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Undergraduate study
Crime Scene Science (with Foundation Year)

Crime Scene Science (with Foundation Year)
BSc (Hons)

 

Course overview

This BSc (Hons) Crime Scene Science (with Foundation Year) degree course includes an integrated foundation year - ideal if you don't have the required entry qualifications for direct admission to Year 1 of our BSc (Hons) degree course.

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

This accredited degree course prepares 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.

At Teesside University our students 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

This course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

 
 

Course details

In your first year you develop your knowledge in maths and the fundamentals of biological, chemical and physical sciences, together with material to help you develop numerical, communication, practical and learning skills. Successfully completing your first year enables you to proceed confidently on to the rest of your degree course. The remaining years of this course are the same as the BSc (Hons) Crime Scene Science degree

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Big Data

Big data – it’s a phrase that a lot of people would argue is overused, or at least not always used in the appropriate context. So what is it really? How is it made and how do we make sense of it?

In this module you learn how big data is not just abundant but a growing field in so many aspects of our society from policing and conservation to health and bioinformatics. You explore how groups and communities use and share big data to help keep themselves safe in disaster zones around the world. You begin to value the role data plays in helping to make sense of community relationships in society, from uncovering criminal networks, tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology.

Data might end up in a data-frame spreadsheet format but it doesn’t begin there. It is often created with people and animals engaging with each other and technology. You explore how search engines collate and store the data we need to help make predictions, enhance decision making, or simply to better understand society’s needs.

Crime Scene and Forensic Practice

This module introduces you to the theory and practice of crime scene and forensic sciences – you refer to case studies, especially those in which procedural issues have compromised investigations. These issues are brought to life in practical sessions using our onsite facilities including the crime scene house, vehicle laboratory and replica courtroom, all providing you with an immersive setting.

You work in groups to study and debate details of evidence-based miscarriages of justice. You see how practice has changed as a result of these cases as well as considering technological developments. Emphasis is placed on developing your study skills in the context of forensic investigation.

Global Grand Challenges

This module focuses on how science can help address some of the biggest global Grand Challenges that face society. This reflects the University’s focus on externally facing research that makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people and the success of businesses and economies.

You work on a project in a group, to enabling you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on five thematic areas – health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century.

Introduction to Cybercrime

This module provides you with a holistic perspective of the world of cybercrime. You develop your knowledge on current real-world events as the focus of your learning, such as high-profile security breaches and/or recent court cases of particular note. You are also introduced to the wider concepts of digital investigations.

You take part in seminars and engage with current events relating to cybercrime, alongside studying concepts relevant to the real-world practice of cybercrime investigations.

Programming for Life

This module provides you with a foundation to the underlying principles of scripting and programming to analyse data. You get hands-on experience of coding solutions to solve problems. You can apply these techniques and knowledge to subject-specific problems.

The first phase involves you learning key concepts, constructs and principles of a script or programme. The second phase introduces you to reusable code in the form of application programming interfaces (APIs) with a view to analysing data.

The Role of Enforcement Agencies

This module develops your understanding of the skills to successfully study at undergraduate level in crime scene science and forensics. You are encouraged to reflect on and manage your own learning. We emphasise time management and good learning practices during the module.

These skills are contextualised to give you an insight into how various enforcement agencies work and the investigative process including the use of intelligence. The module also covers the role of support services such as crime scene examiners and forensic laboratories within investigation. You are also introduced to prosecution policies used by enforcement agencies and the alternatives to prosecution.

 

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

The first year of this course has been designed to provide a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, examinations), but you are also expected to spend time on your own, called self-study time, to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.

One module in each year of your study, excluding your first year (Level 3), involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week, provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your course involves a range of types of assessments including research assignments, laboratory work, presentations and tests.


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

The tariff point requirement depends on the Level 3 subjects you have previously studied. Typical offers normally range from 32-88 tariff points.

Examples of typical entry qualifications include:

  • Any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to HE)
  • A High School Certificate/Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education
  • Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of relevant post-school work experience.

Any Level 3 subject is acceptable for entry to this course.

English language and maths requirements
Normally, evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4 is required. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

Interviews
You may be invited to attend an interview to help us reach an offer decision. Your interview session is designed to help you by giving you the opportunity to showcase your individual strengths and qualities that define your potential to succeed on your chosen course. You may receive a more flexible offer following a good interview performance.

It is important to us that you reach an informed decision on where to study so we make every effort to provide you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. During your visit you will have the opportunity to learn more about your course, see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students, and learn more about studying at Teesside University. We receive very positive feedback from visiting students and we are confident you will find your visit a useful experience too.

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 the University's award-winning 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 obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. 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

Graduates 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 sector.

 

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: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years (including a work placement)
  • UCAS code: BF94 BSc/CSSFY
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
 
 
 

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