BA Criminology with Forensic Science

Learn the theory behind crime and offending – and get hands on to gather and test crime scene evidence.

Key information

Study mode


Course length

3 years

Typical offer

112 points

A Level grades: BBC

UCAS code


Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Forensic Science uses scientific techniques to examine criminal activities. Given the complex patterns of crime and offending in the 21st century, the demand for professionals in Criminology & Forensic Science is high.

This course trains you to debate the practical, ethical, and scientific issues around criminality and punishment. You will come to appreciate the science behind the collection, processing, and preservation of evidence.

You will apply what you learn into practice in our purpose-built replica crime scene facility right here on campus. A recent addition to the university, it provides detailed and realistic crime scenes for you to explore. Get hands-on to collect evidence, explore criminal activity, and see the world of forensic science brought to life.

You will learn specialist investigation methods including document evaluation, fire and firearms investigation, and use explosion site CSI before you interpret evidence and present your findings in scientific, medical, and legal contexts.

When you choose one of our Criminology degrees, you will get the chance to apply for a semester-long placement with Humberside Police**. You will work with areas like CSI, the Special Branch Ports Unit, Community Policing, Cybercrime and the custody suite. You will also visit crime scenes, observe interviews, and collect evidence. Recent students have had the opportunity to investigate policing and security issues.

Our close relationships with local and national police and other criminal justice agencies has strengthened our degrees to be topical, practical, and fit for purpose, creating placements to explore criminology in real-life contexts and volunteering opportunities.

Our lecturers specialise in current issues in Criminology and Criminal Justice and draw from their expertise to inform their teaching. These include AI & predictive policing, modern-day slavery, knife crime, domestic violence, mental health & crime, organised crime, cyber-terrorism and security issues. Lecturers bring their specialist knowledge and enthusiasm into the lecture theatre to help you define and develop your own areas of interest.

And our annual Careers in Criminal Justice event will enable our students to network with employers from the sector.

Learn more about your course in our short intro video


Criminology at Hull in 60s

Crime Scene facility 1200x800

Six reasons to study Criminology with Forensic Science at Hull

  1. Chance for placements with Humberside Police
  2. Access to research active academics exploring current issues
  3. Top 10 in the UK for learning community in Forensic Science†
  4. 96.1% graduate employability rating*
  5. Get hands on experience using our replica crime scene facility
  6. Annual criminal justice careers event

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120 credits.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    Becoming a Criminologist

    This is a foundational 40 credit module designed to introduce Criminology as a discipline in the 21st century and support you in an inclusive learning environment as you transition to higher education. You will learn about the practical and theoretical foundations you need to reach your potential for the years ahead. You will have the opportunity to use our Crime Scene Room to bring theory and practice together. Students are also supported in their academic and study skills, digital literacy, and teamwork to inform future studies.

    Introduction to Forensic Science

    Explore crime scene protocols and the techniques required to preserve evidence. Investigate foot and finger marks along with the fundamentals of trace, chemical, and biological evidence.

    Social Research in Practice

    The module takes an integrative approach to research ethics and design. It's a foundation for skills in understanding research and practical skills for conducting independent research.

    Criminology in Late Modernity

    Examine how current criminological theory explains recent developments in crime and crime control, drawing from postmodern criminology, cultural criminology and masculinities. 

    Introduction to DNA and Chromatography

    On this module, you’ll explore the concepts of DNA and how scientists characterise DNA, and you’ll learn how to explain concepts in chromatography.

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Global Insecurities – Future of Humanity

    Explore current insecurities and examine how private troubles and public issues are linked. You'll develop your ability to link academic theory and findings to real-world situations like modernity, globalisation and its (broken) promise; colonial legacies and neo-colonial realities; and migration and dislocation.

    Forensic Science in Practice

    Learn the problem-solving approaches used in forensic science. You'll get practical experience of the techniques used in forensic labs as well as studying real forensic and toxicology cases.

    Think You Know Policing?

    Think you know Policing? Now is your chance to think about it. This module provides you with a grounding and understanding of the range of theoretical issues involved in policing, and its key social functions of order maintenance and crime control. You'll consider the practical and political issues that face the public police in pursuing these and what Policing really means.

    Getting Ready for the Dissertation

    This module prepares you for your final year and your dissertation research project. You will have the opportunity to engage with agencies and the challenges they are facing. You will discover the diversity of potential research topics and methodological approaches.

  • Optional (choose 1)

    Atrocities and Transitional Justice

    Switch your focus from 'ordinary' crime to genocide, mass violence, gross human rights violations and political oppression. Explore how best to deal with the legacies of atrocities. This module seeks answers to an old question of how best to deal with legacies of atrocities which, if unaddressed, are likely to fuel future conflicts.

    Representations of Crime

    Examine and analyse the relationship between media and crime, criminals, victims and the criminal justice system. Where crime and media collide, we will consider the news reporting of crime, media constructions of women and children, crime films and cybercrime. You will engage first hand with media representations of crime, victimisation and punishment through analysis of texts including films, documentaries, games and music.

    Transnational Organised Crime

    Learn the concepts behind our grasp of transnational organised crime. You'll cover areas including the drugs and arms trade; people trafficking; cybercrime; and terrorism. 

Final year modules

  • Compulsory

    Dissertation (Criminology)

    You’ve made it through two years of studying other people’s research. Now it’s your time to create your own! In this 40 credit module, you can choose any topic from criminology and sociology to explore in more detail. With support from your dissertation supervisor and using the research competencies you have developed throughout your programme, you will develop a research question and find a way to answer that question. Interview police officers, survey students, search historical archives – the questions and methods are endless.

    Advanced Forensic Science

    Explore the methods for investigating and solving forensic cases. You'll look at extracting information from forensic data and the effect of toxic compounds and drugs on the body. 

  • Optional (choose 2)

    Terrorism and Cybersecurity

    Terrorism and cyber security have become prominent and challenging public policy problems since 2000, that involve the whole of government and a large number of civic society organisations. This module helps you to understand the drivers to these forms of criminality and provides tools to help you identify those at risk and to suggest ways to contain and roll back these threats in future.

    Modern-Day Slavery in the UK

    Slavery in the UK has risen exponentially over the past 20 years - now reaching some 136,000 victims. You'll consider definitions of slavery and how its scale is measured. You will adopt a social harm perspective, maintaining a victim/survivor focus whilst formulating proactive strategies for more effective preventative approaches to modern slavery.

    Sex Work, Policy and Crime

    Critically examine the historical, legal, social and cultural dimensions of the sex industry by using the major theories of crime and deviance. You'll explore why there is a market for sex in the first place, and the economic, cultural and social factors which impact upon the realities of the work. You will look beyond media stereotypes at what working in the industry can be like.

    Drug Use Today

    This module introduces the study of ‘the drug problem’, in Western society. You'll explore the sociological and psychological perspectives used to explain drug-using behaviour. 

    Mental Health, Illness and Society

    What constitutes mental health, mental illness, treatment, justice & human rights is a contested topic with various ideological tensions. You'll take a multidisciplinary approach to the study of mental illness and persons with mental disability. You will consider the implications of the professional power of institutional psychiatry, the historical shifts in mental health care policy, the role of the criminal justice system, and the disability rights advocacy and human rights perspectives.

    Restorative Justice and Peacemaking Criminology

    Restorative justice aims to repair the harm caused by offending behaviour by including people with a direct stake in the offence in finding a solution to benefit all. You'll examine the development of restorative justice and peacemaking criminology, analysing their key concepts, values, principles and practices - as well as the controversies surrounding them.

    Histories of Punishment

    Study the history of punishment and penal policy between the mid-eighteenth and the early twentieth century. You'll examine public punishments, notably execution, transportation overseas, the birth of the prison, the operation of the Victorian penal system and the ways in which different offenders have been punished. You'll explore how these things have changed over time - for example, in the case of female offenders and juvenile offenders.

    Criminal Justice and Community Safety Placements

    Experience the nature and range of work carried out by the police and other criminal justice agencies on a work placement. You'll learn about their priorities, organisation, work activities, and daily routines from the people who do the job and gain a range of skills to enhance your employability. 


    Advanced GIS

    Develop your geospatial analysis and modelling skills with GIS. This will provide you with key expertise when you enter the GIS job market.

    What Works Criminology

    Everyone has ideas about how to reduce crime, make police more effective or improve victim satisfaction. But how do we know what works? This module will ask the question ‘what works?’ and introduces you to methods for answering that question in criminology equips you with critical thinking and methodological skills that can be applied in any area.

    Quantitative Data Analysis

    Quantitative data analysis skills are used widely across an ever-increasing range of professions. On this module, you'll learn valuable transferrable skills, highly sought after by many potential employers. You will take part in practical computing workshops, and gain hands-on experience in applying a variety of data analysis tools, including SPSS, Python and R).

  • Optional (choose 1)

    Surveillance and Social Control

    You'll study a range of theoretical perspectives on the emergence of a surveillance society - and examine the impact this is having on policing, criminal justice and social justice. You will also explore some of the wider social, political, economic, and cultural drivers behind the emergence of ‘new surveillance’ technologies. 



    Contemporary Imprisonment

    Study the contemporary sociology of imprisonment. You'll examine current controversies in the use of prison sentences and consider the effects of incarceration on offenders. 

    Social Justice, Health and Wellbeing

    This module deals with understanding health and wellbeing from a sociological/criminological perspective. You will focus on interactions between society/crime and aspects of health and wellbeing, ranging from public health and the criminal justice system to socio-economic disparities and global health inequalities.

    Multi-Agency Working to Manage Risk

    Multi-agency working and risk management are central to the working of the criminal justice system in the UK. They impact on sentencing, punishment, treatment, rehabilitation, release, community management and reintegration. This module provides you with insight into the current performance and risk management procedures in the UK and how they impact the management of offenders.

    Criminal Investigation

    You'll learn specialist investigatory techniques and consider how this produces evidence in the courtroom. Explore topics such as offender profiling and forensic investigation through the medium of miscarriages of justice that focus on key issues around race, gender, religion and other social characteristics. You'll also get practical experience by taking part in crime scene room simulations.

    Environmental Crimes and Green Criminology

    Explore different types, causes and actors of eco-crimes perpetrated against the environment and non-human species through the critical lens of green criminology. Through practical examples and contemporary issues, you will analyse important topics such as wildlife crimes, food crimes, environmental activism and the involvement of organised and corporate crime. 

    Radicalisation, Activism and Religion

    Why do people become radicalised? Together, we will focus on specific case studies to critically analyse the complex and complicated relationship between radicalisation, gender, religion, power, and activism on an international level.

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Kickstart your career by

Tackling crime hands on

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Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBC

  • BTEC grades DDM

  • Points required 112

Work out your estimated points

Points can be from any qualification on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma overall with a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Criminology with Forensic Science students enjoy 24/7 access to the Brynmor Jones Library which boasts more than a million books.

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2023 entry. The fees for 2024 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,978 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Police officer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Prison officer
  • Probation officer
  • Social worker
  • Civil servant
  • Analyst

Demand for criminology graduates has increased significantly in recent years and our degree equips you with the knowledge and skills that are invaluable for a career in the field of criminal justice, with the extra focus on forensic science giving you an extra edge and the potential to open up a diverse range of careers.

We hold an annual Criminal Justice careers event to introduce you to criminal justice-related organisations, helping you make vital career connections.

Plus, the opportunity to go on a placement with Humberside Police means you’d work with different areas of the force, including CSI, the Special Branch Ports Unit, community policing, cyber crime and the custody suite. You’d visit active crime scenes, observe suspect and victim interviews and collect evidence. There are only 10 places available, so it’s competitive – but the knowledge and skills you’d gain are genuinely career enhancing.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Not ready to apply?

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*Percentage of students from social sciences subject area in work or further study within 15 months of graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2018/19, published by HESA July 2021.

† National Student Survey (NSS) 2021, HEIs only.

** Only available on Criminology courses, not Professional Policing