Criminal Investigation MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Criminal Investigation MSc/PGDip/PGCert

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences


Post- graduate




Preston and Online

Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: two years. The course is offered in weekly six-hour blocks during Semesters 1 and 2 (one afternoon/early evening per week). During Semester 3, you are able to complete your dissertation away from the University.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Distance with attendance, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:

    Preston and Online

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The MSc has been designed to provide an in-depth study of Criminal Investigation, and develop critical and analytical skills involving the principles, practices and techniques of Criminal Investigation.

The aims of the programmes are to; equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to operate as a crime investigator and manager in serious and complex cases, develop critical and analytical skills involving the principles, practices and techniques of crime investigation in serious and complex cases, develop competence in research methods and the presentation of information, develop skills in solving problems both independently and as a team member commensurate with Level 7. 

This course is available in full-time, part-time and distance learning modes of study.

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Entry Requirements

Specific entry requirements for this course are that a student must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Honours degree of the level 2.2 or above from a United Kingdom university or of the CNAA or its equivalent
  • Degree or HNC or HND in an appropriate discipline, together with appropriate professional experience
  • Qualification or experience deemed to be equivalent to any of the above

Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications or relevant work/life experience who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are especially welcome to apply.

Programme at a Glance

  • Research Methods
  • Fraud Investigation
  • Complex Case Management

  • Research in Practice
  • Homicide Investigation
  • Fraud Investigation

Further Information

The course is offered in weekly six-hour blocks which enables professionals in the field to take the degree more easily. Students will be exposed to learning opportunities in our “HYDRA” immersive learning suite, used by many emergency services to prepare their senior officers to handle major incidents.

The course is assessed entirely by a variety of coursework assignments such as essays, reports and presentations. Every effort is made to spread the assessments in the interests of students; but, inevitably, assessments do tend to have deadlines at the end of semesters, so students are advised to plan and make early starts on assessed work so as to avoid problems in this context.

Semester 1 of the course is designed to ensure that you have the basic skills needed to obtain an MSc. It is important that you develop a range of skills that will be of benefit when you gain employment after the course. The main skills that you are developing will be in the areas of presentations, report writing, and problem solving. 

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How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


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

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (Taught) (UK/EU), £765 per 20 credits (DL)(All Domiciles)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Learning Environment and Assessment

This course is available in full-time, part-time and distance learning modes. Computing Facilities are available in the general computing suites found within the building and throughout campus. Extensive Resources are available to support your studies, you are advised to take advantage of the free training sessions provided by the library & training team designed to enable you to gain all the skills you need for your research and study. 

The library provides access to a huge range of electronic resources – e-journals and databases, e-books, images and texts.

Course and module materials are not provided in ‘hard copy’ format, however, wherever practicable, lecture notes and/or presentations, seminar materials, assignment briefs and materials and other relevant information and resources are made available in electronic form via eLearn. This is the brand name for the online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that the University uses to support and enhance teaching and learning.

All students can access the eLearn spaces for the course and modules that they are registered for. Once logged into your eLearn area you can access material from the course and all of the modules you are studying.