Forensic Science and Criminology - BSc (Hons)

Explore the methods of forensic investigation, whilst developing an understanding of how both victims and offenders are considered within the criminal justice system. From gathering evidential traces at a crime scene and analysing DNA to exploring policing and why people commit offences - you will develop the knowledge, analytical skills, methods and techniques to enter a wide variety of rewarding careers.

Year of entry

Course type

  • Single Honours

UCAS code

  • F4L6

Duration of study

  • 3 years/ 4 years with International Year

Why study Forensic Science and Criminology at Keele University?

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science
Use a wide variety of industry-standard instrumentation in Keele's Central Science Laboratories
Develop your practical and professional skills in our crime scene facilities
Keele was the first UK university to offer a named undergraduate degree in Criminology
No. 1 in England for Forensic Science (Complete University Guide, 2022)
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Accreditation and professional recognition

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Science. 

Forensic Science accreditation logo

Teaching Excellence Framework GOLD

Keele University has been awarded the highest rating of gold in the teaching excellence framework (TEF), 2023. The TEF assessment identifies excellence in the educational experience and outcomes of our students, focusing on all undergraduate courses and students.

Keele TEF Gold 2023
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Additional opportunities

There are a range of additional opportunities available when studying this course.
Please note, undertaking one may impact upon the availability of another.

Entry requirements

The following section details our typical entry requirements for this course for a range of UK and international qualifications. If you don’t see your qualifications listed, please contact us to find out if we can accept your qualifications. If you don't think you'll meet the entry requirements specified, you may be able to gain entry to this course via a Foundation Year.

Typical offer

Please ensure that you read the full entry requirements by selecting your qualifications from the dropdown menu below. This will include any subject specific, GCSE/Level 2 Maths, and English language requirements you may need.

A Level: BBB Subject specifics apply
BTEC: DDM Subject specifics apply
T Level: Merit Subject specifics apply

Please select your qualification from the drop-down list below for the full entry requirement information

A Level

BBB in three A Levels including B in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

BTEC Extended Diploma / National Extended Diploma

DDM in any of the following BTEC Extended Diplomas / National Extended Diplomas:
Applied Science
Forensic and Criminal Investigation

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

BTEC National Diploma / Diploma

Distinction and Merit in any BTEC National Diploma / Diploma and B in Chemistry or Biology A Level, or Distinction and Merit in Applied Science or Forensic and Criminal Investigation BTEC National Diploma / Diploma and B in any A Level.

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

BTEC National Extended Certificate / Subsidiary Diploma

Merit in any BTEC National Extended Certificate / Subsidiary Diploma and BB in two A Levels including B in Chemistry or Biology.
You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

T Level

Merit in any of the following T levels:
Health
Healthcare Science
Science

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

International Baccalaureate Diploma

555 in three Higher Levels including 5 in Chemistry or Biology, or 30 points including 5 in Higher Level Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, or 3 in IB Middle Years Maths, or 3 in IB Diploma Standard Level Maths (any), plus an English language qualification (see below)

International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme

We encourage applications with the IBCP but recognise that your combination of qualifications may differ depending on where you are studying.

If you are taking a BTEC National Diploma / Diploma with one or more Higher Levels, your offer will be similar to our BTEC + A Level offer (see 'BTEC National Diploma / Diploma') but with an HL requirement of 6 for A, 5 for B, or 4 for C.

For any other combination, please contact the University Admissions Team for advice.

Access to HE Diploma

122 UCAS points in an Access to HE Diploma with Chemistry or Biology related content, including Distinction in at least 30 Level 3 credits. Please contact the University Admissions Team for advice on whether your chosen course would qualify.

You will also need: 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Welsh Baccalaureate / Bagloriaeth Cymru

The Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is equivalent to one full A Level at the same grade and can be included alongside 2 other A Levels in a standard A Level offer for this course (see A Level). All subject specific requirements will still need to be met.

Scotland - Highers and Advanced Highers

BBBCC in five Highers including Chemistry or Biology Higher, or CC in two Advanced Highers and CC in two Highers including Chemistry Higher or Advanced Higher, or CCC in three Advanced Highers including Chemistry Advanced Higher.

You will also need: C in National 5 Maths, or 4 / C in GCSE Maths or Level 2 Functional Skills Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

If you have B or higher in the EPQ and are studying A Levels, BTEC, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an Access to HE Diploma, you will typically receive an alternative offer which will be lower than the standard offer. Please see 'Alternative and contextual offers' below.

Core Maths

If you have B or higher in Core Maths and are studying A Levels, BTEC, the International Baccalaureate, or an Access to HE Diploma, you will typically receive an alternative offer which will be lower than the standard offer. Please see 'Alternative and contextual offers' below.

Ireland - Leaving Certificate

H3, H3, H4, H4, H4, H4 in the Irish Leaving Certificate including H4 in Chemistry, Physics and Chemistry (combined) or Biology.

You will also need: O4 / H6 in Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

China - Gaokao

73% in the Gaokao including 70% in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 60% in Senior Secondary School or Gaokao Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

India - Standard XII

Average of 70% from four subjects including 70% in Chemistry or Biology in the ICSE, CBSE or Western Bengal Standard XII, or average of 75% from four subjects including 75% in Chemistry or Biology in any other Standard XII.

You will also need: 6 or C2 in Secondary School Examination Maths, or Pass in Standard XII Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Germany - Abitur

2.2 overall average in the Abitur including 12 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 10 in Maths in the Abitur, plus an English language qualification (see below)

France - Baccalaureate

12.5 in the French Baccalaureate including 13 in Chemistry /Physics or Biology, or 12 in the International Option Baccalaureate including 12 in Chemistry / Physics or Biology.

You will also need: 10 in Maths in the Baccalaureate, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Hong Kong - Diploma

444 from two electives and one core subject in the HKDSE including 4 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 2 in HKDSE Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Spain - Bachillerato

Overall average of 7.4 in the Título de Bachillerato including 8 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 5 in Graduado en Educación Secundaria (GES) Maths or 6 in Título de Bachiller Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Italy - Diploma di Esame di Stato

80% in the Esame di Stato including 8 in Chemistry, Biology or Natural Science.

You will also need: 5 in Maths in the Diploma, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Cyprus - Apolytirion

18 / 86% in the Apolytirion including 18 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 14 in Maths in the Apolytirion, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Portugal

Overall average of 15.5 in a Secondary Certificate including 16 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 10 in Secondary Certificate Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Canada - Diploma

65% / BBBCC in five courses in the Grade 12 Diploma including 70% in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: 50% in Grade 11 Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Kenya - KCSE / Diploma

We do not accept the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education for direct entry. However, you can apply to study an International Foundation Year at Keele University International College. On successful completion, you can progress to an undergraduate degree at Keele.

We may accept a two year Diploma. Please contact the University Admissions Team for advice.

Nigeria - Senior School Certificate / OND

We do not accept the Senior School Certificate (WAEC or NECO) for direct entry. However, you can apply to study an International Foundation Year at Keele University International College. On successful completion, you can progress to an undergraduate degree at Keele.

We may accept an Ordinary National Diploma with GPA of 2.5 or a Merit / Lower Credit. Please contact the University Admissions Team for advice.

USA - Advanced Placement

444 from three Advanced Placement subjects including 4 in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: C in Grade 12 High School Diploma Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Ghana

We do not accept the West African Senior School Certificate Examination for direct entry. However, you can apply to study an International Foundation Year at Keele University International College. On successful completion, you can progress to an undergraduate degree at Keele.

Sri Lanka - Advanced Level

BBB in three Advanced Levels including B in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: C in O-level Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Malaysia - STPM

BBB in three subjects in the STPM including B in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: C in SPM Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

Pakistan - Secondary School Certificate

We do not accept the Secondary School Certificate for direct entry. However, you can apply to study an International Foundation Year at Keele University International College. On successful completion, you can progress to an undergraduate degree at Keele.

Singapore - A Levels (H2)

BBB in three H2 Levels including B in Chemistry or Biology.

You will also need: C in O-level Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

European Baccalaureate

72% overall with 7 in Chemistry or Biology (4 period).

You will also need: 6 in European Baccalaureate Maths, plus an English language qualification (see below)

English language requirements

All of our courses require an English language qualification or test. For most students, this requirement can be met with a 4 or C in GCSE English. Please see our English Language guidance pages for further details, including English language test information for international students. For those students who require an English language test, this course requires a test from Group A.

Alternative and contextual offers

We're committed to ensuring equality of opportunity to all our applicants with the potential and motivation to succeed, regardless of background. That's why we operate a range of alternative offer schemes with clear eligibility criteria, including contextual offers, offers for those studying within the Keele region, and recognising a range of additional qualifications in your offer.

General information

The entry grades outlined in this section indicate the typical offer which would be made to candidates, along with any subject specific requirements. This is for general information only. Keele University reserves the right to vary offer conditions depending upon a candidate's application.

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Forensic Science at Keele

Hear from our students and staff – who share their personal experiences of studying and teaching at Keele.

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Criminology at Keele

Hear from our students and staff – who share their personal experiences of studying at Keele.

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Carlie, Forensic Science and Criminology

"One of the big advantages was the extensive time spent in the laboratory getting hands on experience with a range of analytical instrumentation, which related to the theory topics being taught in lectures. It was very helpful to be able to put lecture material into practice and this enabled me to learn the information much more thoroughly. I was impressed by the amount of laboratory time we were given and the variety of instruments available."

Carlie, Forensic Science and Criminology

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Guest Speakers

Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to learn from a number of guest lecturers from the profession who contribute either a single or short series of lectures, workshops or practical classes in a range of forensic science topics. This will enable you to gain valuable insight into today's industry and network with potential employers, colleagues and mentors. 

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Central Science Laboratories

Develop your practical skills in Keele's state-of-the-art Central Science Laboratories

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Foundation year

Our Foundation Year provides an excellent alternative route to Keele, providing a unique opportunity to better prepare for your chosen degree, and with guaranteed entry onto your undergraduate course once you successfully complete your Foundation Year.

This extra year of study can improve your academic skills, expand your subject knowledge, give you a better understanding of higher education and, perhaps most importantly of all, build your confidence.

Keele University is consistently ranked among the top universities for student satisfaction, and we have over 70 years' experience of teaching a foundation year to students. On the Keele Foundation Year, you'll study on campus, joining our undergraduate community from the outset, with access to all the facilities and support that you'd get as an undergraduate student at Keele.

The information in this Foundation Year section is for UK/Home applicants. Where an international Foundation Year is available, please see the 'Information for international students' tab.

The information within this page is for students wishing to start their studies in September. If you would like to start this course in January, please visit our January pages for further details.

Course content

Our Foundation Year allows you to develop your critical thinking, academic reading, writing, and communication study skills along with subject-specific knowledge and skills which will be invaluable in your academic studies and beyond. Upon meeting the progression criteria and successfully completing our Foundation Year, you will automatically progress into your Keele undergraduate degree with the confidence that you have the skills, and knowledge needed to successfully complete your course.

This Foundation Year is a two-semester programme which provides a tailored pre-degree programme of study to better prepare you for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Criminology degree. For example, the Advancing Chemistry module aims to increase your knowledge and understanding of the principles and concepts of chemistry in a theoretical context, while also demonstrating the application of concepts in a practical environment. Course content has been developed in collaboration with degree teaching teams, so that by the time you begin Year 1, you will be ready to excel at your studies, as the majority of our Foundation Year students do.

Find out more about the Keele Foundation Year, including information about teaching and assessment methods by visiting the Foundation Year homepage

Course structure

The module details given below are indicative, they are intended to provide you with an idea of the range of subjects that are taught to our current students. The modules that will be available for you to study in future years are prone to change as we regularly review our teaching to ensure that it is up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. The information presented is therefore not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules available in any given year.

Semester one modules

FYO-00185 Practical and Academic Skills in Science 15 credits
FYO-00211 Foundations in Numerical and Quantitative Methods for Scientists 15 credits
FYO-00189 Foundations of Chemistry 15 credits
FYO-00263 Foundations of Social Sciences 3 15 credits

Semester two modules

FYO-00269 Advancing Social Sciences 30 credits
FYO-00191 Advancing Chemistry 30 credits

Entry requirements

The entry grades outlined in this section indicate the likely offer or range of offers which would be made to candidates along with any subject specific requirements. This is for general information only. Keele University reserves the right to vary offer conditions depending upon a candidate’s application. Read more about our undergraduate entry requirements.

  • 56 UCAS points including at least one Level 3 qualification (such as an A Level, BTEC, Access Course, or T Level).
  • Plus C in GCSE English / Level 2 Functional Skills English and C in GCSE Maths / Level 2 Functional Skills Maths

How to apply 

Students will need to apply for BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Criminology with Foundation Year (UCAS code F4L7) through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Direct entry students

If you already have your qualifications, are not expecting any further results and only wish to apply to Keele, please contact the Admissions Office directly.

The information in this Foundation Year section is for UK/Home applicants. Where an international Foundation Year is available, please see the 'Information for international students' tab.

We also offer a January start for some of our Foundation Year courses. Adopting a blended learning approach, the January start is particularly useful for students wishing to return to education following time out of studying, or who are seeking a flexible approach to their Foundation Year studies. Our January start is available across most of our Science, Humanities, Social Science and Business courses.

Whilst still being a full-time course, our blended delivery model combines live teaching sessions - both online and on-campus - with self-directed study, enabling you to predominantly study at a time that suits your lifestyle. You will benefit from weekly online taught sessions which encourage you to engage with your teachers and peers.

In addition to online study there will be a series of full study days that you will be required to attend throughout each semester. These sessions may include lab-based activities, group work, review of course and assessment materials studied online. They will emphasise opportunities for you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of your chosen route.

Please refer to the September start tab for more information about the entry requirements and what you will study. The modules that you will take on a January start Foundation Year will be similar to those for the September start, but in a slightly different order and pattern.

For more information, including fees, the UCAS code for this course, how to apply, and how you will be taught, please visit our January Start Foundation Year webpage.

Our International Foundation Year is delivered on campus through Keele University International College (KUIC). Find out more about the International Foundation Year options on the KUIC website.

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Rebecca, Forensic and Analytical Investigation with Integrated Master's

"I found the forensics principles laboratories particularly useful as I was able to learn how to collect and interpret forensic evidence. I really enjoyed using Keele's Crime Scene House as this gave me a good opportunity to experience how crime scenes are processed."

Rebecca, Forensic and Analytical Investigation with Integrated Master's

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