BSc (Hons) in Forensic Investigation


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Forensic Investigators produce evidence that can be used in a court of law. This programme will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience of scientific methods for the investigation and solving of crimes.

GCU has recently invested more than £1.5 million to create state-of-the-art chemistry and biology laboratories where students gain invaluable practical experience in using modern instruments, such as a DNA analyser, ultra powerful microscopes and mass spectrometers.

This programme provides you with a firm grasp of the theoretical and practical aspects of the chemical and biological sciences, with forensic staff consultancy casework discussed throughout. You will have the opportunity to spend up to a year at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the USA.

Graduates can be accepted as Associated Members of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), which is a step towards chartered chemist status.

Your career

Graduates have gone on to work in the chemical and biochemical analysis sectors, the environmental forensic area, forensic science, the police, food safety, teaching, pharmaceuticals and the oil and gas industry.

What you will study

Year 1

Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics, Maths & Stats, Scots Law, and Introduction to Forensic Investigation.

Year 2

Physical Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Civil & Criminal Procedure, Organic Chemistry 1, Inorganic Chemistry, Cells & Biomolecules.

Year 3

Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, Incident Prevention, Investigation & Analysis, Organic Chemistry 2, Forensic Analysis, Chemical Data Analysis & Management.

Year 4

Environmental Forensic Analysis, Forensic Microscopy, Advanced Forensic Biology, Advanced Techniques in Forensic Science, Project.

Entry requirements

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Year 1

SQA Higher

BBBC including Chemistry, plus Nat 5 English and Maths

A level

CCC including Chemistry, plus GCSE English and Maths at C/4

ILC Higher

H2 H2 H3 H3 including Chemistry, plus English and Maths at Ordinary Level O2

IB Diploma

24 points must include Chemistry at Higher Level


Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forensic/Applied Science (must include Chemistry) at MMM

Year 2


Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied/Forensic Science (must include Chemistry) at DDM

English language

In addition to meeting the qualification requirements, international students where English is not the first language require an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for the English for University Study programme.

Fees and funding

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2018/19

  • Home: £1820
  • RUK: £9250*
  • EU: £1820
  • International: £11,500

*Total tuition fees for RUK students completing a three or four year degree are capped at £27,750. Specific fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.

If you commence your studies in September 2018 or January 2019, these are the annual or module fees that apply to the duration of your course; however, fees are subject to change. For full details on how fees may change read our fees and refund policy.

Additional costs

In addition to course tuition fees, you may encounter additional costs during your time at University.


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

If you have any questions or enquiries regarding scholarships available for 2018/19, please feel free to contact the student enquiries team.

International student start dates

For new international students, orientation events start on 14 September 2018. This extra time is specifically designed to assist new international students in settling into the UK and GCU prior to the start of general student induction and teaching.

There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus and city tours, as well as welcome events where you can meet other international students.

Professional recognition

Graduates of this programme can be accepted as Associate Members of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) which is a step closer to chartered chemist status.

Study abroad

Students have the opportunity to spend up to one year at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the USA.

Assessment methods

Combination of unseen written examination, assessments and oral presentations. This distinctive programme marries a deep understanding of scientific principles coupled with a broad and varied educational approach, enhancing our student’s employment prospects, not only within the field of forensics but also in other areas. Many of our key staff are practising forensic experts, enhancing our students learning while Academic Development Tutors help develop generic skills such as report writing and exam techniques. The National Student Survey for 2012 gave 96% student satisfaction for Forensic Investigation.

Teaching methods

Our students have the chance to study abroad for all or part of Level Three with our partner institutions in Finland, Sweden and Canada with possible opportunities to study in the USA from 2012-13 onwards. As part of their Level Three assessment, our students take part in an industrial visit which enhances their knowledge of how industry operates and allow them to marry theory to practice. This Structured Industrial Practice Studies is undertaken in collaboration with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with whom we have long links.

Last updated Feb 2020

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