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Undergraduate study
 

Course overview

Our accredited BSc (Hons) Crime Scene Science degree course can prepare you to play an important role in modern society. As a multidisciplinary area of study within the broader field of forensic science, you explore scientific techniques to help investigate and deter crime in different environments.

You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

You have access to extensive facilities in crime scene science, and to many staff who are former practitioners in crime scene investigation and bring operational experience to the classroom. Our course teaches you to manage the forensic process from start to finish. You develop skills in gathering, recording, evaluating and presenting evidence, as well as understanding the science behind forensic analysis.

In addition to preparing you as a crime scene investigator, this course can lead to a range of employment openings, for example as a police intelligence analyst, environmental crime officer and insurance fraud investigator.

Professional accreditation

Skillsmark - Endorsed programme in the justice sector This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

 
 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology

You gain a basic knowledge of human body structure and to relate this knowledge to both the understanding of the mechanisms associated with the control and regulation of physiological processes of the major organs systems of the body. This will allow you to develop ability to apply, evaluate and interpret the knowledge to solve problems in the discipline. You also develop applied contexts of the knowledge such as the construction of biological profiles for human identification including sex, age at death, stature determination and biological affinity. The module will be delivered through lectures, computer- aided learning via interactive web-based activities and labs.

Crime Scene Examination

This module provides you with the professional skills required to work as a member of an investigative team dealing with a range of challenging situations. The focus is on developing your psychomotor skills to maximise forensic evidence recovery at a variety of incidents by applying sequential processes. We do this using simulated incidents and practical exercises. You attend a series of lectures and practical sessions. The module is assessed through your portfolio of work including work from practical sessions. At the end of the module you sit a multiple choice examination through the virtual learning environment. The module is designed to meet a number of National Occupational Standards for Crime Scene Investigators.

Crime Scene Photography

This module introduces you to the key skills and theoretical background required of a photographer working in the forensic and crime scene arena. The module is predominantly hands on using industry standard digital photographic equipment to develop your photography and imaging skills. You learn through practical sessions gaining hands-on experience of digital SLR cameras and the key controls needed in photography. Practical sessions are supported by lecture content covering key underpinning theoretical concepts.

Forensic Case Studies and the Law

This module provides you with the essential legal knowledge to support you in developing the skills required of a forensic investigator. Through research and case studies, you will develop an understanding of the role of the courts and relevant investigatory legislation in the UK and how forensic examinations contribute to the criminal justice process.

Forensic Evidence and Recovery

You are introduced to the fundamental concepts of forensic science in both a theoretical and practical manner. A range of chemical and biological forensic evidence types are also introduced, and their recovery and examination in the forensic laboratory considered. You begin to look at how these evidence types are presented in an investigative environment.

Intelligence and Digital Investigation

This module is about group work, investigating a simulated digital intelligence-based case that develops and unfolds. As a group you must work together to discover elements of the case and drive the investigation forward. You are given an intelligence package to work through.

This module is delivered through lectures supported by tutorial and IT laboratory sessions. You need to carry out guided independent study before the intensive week. During that week your group gets the final piece of intelligence and you are required to produce an intelligence briefing. You also carry out self and peer assessment.

 

Year 2 core modules

Bioarcheology and Human Remains Recovery

Bioarchaeology focuses on the analysis of biological remains from archaeological sites in order to understand the life experiences of these people. Incorporating skeletal anatomy, osteology, archaeology, and anthropology, this module will lead you through the process of identifying, recovering, and analysing human remains. The module is delivered by a mixture of taught sessions, seminar discussions, and hands-on practical labs that will allow you to explore this discipline, and its application to forensic investigations.

Crime Scene Investigation

Crime scene investigation is integral to the broader investigative process to meet the needs of the criminal justice system. Quality standards and ISO 17020/5 in Crime Scene Investigation provide the necessary public confidence that the effective examination, collection and integrity of materials used in an investigation and subsequent prosecution process are robust and fit for purpose. You build on skills acquired in the Crime Scene Examination and Crime Scene Photography modules in Year 1. You explore the many facets of the role of the contemporary CSI and use this prior knowledge as a foundation to build upon, deepening their knowledge and understanding of scene attendance, photographic skills, forensic and fingerprint examination. This module integrates the recovery of physical and digital evidence with the analysis, interpretation and evaluation of this evidence and gathered intelligence. Lectures cover the main theoretical aspects of the course; the practical side of the theory is implemented in a series of practical sessions exploring various volume crime scenes from motor vehicles to domestic and commercial premises.

Crime Series Analysis

Trends and predictive analytics have been at the forefront of new crime reduction strategies as policing comes to terms with these emerging technologies. This module will debate these tools and importantly why enforcement agencies have pushed forward in their drive to acquire bigger and better data. Front line officers, crime scene investigators and the public all play a part in helping to find patterns in offending behaviour as well as facilitating our understanding of the geography or online environment these crimes occur in. You will be prepared for this developing landscape by applying environmental crime theoretical frameworks to real world problems as well as engagement with software to study crime pattern analysis.

Major Incident Investigation

This module looks at major incidents where a response to an event or situation, with a range of serious consequences, requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agencies. You consider how such responses impact on the investigative process and how the role of the various agencies and experts impacts on the progression of an inquiry. Theoretical underpinning in lectures and implemented responses to major incidents in a number of practicals form a part of a linked series in a complex investigation. You record your scene work on industry standard software to allow for an overview of the inquiry to be seen and all the scene and forensic evidence displayed. This will also be supported with the generation of intelligence material considering temporal, spatial and forensic evidence aspects of the inquiry demonstrating their links and significance.

Mobile Forensic Investigations

You learn about data storage on mobile devices. You develop detailed knowledge of the principles of examining mobile devices, attached storage media and other portable devices. You are immersed in practical scenarios that reflect real-life cases and use the forensic tools that are used in practice to solve these scenarios.

Professional Practice and the Expert Witness

This module is an introduction to the role of the expert witness in legal proceedings in the UK, from handling of evidence and writing scientific statements to being an effective expert witness in the courtroom. A professional practice theme throughout includes codes of conduct, quality standards and accreditation, to equip you with key information and skills required in a career in forensic practice. The legal framework will also be explored including aspects of UK and international law.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Digital Offender and Victim Identification

You will learn about policies, procedures, tools, and techniques for analysing and investigating cases involving digital imagery; as well as open source intelligence techniques for researching and identifying electronic suspects and victims. As part of this module, you will also have the opportunity to achieve a certification for Griffeye Analyze DI Pro; an industry-standard software tool and the leading digital media intelligence platform. Assessment will be in the form of coursework.

Human Identification and Forensic Imaging

Human identification is a vital part of many forensic investigations. You will explore and critically analyse the various techniques and technologies we can use in the identification of unknown individuals either dead or alive. Through taught sessions and practical seminar discussions you will reflect on previous and current practices and to consider what the future might hold in terms or arising technologies. Both 2D and 3D forensic imaging technologies will be covered.

Intelligence Analysis

Tackling criminality begins by establishing and researching the causes, drivers and facilitators of crime. It is therefore important to appreciate the role intelligence plays in policing from generating tasks for an inquiry to converting intelligence to evidence before the courts. This module will immerse you in analysing intelligence, grading its value and creating a series of hypotheses to test in the development of a problem profile. Working through sizeable open source datasets you will also be introduced to writing scripts in Python or R to format data frames, and carry out statistical analysis before visualising data to help uncover meaning.

Science Research Project

You complete an in-depth, independent investigation into a specialist aspect of your field of study. In your project you will bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous years of study. Regardless of the nature of the project, this process acts as a capstone experience requiring analysis and critical evaluation of data as well as critical reflection on the potential risks, moral and ethical issues. This piece of work will involve a significant individual contribution on your part. You will be supported by the appointment of an academic staff member as your research supervisor. They will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

Finally, you will communicate your independent research by producing a research poster and journal article to allow you to develop essential skills which mirror professional practice when research is presented at scientific conferences and for publication.

Serious Crime Investigation

You carry out group work and encompass the examination of evidence typically found within a crime scene and working forensic science laboratory, evaluation of data and delivery of evidence in a mock court. You work in self-managed inter-disciplinary teams using each other’s strengths to build up a portfolio of knowledge and evidence relating to casework material. The module incorporates industry standards such as Streamlined Forensic Reporting (SFR).

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn through a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars and workshops (including oral presentations and poster sessions)
  • laboratory work
  • computer laboratory-based sessions
  • group projects
  • research projects.

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours, but you are also expected to spend time on your own - self-study time - to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to ten hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). So, during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment (VLE) site.

How you are assessed

You may be assessed through:

  • formal exams including 'unseen' exams
  • court/case reports
  • photographic and evidence portfolios
  • oral presentations and technical interviews
  • collaborative project work
  • preparation and display of posters
  • planning, conduct and reporting of project work.

You also have the opportunity to present evidence in our on-campus court room.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

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

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
96-112 UCAS tariff points
You must have GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent but there are no specified Level 3 subject requirements for this course.

Typical Level 3 qualifications include:

A levels
BTEC Extended Diploma
Access to HE Diploma

Alternative equivalent UK and international qualifications and subjects are also considered. If you are not eligible for Year 1 entry, we also offer this course with an integrated foundation year.

Direct entry to later years
If you have previously studied a relevant subject at a higher level (for example HNC, HND or one or more years of a degree at another institution) we can consider you for direct entry to Year 2 or Final Year of this course. Please provide us with a complete detailed transcript of your previous studies with your application to help us determine your eligibility for advanced entry.

Applicant Days
If you receive an offer to study with us you will be invited to attend one of our Applicant Days. This is a great opportunity to learn more about studying at Teesside by exploring our campus, seeing our excellent facilities, meeting staff and students, and finding out more about your course.

The Applicant Day provides you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. Even if you have attended an Open Day we encourage you to attend the Applicant Day - we are confident you will find your visit a useful experience.

Non-EU international students
Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

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

 

Employability

Work placement

A work placement officer and our careers service help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.
By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also gain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Career opportunities

Graduate careers can include crime scene investigator, police officer, intelligence analyst, detention officer, or you could seek employment with agencies or government organisations such as the Environment Agency, HM Revenue & Customs, the prison service or local government. Graduates are also well placed to seek careers in the law and education sectors.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: BF14 BSc/CSS
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 6 years if entering in Year 1, 4 years if entering in Year 2
  • Attendance: Timetable governed - please contact our admissions office
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 
 
 
 

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