BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation

Course Overview

Are you interested in the fascinating world of forensic and criminal investigation? Our BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation course will fully immerse you in diverse aspects of the investigative process using cutting-edge technology, giving you valuable practical insight into real-life investigations. 

The course starts by taking you on an immersive journey through the entire investigative process, illustrating the natural progress of criminal investigations and the interlinked areas of policing and forensics. Through this, you will gain knowledge of how the various personnel involved in an investigation work together to achieve a common goal. Not only is the course delivered by skilled academic staff with years of experience in the field, but the additional use of guest lectures and webinars will provide you with a solid grounding of real practises in modern forensic and criminal investigations.

Just one of the ways this course stands out is our immersive virtual crime world, which allows you to place yourself in real-world scenarios. To supplement your learning, this environment will be integrated seamlessly with your modules so that you can put the theory you learn during your lessons, seminars, and workshops into practice. You’ll have the opportunity to take on a range of investigative roles as you navigate different environments such as crime scenes, the police custody suite, the major incident room, police cells, the courtroom, the forensics lab, and a burial site where you uncover partially clothed bones. Through this, you’ll gain insight into important processes and roles in forensic and criminal investigations, preparing you for future work in the field of forensic investigation.

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn’t a clear pathway to this degree – we are more than happy to discuss your application.


To be eligible for our BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation, you should normally have:

  • Two subjects at GCE A level or equivalent, plus passes at grade C or above in three subjects at GCSE level or equivalent.
  • Alternative level 3 qualifications will also be considered, including Access to HE, a BTEC Extended Diploma, or internationally equivalent.

We’re also happy to consider your application if you can demonstrate your ability to study the course via previous work experience, references, and a personal statement.

Course fee

International FeeFee
fee per level:£5500
UK FeeFee
fee per level:£6,935

Please note: Fees quoted relate to the intake that you enrol on (i.e. when you start your course), NOT your application date.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 90; or equivalent.
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the medium of instruction was in English can be accepted.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course details and modules

Your course modules begin by taking you through the entire forensic investigative process, from the scene of the crime to the courtroom. Each module will link offences, offenders, law enforcement, forensic personnel, laws, and legislation, helping bring evidence to life. Using our unique virtual environment, you’ll also have the opportunity to assume the role of a crime scene investigator, detective, civilian investigator, and coroner, helping you translate theoretical principles to the real-world scenarios you might face in your future role. 

Later in the course you’ll study the academic components of forensic science, and the use of a wide range of modern forensic techniques, including forensic trace analysis, forensic biology and anthropology, and environmental forensics. Through level 5 elective modules, you’ll also be able to adapt your curriculum to your individual areas of interest.

Authentic assessments. No exams.

Unlike on more traditional degree programmes, you won’t be sitting any exams on this BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation. Instead, the course utilises authentic, real-world assessments that replicate the observations, interviews, and reports that would be conducted in the field as part of a real forensic and criminal investigation.


Level 4

  • Introduction to Forensic Investigation (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Criminal Investigation (20 credits)
  • Police Custody (20 credits)
  • Witnesses: An Introduction (20 credits)
  • Criminal Investigation: Procedures and Practises (20 credits)
  • Analysis and Application of Forensics (20 credits)

Level 5

  • Core Modules
  • Forensic Trace Analysis (20 credits)
  • Forensic Biology (20 credits)
  • Civilian Employability (20 credits)
  • Coroners (20 credits)
  • Elective Modules
  • Transnational Organised Crime (20 credits)
  • Intelligence (20 credits)
  • Policing Concepts and Theories (20 credits)

Level 6

  • Forensic Anthropology (20 credits)
  • Environmental Forensics (20 credits)
  • Law Enforcement: Vulnerability and Risk (20 credits) 
  • Special Investigations: (60 credit portfolio)

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation will provide you with the foundations you need to continue on with further study and for future work in the field of forensic and criminal investigation.

What can I do after Arden University?

This course is for anyone interested in learning more about forensic investigation and pursuing a career within the wider forensic area. It is also an opportunity to take a fascinating deep dive into how forensic investigation works to provide you with universal skills for your future.

Additional benefits of the course include:

This degree qualifies graduates for entry to the UK police force through the degree holders entry route.

You’ll gain the academic knowledge needed for the entry route into a variety of civilian roles, such as civilian investigative officer, private financial investigator, or intelligence analyst.

If you’re currently working as a police officer or civilian within the law enforcement family, but don’t have a degree, the flexibility of this course and its online format means you can study part-time while working.

What will the BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation do for me?

You’ll graduate from this course with real practical insight into forensic and criminal investigation, including an in-depth understanding of:

  • The major themes and practical underpinnings of forensic and criminal investigations
  • The knowledge and skills required to undertake a forensic investigation from start to completion
  • The roles of different personnel and how they work together to achieve a common goal
  • A wide range of forensic techniques used for collecting and analysing criminal evidence

Online learning

How does it work? 

Studying this course online gives you the ultimate in convenience. As one of our online students, you’ll study your degree through iLearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud, which provides everything you need to study at university. 

Learn within an immersive virtual reality environment

This ground-breaking course uses a custom-built immersive virtual environment to put you at the heart of the crime scene. You’ll be able to place yourself into the scenario that is being presented, providing a seamless integration between your course content and our supplementary virtual crime world. Each of the modules studied in each year are linked by offences, offenders, law enforcement and forensic personnel. You will be assuming these different roles as you navigate through the crime world, investigating various offences that have been presented to you.

As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll also be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. You’ll also have access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.