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Undergraduate study
crime scene investigation course, crime scene investigator degree

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

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 fields of investigation and forensic science, you explore scientific techniques to help investigate and detect crime in different environments.

 

BF94 BSc/CSSFY

Course routes:

 

Course overview

Accredited Work placement

Our course teaches you to manage the investigative process from start to finish. You develop skills in recording, gathering, evaluating and presenting evidence, as well as understanding the science behind forensic analysis.

You have access to extensive facilities in crime scene science, and the teaching team includes former practitioners in crime scene investigation who bring operational experience to the classroom.

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

You may be eligible to apply for a scholarship with Cleveland Scientific Institution.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Download pdf Order prospectus

 

Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Big Data

What is big data? How is it made and how do we make sense of it? Discover how data is created, consider the ethical implications of using it and begin your journey accessing it. You explore its use in society and the role it plays in community relationships, from uncovering criminal networks and tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology. You understand how search engines collate and store the data needed to make predictions, enhance decision making, or to better understand society’s needs. You learn the impact big data has and the challenges it presents.

This is a 20-credit module.

Crime Scene and Forensic Practice

The theory and practice of crime scene and forensic science are introduced. You study and debate details of evidence-based miscarriages of justice, examine procedural issues which have compromised investigations and understand how practices have evolved as a result. Experience sessions in the crime scene house, vehicle examination suite and mock court room, bringing these sessions to life in an immersive setting.

This is a 20-credit module.

Global Grand Challenges

Team up with your coursemates to find out how science can help address some of the biggest issues facing society today. You explore health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments, and learning for the 21st century.

This is a 20-credit module.

Introduction to Cybercrime

You gain a holistic perspective of the world of cybercrime. Focus on current events taking place in the world, such as high-profile security breaches and recent court cases. You are introduced to the wider concepts of digital investigations as you engage with current events pertaining to cybercrime, studying concepts relevant to real-world practice.

This is a 20-credit module.

Programming for Life

You gain a foundation of the underlying principles of scripting and programming. Analyse data through hands-on experience in coding solutions to set problems, applying these techniques to subject-specific problems. Learn about the key concepts, constructs and principles of a script or programme, as you are introduced to reusable code in the form of application programming interfaces, with a view to analysing data.

This is a 20-credit module.

The Role of Enforcement Agencies

You consider the role of support services such as crime scene examiners and forensic labs within an investigation. You examine prosecution policies used by enforcement agencies and the alternatives to prosecution. Time management, self refection and good learning practice skills are emphasised to contextualise how various enforcement agencies operate and the process of investigation, including the use of intelligence.

This is a 20-credit module.

 

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy and Physiology

Gain basic knowledge of human anatomy and an understanding of the mechanisms associated with control and regulation of the physiological processes of the major organ system. Homeostasis is the key theme throughout the module, as you explore interrelationships between human functions and the organisational hierarchy to develop and increase your understanding of how the body functions. You also study the construction of biological profiles for human identification including sex, age at death, stature determination and biological affinity. This knowledge is used in the context of identification and recovery of human remains, the regulatory aspect of handing human remains and ethical issues related to human tissue research.

This is a 20-credit module.

Crime Scene and Photography

You are introduced to the key skills and theoretical background required of a forensic and crime scene science photographer. Using industry-standard digital photographic equipment, you develop your photography and imaging skills and understand how these are applied in a crime scene setting.

This is a 20-credit module.

Crime Scene Examination

Develop the skills necessary to work as a member of an investigative team. Explore the range of encounters you are likely to face at a crime scene and learn how to deal with these. You focus on trace evidence knowledge and the skills required to maximise forensic evidence recovery at an incident.

This is a 20-credit module.

Forensic Case Studies and the Law

Gain the essential legal knowledge and skills you need to be a forensic investigator. Through research and case studies, you develop an understanding of the role of courts and relevant investigatory legislation in the UK, as well as how forensic examinations contribute to the criminal justice process.

This is a 20-credit module.

Forensic Evidence and Recovery

Understand the fundamental concepts of forensic science, theoretically and practically. A range of chemical and biological forensic evidence types are introduced and their recovery and examination in the forensic laboratory considered. You also examine how these evidence types are presented in an investigative environment.

This is a 20-credit module.

Intelligence and Digital Investigation

As part of a wider digital investigation, you identify and examine potential sources of intelligence. You explore where these sources might be located, their structure, contents and value to an investigation as well as surrounding legal and ethical implications involved in using this information. Relevant approaches to examining and interpreting intelligence sources are identified and discussed, alongside references to real-world scenarios.

This is a 20-credit module.

 

Year 2 core modules

Bioarchaeology and Human Remains Recovery

Bioarchaeology focuses on the analysis of biological remains from archaeological sites to understand the life experiences of these people. Incorporating skeletal anatomy, osteology, archaeology, and anthropology, you explore the process of identifying, recovering, and analysing human remains.

This is a 20-credit module.

Crime Scene Investigation

You are introduced to a range of evidence types, how to locate, preserve and recover them and their significance in the context of an investigation. Working to professional standards, you explore scene attendance protocols and develop practical skills in photography and fingerprint examination. Practise the recovery of physical evidence and develop the skills to analyse, interpret and evaluate this evidence.

This is a 20-credit module.

Crime Series Analysis

Trends and predictive analytics are at the forefront of new crime reduction strategies. Front line officers, crime scene investigators and the public play a part in finding patterns in offending behaviour as well as helping us to understand the environments these crimes occur in. Debate these tools and discuss why enforcement agencies have pushed forward in their drive to acquire bigger and better data. Apply environmental crime theoretical frameworks to real world problems and engage with software to study crime pattern analysis.

This is a 20-credit module.

Major Incident Investigation

You examine major serious incidents that require special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency response agencies. You consider how these responses impact on the investigative process and how the role of the various agencies and experts impact on progressing an inquiry. Through practical sessions, you learn to generate evidence and implement responses to major incidents, which form part of a linked series in a complex investigation. Your work is recorded on industry-standard software, highlighting an overview of the inquiry, and displaying the scene and forensic evidence.

This is a 20-credit module.

Professional Practice and the Expert Witness

Explore the role of an expert witness in legal proceedings in the UK, from handling evidence and writing scientific statements, to being an effective witness in the courtroom. Through professional practice, you learn about codes of conduct, quality standards and accreditation as you gain the key information and skills you need for a career in forensic practice. You also explore the legal framework, including aspects of UK and international law.

This is a 20-credit module.

Trace Evidence and Forensic Enhancement

You develop your critical understanding of forensic science in the judicial process. Investigate how trace evidence types such as glass and fibres are transferred during criminal acts, and the subsequent examination and interpretation by the forensic scientist. Develop your practical forensic skills and apply theoretical knowledge. And consider enhancement techniques available in the lab to aid the forensic scientists, including chemical enhancement and photographic techniques.

This is a 20-credit module.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain 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.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits 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.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Business Intelligence and Investigation

You consider how to produce business intelligence in an investigative area. Develop your detailed knowledge of the principles of intelligence production including using specialised software.

This is a 20-credit module.

Human Identification and Forensic Imaging

You explore and critically analyse the techniques and technologies used to identify unknown individuals, either dead or alive. Consider emerging and established technologies in human identification and the forensic recording of scenes and exhibits in 2D and 3D. Focus on the impact of emerging technology on operational practice, as well as evaluating emerging and traditional techniques and their ethical considerations. Use various digital devices, 2D, and 3D imaging equipment within a lab and scene environment to develop the skills required to collect and process data suitable to present in a forensic context.

This is a 20-credit module.

Intelligence Analysis

Tackling criminality begins by establishing and researching the causes, drivers and facilitators of crime. Examine the role intelligence plays in policing, from generating tasks for an inquiry to converting intelligence and evidence before the courts. Immerse yourself in analysing intelligence, grading its value and creating a series of hypotheses to test the development of a problem profile.

Working through open source datasets, you are introduced to writing scripts in Python or R to format dataframes, carry out statistical analysis before visualising data to help uncover meaning. IT lab exercises examine the techniques used to measure and monitor crime.

This is a 20-credit module.

Science Research Project

You complete an in-depth, independent investigation into a specialist aspect of your field of study. You bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous study, including analysing and critically evaluating data and a critical reflection on the potential risks, and moral and ethical issues. You are supported by a research supervisor who helps you develop and complete your research project.

This is a 40-credit module.

Serious Crime Investigation

Enforcement agencies have an increasingly multidisciplinary approach to real-world scenarios. You work with students from associated disciplines to reflect on the full investigative process, from gathering evidence to submitting prosecution reports and appearing in court as a witness.

As part of a team, you contribute to the investigation of a complex crime, using appropriate professional techniques and industry-standard competencies to gather and retain physical and electronic evidence, obtain and analyse forensic samples, inspect premises, take statements and interview witnesses. You produce a final report that would successfully gain a conviction under the relevant legislation.

This is a 20-credit module.

 

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

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

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.

Applicant Days
If you receive an offer to study with us you may 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.

For general information please see our overview of 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

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

 
 

Professional accreditation

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

Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements

Full-time

Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: BF94 BSc/CSSFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

Choose Teesside

  • Facilities
     
  • Student and graduate profiles
     
  • On video

    Forensic biology work placement

    Forensic biology student Mark Malate talks about his work placement at Eurofins Forensic Services

    Teesside University - forensics event

    Crime scene science students took part in a practical forensics event at Teesside University's Darlington campus

     
  • News

    The fire takes hold of the reconstructed bedsit set up in the container. Link to View the pictures. Demonstration fires up students’ interest in CSI skills
    Students on crime scene and forensic science courses gained hands-on experience in a fire demonstration.

    Read the full story

     
 
 

Get in touch

UK students

Email: shlsadmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 738801


Online chat (general enquiries)

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


More international contacts

 

Open days and events

 
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