BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies with Foundation Year

TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

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Have you spent hours watching YouTube videos, TV series or documentaries about Forensics and court cases? While the world of Forensics isn’t as glamorous as the movies show, it’s much more fulfilling. Study a Criminology and Forensics degree at Buckinghamshire New University (BNU), and we can help you turn your passion into an inspiring career.
Choosing to study at BNU means you could gain the skills to stop being a spectator and start participating in the Criminal justice system. Act now and apply for a BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies degree and take your first steps to the frontlines of justice.
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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 

Why study this subject?

Forensic science has addressed the need for scientific specialties within the investigation and prosecution of crime. At the heart of every major case is evidence, and Forensics are an essential part of uncovering the full story.

As someone who works in Forensics, you are interested in the facts, and you extract them from the background noise with precision, care and skill. You will build up your analytical mind, able to recognise patterns and inconsistencies and communicate this in reports.

If you choose to study this subject at BNU, you will have a more complete understanding of the personal aspect of Criminology, and the scientific aspect of Forensics. You will be well versed in psychology, social science, interpersonal relationships and the motivations of crime, as well as the scientific process of collecting evidence, court processes and criminal prosecution.

Demand has increased for Forensic Science and obtaining a Criminology and Forensics degree is now more essential to your professional development than ever before. Whether you want to work as a Detective, Forensic Analyst, Prison Worker, Probation Worker, or more, our degree is how you stand out in a crowded market.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

It’s important to study a degree which helps you excel in the future. So why not study a degree that has been created with input from your future employer? Your degree takes information from various organisations to steer your learning towards the demands of employers across the country.

Due to BNU’s strong reputation in this sector, we can often use our influence to encourage visits from experts whenever it’s possible to do so. You can see how your new skills are being used in the world of work right now! In addition, we use our insight to focus on those practical skills you really need, based on current demand.

With this degree, there is a unique 50/50 split between the two disciplines, so you can be ideally suited for a career within both fields. Some of your key employers may be the Civil Service, Local Government, NGOs, the NHS, Probation Service (NPS and CRCs), Prison Service, Social Services, Housing Associations, and more.

BNU is a vibrant and diverse university, and our high lecturer to student ratio means you will receive continual one-on-one support throughout your degree. The collaborative environment we have created ensures you can really see the effect professional feedback has on your learning and skills.

At BNU, you don’t just learn from a textbook, you learn about yourself and the students around you. You can have a truly positive experience with Criminology and Forensics at BNU.

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What facilities can I use?

During this Criminology and Forensics course you have access to a range of facilities to support you in your studies. This includes the use of VR technology, and in addition, simulations where crime scene evidence can be collected. You can also take part in the analysis of eye-tracking data to understand court-presented evidence.

You could have the opportunity to use our police practice suite which is connected to a classroom by audio and video links enabling participation, observation, discussion and feedback of the various police related scenarios.

Where possible, you will also have the opportunity to visit and hear from professionals working in Forensic Science (and Digital Forensics) Labs. Additionally, incorporated into several modules, are Forensic science related simulations, which enable you to get to grips with the techniques used on the frontlines of Forensic science.

    What will I study?

    This Criminology and Forensic Studies degree is designed to give you an in-depth understanding of many aspects of the Criminal Justice System. We provide you with knowledge of several key areas such as: Biomedical Criminology; Economy and Crime; Forensic Analysis, Serious & Organised Crime (and the role of the NCA), Forensic Science, Terrorism, Internet sex-offences, and Cybercrime.

    In addition, we introduce and raise awareness of core aspects of Forensic science, to examine and question the process, quality standards and the ethical oversight of evidence gathering. We also debate and discuss ideas such as diversity together as a class.

    With the Criminology aspect of the degree, you can expect to understand the factors that cause major offences, motivation and origin, and you can also delve into the investigation and criminal behaviour.

    You will gain a solid grounding in research methods and current Forensic theory and processes. You will also develop valuable critical thinking skills, including analytic and logical reasoning, which can benefit your future job.

    The course offers both a subject-specific and a general knowledge base, with skills and competences that will enable students to pursue a career in any of the applied Criminology professions.

    On our BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Forensic Studies, we will help you to:

    • understand, evaluate and apply criminological theory to real world crime
    • understand and evaluate the regulations and procedures of Forensic Science and demonstrate a critical knowledge of the application of laboratory methods
    • understand the character, causes and effects of crimes and crime prevention in contemporary societies
    • demonstrate a critical understanding of criminal justice systems locally and globally
    • demonstrate awareness of cultural diversity and its relevance for understanding crime

    How will I be taught and assessed?

    Specific assessment methods are determined at modular level but are designed to reflect the programme aims and learning outcomes.

    All assessments are designed to equip you with important transferrable skills and so prepare you for the world of work. These include:

    • poster presentations
    • blogs
    • courtroom and crime scene simulations
    • verbal cross-examination
    • portfolios
    • seminars.

    Other modules will be assessed by time limited assessment. A case-study will be released via our online virtual learning environment with an established time limit to undertake the required task and submit a written report.

    Some sessions may require reading and analysis to be completed beforehand, where it is expected you will be able to discuss and debate the text. Reading materials will be known to you with additional time to prepare.

    Placement Plus

    BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

    We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

    Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

    Useful Information

    BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies Programme Specification

    What are the course entry requirements?

    A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

    For this course, you'll need a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4.

    Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to

    Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.



    This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

    Year 1 Modules

    Criminal Justice Process 

    Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

    Making Sense of Society: The Sociological Imagination

    Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

    Media, Communication and Society

    Investigative Process: From Crime Scene to Court

    Introduction to Forensic Psychology

    Threat and Risk

    Year 2 Modules

    Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

    Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

    Criminal Justice Process 

    Introduction to Forensic Psychology

    Making Sense of Society: The Sociological Imagination

    Threat and Risk

    Media, Communication and Society

    Investigative Process: From Crime Scene to Court

    Year 3 Modules

    Contemporary Criminology

    Qualitative Research Methods for Social Scientists

    Quantitative Research Methods for Social Scientists

    Forms of Crime: Crimes of the Powerful (optional)

    Discrimination: issues in Criminology

    Employability and Professional Development

    Introduction to Forensic Science: Pathology, Anthropology, Toxicology

    Evidence in Court: Interpretation, Evaluation, Presentation

    Intelligence Research and Analysis (optional)

    Year 4 Modules

    Criminal Justice Policy

    Comparative Criminal Justice

    Cybercrime (optional)

    Radicalisation and Terrorism (optional)

    Disability and Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System (optional)

    Criminal Investigation Systems (optional)

    Dissertation (optional)

    Applied Dissertation (optional)

    Leadership and Change (optional)

    Law of Evidence (optional)

    Investigative and Forensic Psychology (optional)

    Victimology (optional)

    Interpersonal Violence (optional)

    Professional Forensic Practice Issues (optional)

    What are the tuition fees


    Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

    £9,250 per year


    Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

    £14,250 per year

    The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

    From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

    Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

    You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

    Questions about fees?

    Contact our Enquiries Team:

    0330 123 2023

    What are my career prospects?

    Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

    Our BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies degree course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:

    • crime scene investigator
    • forensic scientist
    • forensic psychologist
    • detective
    • counselling and victim support
    • probation services
    • prison services
    • CCTV analyst
    • laboratory technician
    • crown prosecution services.

    Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course, such as our MSc Applied Forensic Psychology.

    It is also recognised that many Criminology students will choose from a wide range of graduate career options. Typically, graduating students will focus on roles in various branches of the Criminal Justice System (e.g. the courts, prisons, probation services and more.)

    In addition, our programme is structured in such a way that you will gain core skills that are transferable to a wide range of different criminology and forensics careers, giving you the confidence to succeed in whatever career you pursue.

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