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Forensic Science BSc (Hons)

A sought-after qualification by employers, this course looks at the methods used to gather, examine and analyse evidence and consider how it should be presented in court.


Watch: Senior Lecturer Emma Johnston tells you more about our accredited Forensic Science programme which allows students to apply theory to practice in our dedicated laboratories and mock court facilities.

Forensic science – familiar to most of us thanks to its appearances in popular TV police dramas – is the application of science to law. It’s carried out through the collection, preservation and analysis of evidence.

If you have an enquiring mind, are good at solving scientific problems and want to work with cutting-edge equipment and facilities, then you could be the right person to work at a crime scene or analyse the evidence recovered from that scene.

On this course, you’ll study forensic chemistry, biology, imaging and photography, the essentials of forensic investigations, and professional and quantitative scientific skills.

Then you’ll take modules on bodies, tissues and fluids, materials ID, drugs of abuse, analytical forensic chemistry, forensic IT and issues in criminal justice.

The third year will cover forensic case studies and the presentation of evidence, then fire, arson and explosions, authenticity and fraud, DNA profiling, forensic chemical pathology, and project and professional skills.

Key features

  • This course is professionally accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and developed in collaboration with Leicestershire Police, ensuring your learning remains relevant to current practice and standards.
  • Develop your practical and professional skills in our crime scene house, crime studio, crown court and forensic science laboratory facilities.
  • Our strong links with industry mean you’ll not only develop practical and professional skills but also be offered the opportunity to apply them to real-world scenarios by spending a year on placement.
  • Our teaching is delivered by expert academics and practitioners, including Leisa Nichols-Drew, who represented the UK, DMU and Forensic Science on an international project aimed at improving detection and reducing occurrences of knife crime.
  • Gain valuable international experience as part of your studies with our DMU Global programme, which has enabled students on previous trips to unearth information on human rights abuses and genocide in Guatemala, attending the New York Supreme Court to learn about judicial processes, and support refugees in Berlin.
  • Our graduates have gone on to work for world-leading employers including LGC Forensics, Cellmark Forensics, Eurofins Forensics, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser and 3M.

More courses like this

Criminal Investigation and Policing Studies BA (Hons)

Criminology BA (Hons)

Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: F410

Duration: Three years full-time, four years sandwich (optional)

Start dates: September 2021

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

2021/22 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.


Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: F410

Duration: Three years full-time, four years sandwich (optional) 

Start dates: September 2021

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2021/22 tuition fees for international students: £14,750

2021/22 tuition fees for EU students: £9,250 with our EU undergraduate transitional scholarship (T&Cs apply).

Find out more about available funding for international students.


Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

Entry criteria

  • A typical offer is a minimum of 112 points from at least two A levels with a science subject (from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Applied Sciences) at grade C or above, or
  • BTEC National Diploma Science BTEC - Distinction/Merit/Merit, or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma Science BTEC - Distinction/Merit/Merit

Plus five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.

Alternative qualifications include:

  • Pass Access in the QAA Accredited AHE (Science) with at least 30 Level 3 credits at Merit, to include 15 credits at Merit in Chemistry or Biology. GCSE Maths and English grade 4 or above required as separate qualifications.

We will normally require students to have had a break from full time education before undertaking the Access course.

  • International Baccalaureate: 26+ with 6 higher level points in a science subject

Interview: No

Work experience: No

Personal Statement selection criteria

  • Clear communication skills, including good grammar and spelling
  • Information relevant to the course applied for
  • Interest in the course demonstrated with explanation and evidence

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit for more information.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September 2021 will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




First Year

      • Forensic Chemistry
      • Forensic Biology
      • Forensic Imaging and Photography
      • Essentials of Forensic Investigations
      • Professional and Quantitative Scientific Skills

Second Year

  • Bodies, Tissues and Fluids
  • Materials ID 
  • Drugs of Abuse
  • Analytical Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic IT 
  • Issues in Criminal Justice

Third Year

      • Forensic Case Studies and the Presentation of Evidence
      • Fire, Arson and Explosions
      • Authenticity and Fraud 
      • DNA Profiling
      • Forensic Chemical Pathology
      • Project and Professional Skills 

You will be taught by a team of academics with a wide range of experience in both academic and industrial settings. Research specialisms include botanical evidence and forensic DNA, fingerprint recovery and analysis and forensic applications of NMR.

Your precise timetable will depend on your modules, however, you will normally benefit from 22 contact hours timetabled teaching sessions each week, consisting of lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions and workshops. You will also be expected to devote a considerable amount of time to independent study, typically 18 - 20 hours per week.

Practical work forms a large part of teaching and includes exercises at our mock crime house facility. You will also learn from visiting lecturers involved in forensic science. Assessments include coursework, practical reports and exams, phase tests, and written and oral presentations.

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on any optional modules you choose to study. However, typically you will have up to 22 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: approx. 3 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week

Medium group teaching: approx. 10 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Large group teaching: approx. 9 hours of lectures each week

Personal study: approx. 20 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.

 Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.



Facilities and features

Hawthorn Building

Substantial investment in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

We offer dedicated equipment, facilities and laboratories including a mock crime scene house – the ideal opportunity for realistic training in crime-scene processing and evidence recovery – and specialist laboratories focusing on physical evidence, comprising our forensic microscope, imaging facilities and fingerprint development, and analysis facilities including superglue fuming facilities.

The forensic DNA laboratory contains our molecular biology and DNA profiling facilities and an analytical chemistry laboratory provides all the specialised analytical equipment used in routine forensic analysis. A new analytical microscopy suite laboratory contains trace evidence and document analysis systems, and a fingerprint imaging suite.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Winner: Best University Careers and Employability Service
NUE Awards, 2021
Learn more
Forensic Placement


As part of this course you will have the opportunity to complete a paid placement, which offers invaluable professional experience working in a scientific environment. Students have been placed in internationally recognised companies such as Pfizer.

Our careers programme #DMUworks can help you secure a placement through activities such as mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and you will be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your placement.

Forensic Science student Olivia Watson had the opportunity to pick up invaluable skills and knowledge as part of her 12-month work placement at the world-renowned BARD Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge.

Forensic Graduate

Graduate Careers

Our graduates go on to work in a variety of areas including law enforcement, forensic science, crime scene and scientific support work, analytical chemistry, general scientific analysis, health and safety, and the insurance industry.

Forensic Science graduate Lauren Dougan was “ecstatic” when she landed her dream job working for ALS Food & Pharmaceutical, the UK's leading provider of food and drink testing services.

Lauren, who hopes to progress within the company and possibly study for a master's, said: “The best thing about my job is it allows me to transfer all the skills I learned at DMU and apply them to a real-world situation.”

Other graduates from this course have gone on to work for world-leading forensic science employers including LGC Forensics, Orchid Cellmark, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser and 3M.



This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken #DMUglobal trips to places such as Guatemala, where they witnessed the work of experts from the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, an organisation that has carried out important work in helping to unearth human rights abuses and genocide in the Central American country.

On previous trips, students also visited New York, where they were taken from the crime scene, to the forensic laboratory and all the way to the court, thanks to inside access to some of the USA’s most renowned crime investigation and judicial centres. 


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How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience. We are happy to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have. 

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Leicester guide

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.



We offer a range of high-standard accommodation for our students, with nine halls of residence – and around 2,300 rooms – all of which are within easy walking distance of the campus. There is a choice of mixed or same-gender flats, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, furnished bedrooms (some with en suite facilities) and internet access. Find out more.


Student Support

We have a dedicated team to help deal with any issues you may have before, during and after your studies. From finding accommodation and settling in, to arranging academic support during your studies - our support team can help directly or point you in the right direction of someone who can. Find out more.



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