explore possible future policy alternatives such as legalisation and de-criminalisation and examine nations that have taken a more lenient approach to drug use. The module draws on current local, national and international research into social aspects of drug use. You are encouraged to draw on numerous resources including the media and popular culture, the internet, social networking and your own experiences.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

All modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and the forensic modules also include practical sessions. In lectures, specific information is delivered to larger groups while, in the smaller seminar groups, you can explore these issues in more depth supported by independent study. Forensic sessions provide the in-depth study and application of skills within the crime scene house laboratory, vehicle examination laboratory, mock police station, interview rooms and the mock courtroom.

How you are assessed

Assessment is varied and includes essays, portfolios, presentations, projects, case studies, evidence gathering, examinations and a dissertation. Some modules have several pieces of assessed work to help you to develop your skills throughout the academic year. Also, some assessed sessions will be undertaken within the crime scene house laboratory.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Career opportunities

You can enter a broad range of careers including the police service as a police officer or member of police staff (for example, crime scene investigator, intelligence analyst, fingerprint examiner), other law enforcement or criminal justice agencies, voluntary organisations, the public sector or the law sector, and postgraduate training or study.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure you are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits.

Our award-winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 80-96 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent). You must have GCSE English Language (grade C or equivalent). We recommend an Access courses for mature students.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Further information