Forensic Science

Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

We pride ourselves on creating forensic scientists who are experts in their area. We’re a forerunner in the country for forensic science and you’ll learn from former practicing forensic scientists and CSIs as well as academics who are leaders in their field. Our course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and we were the first university to have a suite of dedicated crime scene houses. You’ll gain education and training in forensic investigation; the management and processing of crime scenes, law for forensic scientists and the laboratory-based analysis of evidence, leaving you well placed for specialist employment in areas of forensics, chemistry or biotechnology.  

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years; four years with industrial placement , Part-time: Six years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Forensic and Archaeological Sciences at UCLan are 1st in the North West for overall student satisfaction, teaching quality and academic support - National Student Survey 2019.
  • Forensic Science at UCLan is ranked 1st in the North West and 11th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide 2021.
  • Lancashire Constabulary and UCLan have joined forces to create the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy. This ground breaking partnership gives students access to an operational environment and the opportunity to shadow CSIs at crime scenes.
  • Our dedicated laboratories are equipped with cutting-edge microscopy and analytical equipment and our outdoor facility for research in forensic taphonomy and decomposition is unique in Europe.
  • Our courses are aligned to national occupational standards where appropriate to ensure you fulfil the needs of future employees.

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Skills for Forensic Science
  • Volume Crime Scene Science
  • Biology for Forensic Scientists
  • Chemistry for Forensic Scientists
  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology
  • Option Modules
  • Introduction to Biology
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Elective

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Practice

Plus one option from:

  • Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Forensic Chemistry

Plus one option from:

  • Environmental Forensics
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • The Science and Management of Death

Optional for sandwich award:

  •  Industrial Placement Year

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Applications of Forensic Science
  • Forensic Science Dissertation

Optional modules (choice of 3)

  • Forensic Genetics
  • Advances in Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Taphanomic Traces
  • Human Remains Recovery

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points including Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
Pass Access Course: 106-112 UCAS Points with 15 Level 3 Credits in Chemistry or Biology.
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including HL Biology or Chemistry.
GCSE: English and Maths at Grade C/4

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

Study Forensic Science at UCLan

Forensic Science at UCLan is outstanding amongst other UK programmes by merit of its breadth and depth, the expertise of staff, and its facilities. The course covers forensic investigation, forensic biology, forensic chemistry and forensic anthropology.

In addition to fitting you for a wide range of forensic careers, the course has a strong emphasis on transferable, employable skills, and it is expected that graduates will be well prepared for careers in a number of areas.

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy logo

Lancashire Constabulary and UCLan School of Forensic and Applied Sciences have joined forces to create the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.

In the first collaboration of its kind, CSIs, forensic science experts, academics and students will work alongside each other in purpose-built facilities to research, investigate and deliver forensic science services in Lancashire.

This ground-breaking partnership gives students access to an operational environment.

Find out more

Specialised Facilities
We were the first university to have a suite of dedicated crime scene houses as well as a garaged vehicle examination bay, and a blood spatter pattern analysis suite. You will have access to well-equipped criminalistics laboratories and an extensive human skeletal collection with both modern and archaeological specimens.

State-of-the-art laboratories
Our Analytical Unit is equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation, such as electron microscopes and inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometers. We also have laboratories dedicated to biology, entomology and anthropology and have recently installed a HYDRA Minerva state-of-the-art simulation suite, as used by the UK National Crime Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security.

"All the staff have been incredibly helpful to us. The detailed information on DNA Profiling, updated technology and future possibilities was especially interesting."

There are three core topics that run throughout the course, and others which are options during the first and second years:

Forensic Investigation involves the management and analysis of crime scenes, the collection of forensic evidence and its analysis by means of methods such as fingerprinting, footwear impressions, document analysis, tool marks, forensic photography, glass fragment analysis, trace evidence, body fluids, hair and fibre analysis and ballistics.

Forensic Biology includes topics such as the identification of body fluids, forensic medicine, forensic entomology and DNA profiling, the identification and analysis of molecular genetic variation which can be used to match body fluids such as blood, semen or saliva to individuals, or to carry out paternity analysis.

Forensic Chemistry examines a variety of compounds from narcotics to paints and accelerants, using chemical and physical methods to characterise and match trace samples.

Forensic Anthropology is an option in years one and two and involves the study of the skeletal remains in order to determine a profile of a deceased individual as well as aspects of decomposition and burial.

The School of Forensic and Applied Sciences is vibrant, friendly, diverse and busy, and houses a wealth of staff experience. We were the first UK department to have a dedicated crime scene simulation house and now have three properties representing different scenarios. We have an extensive skeletal collection, comprised from both teaching specimens and archaeological material; and our final year students always organise one of the best graduation balls in the university!

"Without UCLan and its experiences I would not be where I am today, and as I move on from my studies to post-doctoral work at the Liverpool World Museum I am constantly reminded of UCLan."


Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

The School of Forensic and Applied Sciences is a vibrant, friendly and diverse environment. The school houses a wealth of staff experience, from those who have worked at the very highest level as forensic practitioners before coming into higher education to academics who are involved in the cutting edge research that underpins and helps advance forensic analysis. Factual knowledge and the development of associated skills are achieved through a variety of lectures, practical work (both laboratory based and at simulated crime scenes), tutorials, workshops, group work and independent study.

Guest speakers are brought in to talk about other areas including law, ballistics and DNA, and alumni will talk to you about their career path and how to get on.

A key part to the School's teaching and assessment strategy is to ensure that students get hands-on experience of using the full range of analytical instrumentation and are competent and confident in using them. Modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end-of-module examinations. The types of assessments vary and may be in the form of multiple-choice, short answer questions, essays, practical reports or tests, problem solving exercises, oral presentations, critical reviews and research in the form of a final year dissertation.

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The complete university guide top 10 logo - forensic scienceUCLAN IS UK’S BIGGEST RISER IN NEW LEAGUE TABLE

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is the UK’s biggest riser in the first league table of the year. Forensic science was ranked in the UK’s top 10 and top in the North West.

Read more.

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This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team & UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

Professional Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Excellent Opportunities

There are several opportunities to get experience either in the voluntary sector or through placements at a number of laboratories and workplaces.

If you are interested in a police career, we encourage you to join the Special Constable service. Those thinking of a laboratory career may wish to explore links with local hospital laboratories for work experience and within the School there are several student internships available each year that will allow you to get involved in a novel research project and gain experience of working within a research environment. Archaeologists within the School of Forensic & Investigative Sciences regularly run digs and those with an interest in Archaeology and Anthropology may want to participate and get additional field-work experience.

Our courses are an excellent basis for employment in this competitive sector. Our graduates are at work in all sorts of forensic science settings - as crime scene investigators, police officers, scientific support personnel and intelligence analysts, at home and overseas.

Great Facilities

We provide state-of-the-art facilities including :


Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.