If you want to help solve crimes, it pays to understand criminality from many different angles. This course gives you much broader skills, knowledge and experience than a more traditional ‘forensic science’ degree. Using facilities shared with a real police force, this degree is always relevant, innovative and up-to-date.
From crime scene to evidence lab to court room, you’ll find out how forensic investigation fits into the history, policy and practice of the criminal justice system. And you’ll study the causes of crime, learning what really makes a criminal.
What you'll experience
On this Criminology and Forensic Studies degree course, you'll:
- Develop specialist skills in the latest forensic facilities including simulated crime scenes, and labs with fingerprinting, DNA analysis and forensic imaging kit
- Explore new experimental techniques including the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality, inspired by innovative VR research at the University of Portsmouth
- Learn from criminology, probation and policing experts who are actively involved in industry, and who shape its future with ground-breaking research in areas like forensic interview techniques and wildlife crime
- Benefit from our strong partnerships and links with the criminal justice and forensic investigation industry – previous field trips have included visits to a police fingerprinting bureau and a military CSI training HQ
- Hear from guest speakers such as fire investigators, crime scene managers, pathologists, specialist police officers, firearm officers and forensic archaeologists
- Tailor your degree from a wide range of modules, including crime and mental health, hate crime, dangerous offenders and public protection
- Gain pre-entry qualifications for careers in the police or probation service, and develop skills in problem solving and analysis that all kinds of employers value
Work experience and career planning
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
After your second year of study, you can choose to do a paid work placement year. This lets you put your new skills to work while developing valuable links with employers in the crime and forensic investigation field.
It’s fantastic for your CV and will really help you stand out when applying for jobs after graduation.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. With mentoring and support throughout your placement, you’ll have our support to get the most from the experience.
Previous placement destinations have included:
- Hampshire Constabulary
- Hampshire Fire and Rescue
- University of Portsmouth Forensic Technician Team
You can also spend this year studying overseas at one of our partner universities in Europe, South Asia or North America.
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- group discussions
- practical workshops
- forensic crime scene examinations
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
You’ll be assessed through:
- practical crime scene assessments
- group projects
- a dissertation
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Year 1 students: 27% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 66% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 3% by practical exams and 97% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 8% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 87% by coursework
Because this course blends criminology and forensic studies, you’ll graduate with a particularly broad range of careers open to you. Your lecturers can help you identify the options that excite you most, so you can choose to study modules that fit your ambitions.
You’ll be especially well-prepared for the wide variety of criminal justice careers where forensic awareness plays a key role – from forensic practitioner in the police, probation or prison services, through to rewarding areas of expertise like community safety, crime prevention and criminological research. More broadly, the impressive problem-solving skills you develop could prove valuable in all kinds of careers.
Our graduates have gone on to roles including:
- crime scene investigator
- investigative data analyst
- police officer
- intelligence researcher
- probation officer
- youth offending support officer
- emergency planning officer
- prison officer
- forensic laboratories
You could also do postgraduate study in areas such as forensic science.