BA (Hons) Forensic Studies

Forensic Studies at Winchester enables students to engage with the key issues surrounding forensic detection methods and their application to a wide range of investigations into the problems presented by crime.

BA (Hons) Forensic Studies at University of Winchester

UCAS code: F410

Entry Requirements*

Typical offer: 

2017 Entry: 104-120 points 

*UCAS has changed the way they calculate the tariff for courses starting in September 2017. Find out more about the new tariff.

A GCSE A*- C or 9-4 pass in English Language is required.

Degree duration: 

3 years full-time; 6 years part-time

International Baccalaureate: 

26 points

If English is not your first language: 

Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 (including 6.0 in writing).

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

2017 Entry Full-time £9,250** p/a
Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,939.
Total Cost: £27,750** (3 years)

International Students

2017 Entry Full-time £11,600** p/a
Total Cost: £34,800** (3 years)

For further details click here

Additional Costs:


  • Printing and binding: Students may need to pay for poster printing on some modules (first, second, third year). Students will need to pay for dissertation binding. The programme requires two bound copies of the dissertation in the third year. Cost for printing a colour poster is £10. It is £5 per copy for a dissertation.
  • Crime scene suit: One crime scene suit is provided per student. Students may need to buy additional crime scene suits. The students undertake practical work across all years of study. Cost between £3 - £8. 
  • Clothing: For one module in the third year of study, students will be expected to dress smartly for their final oral assessment. Cost £0 - £50 depending on their existing wardrobe.
  • Travel to placements: A third year module requires students to travel to a work placement of their choice (15 hours). Cost dependent on location, between £0 - £50. 


  • Trips: There will be costs involved for optional trips (no extra costs for compulsory trips). Cost £20 per academic year. 
  • Core texts: Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however some students prefer to purchase their own copies. Core texts can be bought second hand, or as ebook which can often reduce the cost. Cost £100 per academic year. 
  • Equipment: Costs will vary. Whilst equipment is included for all taught modules additional costs may be incurred by the student during the dissertation in the third year. The cost depends on the research topic designed by the student. Equipment is included for scheduled lab activities. Costs will vary according to student choice.
  • Longwearing crime scene suit overalls: Students may choose to wear a non-disposable scene suit. The students undertake practical work across all years of study. Cost up to £40. 


To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information

Study abroad (optional):



Taught elements of the course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World


Students can contribute to and experience real-world criminology in action through experience on the Innocence Project, working on live cases where the appeals system has been exhausted.


The University has a Crime and Justice Research Centre.

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here.

**If you are starting your degree in September 2017, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 (Home and EU), £34,800 (International). However, please be aware that this may change. Our fees will be reviewed annually before the academic year begins and in-line with Parliament's approval of inflationary increases or decreases to fees for institutions with high quality teaching. 

Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. You can find out more here.

If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future so make sure you know what is on offer to support you. 

Forensic methods are a vital part of the criminal  justice process, with many agencies relying on forensic detection to help solve a range of problems. The programme combines elements of criminology, psychology and archaeology to introduce students to a wide range of applied investigative techniques, grounded in both classic and contemporary theoretical perspectives.

The programme develops students' ability to employ the research and analytical skills necessary to critically evaluate social and institutional contexts and differentiate between the theory and practice of forensic science. Students gain experience of making and presenting arguments, understand how to collect data to answer research questions and learn the conventions associated with good academic practice. The development of excellent written and oral communication skills is embedded throughout via a variety of learning, teaching and assessment methods.

Subject areas include techniques of forensic investigation, miscarriages of justice in the criminal justice system and forensic psychology.

The programme begins by introducing students to the broad scope of forensic science practice, the development of scientific method and theoretical perspectives that are used to understand crime and offenders. As students progress through the programme they encounter increasingly specialised areas of practice that engage forensic scientists. In their final year students undertake their own research project in the form of their dissertation.

In Year 1, students are introduced to the core conceptual, theoretical, ethical and practical debates within forensic studies and build the foundation of core skills to enable students to engage with Years 2 and 3.

The second year of the programme introduces specific forensic science practices, such as DNA analysis, in more detail and teaches students about key forensic roles, such as forensic anthropology, odontology and the role of forensic medical examiners.

In the final year of the programme, and appreciate the complexities involved in collecting and presenting forensic evidence through a series of practical activities.

Practical sessions complement this theoretical focus, allowing students to engage with particular forensic techniques. Students come to understand forensics as an interdisciplinary field where several subject areas converge to create a dynamic area of study.

Year 1

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Academic and Employment Skills
  • History of Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Criminology 1: Perceptions and Perspectives
  • Trace Evidence
  • Forensic Biology
  • Police and Police Work
  • Key Thinkers and Themes in Conceptualising Crime

Year 2

Core modules:

  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic DNA Evidence
  • Crime Media and Culture
  • Criminological Investigation: Miscarriages of Justice/Innocence Project
  • Forensic Archaeology
  • Criminological Research
  • Fakes and Forgeries
  • Evidence of Marks and Damage

Year 3

Core modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Professional Development: Planning for Employment
  • Forensic Imaging
  • Presenting Forensic Evidence
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Linguistics

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above. 

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 300 hours
  • Independent learning: 900 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 288 hours
  • Independent learning: 912 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
  • Independent learning: 972 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Students on the Forensic Studies programme undertake many different learning and teaching activities including lectures, practical classes, seminar discussions, group discussions and debates, guided study exercises, independent learning, problem solving exercises, guest speakers, individual tutorials, and project supervision. Teaching activities are designed to help students relate theory to practice and draw relevant connections with the contemporary context of forensic science.

Throughout the programme teaching encourages critical thinking and analysis in approaches to thinking about forensics. Specific provision is made for students to develop academic skills, and staff are available to answer student queries on all aspects of their studies. As students progress through the programme they are encouraged to become increasingly autonomous as learners, thereby equipping them to act independently both in their studies and beyond university. 

Programme Leader

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

  • 72 per cent coursework
  • 15 per cent written exams
  • 13 per cent practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

  • 86 per cent coursework
  • 6 per cent written exams
  • 8 per cent practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

  • 61 per cent coursework
  • 19 per cent written exams
  • 20 per cent practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates find work in a variety of Criminal Justice agencies and related employment fields. These include the police service, the prison service, youth and probation work and Government research units, such as the Home Office.

For more information about graduate employment visit - From Freshers to Future - what will yours be?

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, the data need to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
UK and EU Students:Send us a message

International Students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can send an email to or call +44 (0)1962 827023

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