MSci Forensic Science with Criminology

Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the MSci Forensic Science with Criminology course allows you to explore your interests in the scientific and forensic investigation of crime, while exploring the nature, consequences and prevention of criminal behaviour.

By taking the MSci Forensic Science with Criminology course, you will have the opportunity to gain a highly valued education from a provider of forensic science and criminology degree courses by learning from practitioners and researchers, and criminologists who are experts in their fields. The MSci offers one fully integrated undergraduate package that combines the rigours of bachelors and masters level modules. There are many personal benefits to this, including fast-tracking your career, a wider range of career pathways, greater financial rewards and a wider range of employability skills to put on your CV including research, project management and instrument maintenance.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
3K2B Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
3K2B Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A

Our MSci Forensic Science with Criminology course will offer students to specialise in homicide investigation, physical evidence analysis, analytical toxicology and the management of crime scenes. Combined with a thorough understanding of the key processes used within the field of criminal investigation, plus the acquisition of highly sought after practical skills, you will be able to apply for a range of positions in the field of forensic and crime scene investigation.

This course covers all of the core aspects of forensic science, from crime scene to court, and with a focus upon analytical chemistry, evidence examination and interpretation and criminology and the criminal justice system in each of years one to three.

Year four will focus upon analytical toxicology and crime scene management and evidence analysis. As well as having the opportunity to complete a PRINCE2 Foundation level qualification in project management, our MSci course should make you highly employable within these fields of science, or within the wider criminal justice sector.

Practical work, method development, quality assurance, instrument maintenance and research skills dominate the year four curriculum. You can also study a year four module in Project Design, Management and Enterprise leading to a PRINCE2 Foundation Qualification, illustrating not only your project management capabilities but your entrepreneurial side.

Year One

  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Introduction to Criminalistics
  • Understanding Crime, Criminals and Victims
  • Understanding Criminal Justice
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Mathematics Workshop
  • Key Skills for Chemical and Forensic Scientists

Year Two

  • Forensic Evidence
  • Policing
  • Penology: Prisons and Offender Management
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Volume Crime Scene Investigation

Year Three

  • Critical Issues in Criminal Investigation
  • Comparative Criminology
  • Forensic Microscopy
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • Fire and Explosion Investigation
  • Research Professional Practice and Employability in Forensic Sciences

Year Four

  • Analytical Toxicology
  • Crime Scene Management and Evidence Analysis
  • Project Design, Management and Enterprise
  • Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Casework
  • Laboratory Research Project


Modules in years one to three are taught linearly across three academic terms, meaning that you will usually receive a lecture in each module every week, allowing you to build up your knowledge throughout the year. This will also be supplemented by practical work in our Crime Scene House or in our laboratories, and especially in year one, small group tutorials to offer you extra academic study support. In years two and three, we encourage a greater level of independent directed study, and there is greater time spent developing your analytical skills in our laboratories.

In year four, modules are taught through the block-mode approach, meaning study is more intensive, and is focussed upon one module at one time. This allows you to conduct longer, more involved practicals and research-style experiments to gain greater exposure to these higher level skills. The research project is usually taken over the summer in year four.


You will be assessed using a broad range of methods which will focus upon your academic knowledge and practical and vocational skills, including written laboratory reports, evidence case files, expert witness style statements, online tests, short essays and in-term and end of year formal examinations and tests.

You will also create a written scientific dissertation in year four which is evidence of the outcomes of your research project. Oral presentations and cross-examinations also form part of the assessment methods to encourage you to develop your communication skills for the workplace and the courtroom.

You will also complete a PRINCE2 foundation examination in year four.


There may be opportunities to liaise with or work alongside industry to complete final laboratory research projects

There is no formal work placement associated with this course, but we encourage all of our students to obtain some form of relevant work experience through the GradEdge scheme.


You will train in our Forensic Science facilities where you will learn key skills in our purpose-built laboratories and in our scenes of crime house.


Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BBC to include Chemistry and another Science but to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BB at A Level to include Chemistry and another Science but to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject to include Chemistry modules

Typical IB Offer

30 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include Higher Level Biology and another Science grade 5

Typical Access to HE Offer

Maths, Science or Engineering Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes to include Biology and Chemistry modules

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £11900 

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Employment prospects for MSci Forensic Science with Criminology graduates are very good. You will have a much increased set of practical skills to offer employers, including skills in research, method development and project management Analytical Scientists such as forensic scientists have a wealth of career opportunities available to them in the field of forensics and elsewhere. We would anticipate that most graduates will obtain positions as scientists in laboratories with forensic science service providers such as in toxicology or physical evidence examination laboratories, or related analytical industries where quality assurance and the use of instrumentation for analyte quantification or detection plays a significant part of the process.

With experience and employment, graduates should have the scope to aspire to becoming reporting scientists, expert witnesses or laboratory managers.

Good analytical scientists have the capacity to work in the area, and in teaching or research. Additionally, your background in criminology should allow you to further study within this subject area in terms of research, or work in the wider criminal justice sector.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW Forensic Scienc student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.