course image

Criminology & Forensic InvestigationBSc (Hons)

This programme, which is aimed at those looking to progress to a career in criminology, forensic investigation or investigative policing, will enable you to understand the core causes of criminal behaviour and the principles of crime scene investigation.

Courses available through Clearing

There's still time to find a degree course at South Essex College University Centre this September. Visit our Clearing page to learn more.

Course details


Important You can read a comprehensive guide to this course containing full details in our Course Information Guide.

This course is underpinned by the four key distinct disciplinary strands of Forensic Investigation, Criminology, Criminal Justice and Work Related Skills/Experience. These four strands enable you to analyse contemporary issues from a range of multidisciplinary perspectives, providing essential transferable skills for employment. In addition, the course provides you with a well-rounded knowledge base, application and experience of work-related skills for progression onto higher level educational courses or to relevant industry employment.

The course operates on a modular basis, all of which are compulsory. You will take 120 credits each year. In Year one you will take three modules weighted at 20 credits and two modules weighted at 30
credits. In Year two, you will take six modules weighted at 20 credits each. In Year three, the Dissertation is weighted at 40 credits, and you will take two modules at 30 credits and one at 20 credits.

What's covered?

Year one units

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Academic Skills and Applied Practice
  • Crime Scene Investigation

Year two units

  • Criminological Research Methods
  • Criminal Investigation and the Justice System
  • Cybercrime and Society
  • Role of an Expert Witness
  • Serious Offenders and Imprisonment
  • Forensic Taphonomy and Entomology

Year three units

  • Dissertation
  • Professional Development
  • Terrorism, Security and Political Violence
  • Critical Incidents in Fatality Management

Work placements

40 hours at Level 6 of formally agreed workplace learning within a relevant criminological or forensic investigation field.


Timetables are normally available a month before registration. Please note that although we endeavour to make timetables as student-friendly as possible, teaching can be scheduled on any day of the week. However, Fridays are usually non-contact days.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. In addition, you will have timetabled tutorials.

Independent learning

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, undertaking research, preparing presentations and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by excellent library facilities.

Guest speakers

There are several guest speakers during the programme, for example:

  • A crime scene Investigator from Essex Police
  • A forensic psychologist
  • A Detective Chief Inspector


There are a number of visits as part of the programme, these are optional and not included in the cost of the progamme, they include:

  • A visit to the Central Criminal Court
  • A visit to the British Library

Contact hours

  • 13 hours per week in years 1 and 2
  • 10 hours per week in year 3

Contact hours include two hour lectures, one hour seminars and one hour tutorials.

How will my work be assessed?

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include:

  • Written examinations
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Final year dissertation

The grades from formal assessments count towards your final module mark.


You will receive feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework and practical activities. Feedback on examination performance is available on request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader. We aim to provide feedback within 20 working days for formal assessments (coursework and practical activities).

What can I do after this?

Potential career routes include working in main stream policing (possibly as an officer or crime scene technician), the criminal justice and prisons system, or in businesses that may be at risk from financial fraud or cyber-crime. Graduates from this degree programme may also seek employment in related areas such as teaching or probation after a period of further study.

Further study options include:

  • MSc Crime and Forensic Science
  • MSc Forensic Analysis
  • MSc Anatomy
  • MSc Forensic Psychology
  • MA Social Work

You could also train to teach the subject by studying the PGCE, available at University Centre Southend.

Graduate destinations

Employment from previous graduating cohorts have included roles within Essex and Metropolitan Police, disaster victim identification, counter terrorism within financing, teaching, domestic abuse co-ordinators, laboratory testing, prison workers, crime scene investigators and within human rights groups such as Amicus. Students have also progressed on to higher level training and have entered Masters Qualifications in Criminology, Terrorism Studies, Digital Forensics, Anthropology and Research. In addition, graduates of the programme have also undertaken teacher training and have achieved either QTS or QTLS, enabling them to take up roles in mainstream schools across the primary, secondary and further education sectors.

  • 64 UCAS Tariff Points or above
  • At least two A levels
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma/Subsidiary Diploma/Certificate [QCF]
  • BTEC National Award/Certificate/Diploma [NQF]International Baccalaureate
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (minimum 30 credits at Merit or above)

For any qualification not identified above the HE Admission Team will determine equivalences through UKNARIC.
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C (old specification) or Grade 4 (new specification) or above OR a Level 2 equivalent such as Functional Skills.

Applicants wishing to be considered for entry to the second or third year of study, or wishing to import credits or evidence of prior learning into the course for which they are applying, will be considered in accordance with the awarding bodies policy on Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning.


Open Event - Higher Education Degrees, HNCs & HNDs

Saturday, 05 October 2019

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Our Higher Education Open Events are held at the Southend Campus on Luker Road. These events are the perfect opportunity to find out all you need to know about degree, HND and HNC courses on offer at South Essex College.


Ready to apply?

Applying for a course is simple:

  1. View the Course details above to ensure this is the correct course for you.
  2. Check the Entry requirements above.
  3. Choose your preferred course option below and click the arrow to view details.
  4. Click the button to apply or make an enquiry.

If you have any questions, a course adviser is here to help you.

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Loan of Personal Protective Equipment required for practical sessions
  • Compulsory visits to museums and other institutions in the UK
  • An allowance of printing credit
  • Venue Southend Campus
  • Starts Monday, September 30, 2019
  • Attendance Full time
  • Duration 3 years
  • Provision Higher Education
  • Cost £8000.00
  • Cost details Fees are per academic year for home and EU students.
Apply now