Forensic Science and Anthropology

Forensic Science and Anthropology 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 has accreditation with the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, managing and processing crime scenes and analysing evidence in the laboratory, you’ll focus on the recovery of human remains and the analysis of skeletal remains. Our archaeologists regularly run digs that you’re welcome to take part in, and our strong links with the local constabularies and hospital laboratories mean you’ll get the chance for hands-on work experience.

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 the student 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.

There are two core topics that run throughout the course:
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 anthropology is studied in all three years and involves the analysis of skeletal remains in order to determine a profile of a deceased individual as well as aspects of decomposition and burial.

In addition, you have the choice of following forensic biology or forensic chemistry to complete your programme of study. 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.

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

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

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!

Forensic Anthropology

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Six years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

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

  • View 2018/19 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

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

Discover More

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 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction*
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 Biology or Chemistry.
GCSE: English and Maths at Grade C/4

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

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Crime Scene Science
  • Skills for Forensic Scientists
  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology
  • Biology for Forensic Scientists
  • Chemistry for Forensic Scientists

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Biology
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Bones Bodies and Burials
  • Elective

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Practice
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Law for Forensic Scientists

Optional modules

  • Death Science
  • Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Forensic Chemistry


Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation (double module)
  • Application of Forensic Science
  • Human Remains Recovery
  • Forensic Taphonomic Traces

Optional modules - plus one of the following combination of options (dependent on second year study):

  • Forensic Genetics
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Advances in Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Toxicology

UCLan Open Days

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 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 you 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.


Professional Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

What Opportunities will I have?

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.

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, you are encouraged 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 and Applied Sciences regularly run digs and those with an interest in archaeology and anthropology may want to participate and get additional field-work experience.

Excellent Facilities

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

  • Extensive skeletal collection including archaeological materials
  • 4 crime scene houses
  • An indoor vehicle examination facility
  • A dedicated blood spattering suite
  • A criminalistics laboratory
  • An analytical suite containing the full range of modern analytical instrumentation.
  • Forensic Anthropology labs

Crime Scene Houses

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 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 2018/19 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.