Criminology with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) Criminology with Forensic Investigation

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord Criminology with Forensic Investigation
DipHE Criminology with Forensic Investigation
CertHE Criminology with Forensic Investigation

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time ULE10020 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY ULE10020 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Sociology

Programme Leader

RHODES Claire (Sociology)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • Provide a programme of study that will enable students to fulfil their intellectual, professional, and personal potential through a transformative educational experience
  • Provide a stimulating, challenging, coherent, and supportive learning and teaching experience, based upon high quality content, delivery, resources, and expertise
  • Provide flexibility and individual choice throughout the programme allowing students to have greater agency in their learning, leading to the development of professional and confident graduates
  • Provide students with a well-developed understanding of the key concepts, theories, and principles of Criminology and Forensic Investigation, including an understanding of the links between, and the multidisciplinary nature of, the two subject areas, and their application across a range of relevant substantive areas, including professional practice
  • Enable students to develop and use a range of academic skills and analytical tools to evaluate and conduct research (quantitative and qualitative) in relation to contemporary issues relating to crime, deviance, social control, and forensic investigation practices
  • To provide students with opportunities to apply what they have learned in authentic, simulated ¿real-world¿ environments that reflect the realities of the subject area and facilitate the application of theory to practice
  • For students to be able to demonstrate critical, inquisitive, and independent thought and analysis when examining and applying criminological and forensic investigation issues

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Understand the key concepts, theories, principles, and practices of Criminology and Forensic Investigation, and their application across a range of relevant substantive areas K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be able to use a range of analytical tools to evaluate and conduct research on contemporary issues relating to crime, deviance, social control, and forensic investigation K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be skilled in using quantitative and qualitative means of investigating crime and other social issues K Ord, BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate critical, inquisitive, and independent thought when examining criminological and forensic investigation issues K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Possess a broad range of communicative, analytical, organisational, and other skills and capabilities valuable to employers, and have the confidence and knowledge to apply these skills after graduation K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Identify, critically assess, and apply key concepts in Criminology and Forensic Investigation to a range of relevant substantive areas C DipHE, BSc (Hons)
Distinguish between, and evaluate, different methodological approaches to the study of crime and forensic investigation, and other related issues. C DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Synthesise and evaluate data from a variety of primary and secondary sources C DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Evaluate the relationship between criminological, forensic, and investigative theories and concepts and empirical evidence. C DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Critically evaluate, contrast and challenge different theoretical approaches within the discipline of Criminology and Forensic Investigation C DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Design and execute independent research using a variety of methods P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Produce, manage, and analyse quantitative and qualitative data P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Locate, evaluate, and apply appropriate criminological and forensic theories and concepts to inform both data production and analysis P BSc (Hons)
Identify, collect, and apply relevant primary and secondary sources to inform and resolve criminological and forensic investigative issues P Ord, BSc (Hons)
Work individually and as part of a group to critically reflect upon key debates in Criminology and Forensic Investigation and substantive crime and criminal justice related matters P CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
The ability to apply critical thinking, appropriately utilise key concepts and theories, and the sophisticated application of research to the production of an extended piece of work (written dissertation or similar) P BSc (Hons)
Communicate ideas, principles, and theories by oral, written, and visual means T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Identify and solve problems, both individually and as part of a team T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Work towards targets under pressure through discipline and careful organisation T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate effective application of digital technologies for a variety of generic and subject specific purposes T CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Apply and present statistical and numerical data in an appropriate way T DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Carry out a set of responsibilities in a work environment (for those who undertake a professional placement year only) T Ord, BSc (Hons)
Possess a broad range of knowledge, skills and capabilities that embrace the University¿s Curriculum Framework Themes (Global and Cultural Capabilities, Employability, Digital Capabilities, Resourcefulness and Resilience, and Sustainability), and the confidence and knowledge to apply these capabilities following graduation. KCPT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over three academic years, consisting of 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of 480 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and the optional professional training year). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Professional Training Year (PTY) -

Module Selection for Professional Training Year (PTY) -


Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) Y
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) Y Yes
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) Y
Dual degree N

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience:

i. Global and cultural capabilities

Recognising and understanding the significance and impact of diversity and the lived experience within crime and criminal justice is crucial for students on this programme. Likewise, it is also important that they develop a critical appreciation of the global, cultural, social, political, historical, and comparative contexts within which crime and the delivery of justice takes place. As such, the central issues of social justice, inclusivity, fairness, and diversity permeate the programme, with the purpose of developing students¿ global and cultural awareness and intelligence. This is achieved through, for example, module content and delivery, peer to peer learning, the range of assessment strategies, and the creation of a community of learning in which students are encouraged (and at times modestly rewarded) for supporting one another and to see the benefit of this. Individually and collectively these approaches are intended to encourage critical thinking and discussion in relation to these defining issues (including recognising and understanding different international approaches to comparable social problems).

It is expected that students will be actively encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from their own backgrounds and cultures, respect and value different experiences and perspectives, and come to appreciate the value of recognising and appreciating diverse perspectives. Students are therefore expected to embark on the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn, to engage in discussion, and to broaden their understanding of these aspects of the subject area, and the lived experiences of others. The development of critical thinking skills, empowering students with the ability to recognise ethnocentrism, giving students the confidence to identify and challenge inequalities and discrimination, and fostering empathy are important aspects of this programme. By the conclusion of the programme, students are expected to have gained specialised and applicable knowledge that will enable them to situate information in relation to their own lives and the lives of others, and will be supported throughout to achieve this, for example, through the range of information sources students will be expected to engage with, decolonisation of the curriculum (see below), and via the inputs associated with meeting the needs of diverse learners, as discussed above.

Other aspects central to the development of global and cultural capabilities are discussed elsewhere in this narrative and include decolonisation of the curriculum and embedded diversity and social justice within modules, learning situated within global contexts, growing a sense of community amongst the cohort, developing ¿open-mindedness¿ and teaching students to evaluate evidence rather than conjecture, collaborative and shared working, and creating safe spaces for open and critical discussion. Finally, students will also have the option to study abroad as part of their PTY year, with all of the active and engaging global and cultural experiences that this inevitably brings to the student experience.

ii. Digital capabilities

Developing a sophisticated level of digital skill and confidence amongst students is a clear output of the programme. Throughout their journey, students will learn to utilise the University¿s VLE, and a range of other digital resources and online databases. Therefore, programme content will require and cultivate a level of digital skill and ability that is demonstrated through engagement with the content and learning materials, assessments, and online library catalogues. All teaching materials and key content will be made available in multimedia forms through SurreyLearn.

Beyond generic student engagement with the module content, delivery, and learning materials, a number of modules across the programme will offer particular opportunities for developing specific digital capabilities. This will occur through the teaching content and assessment methods; discussions of theories of digital environments; practical engagement with digital environments, platforms, and techniques; synchronous and asynchronous online delivery; digital communication (e.g. Teams); research software packages; data analysis tools; and the use of Virtual Reality technology. By the end of their journey, students will therefore have engaged with multiple opportunities to develop, and think critically about, their digital capabilities, their digital presence and identity through online interactions, and their understanding of the digital impacts on social justice and other relevant debates.

iii. Employability

Employability is at the core of this programme, with the intention of delivering learning and other relevant skills that nurture career-ready graduates that will be sought after by employers. The embedding of employability throughout the programme is detailed within each module descriptor. However, these elements of the course can be identified as: specialist module content; the involvement of expert staff, many with practitioner backgrounds; the opportunity to engage with professional expertise; employability and transferable skills embedded in varied teaching, learning and assessment strategies; engagement with authentic practical tasks; the fostering of both independent and collaborative working; the development of critical thinking; the ability to link theory with practice; the ability to reflect on one¿s own practice; the ability to appraise evidence; authentic activities that mirror professional practice; dissertation specialisation; professional partner engagement; Professional Training Year; and placements.

iv. Resourcefulness and resilience

Students will be fully supported and guided throughout their journey. However, student engagement requires independence, perseverance, and developing of self-efficacy, which underpin becoming a genuinely resourceful student. The range of modules and the need to integrate into various types of classroom settings, practical activities, individual and collaborative tasks, and online environments, will help to facilitate students¿ self-management skills. Specifically, high levels of active and independent learning will be evident throughout the programme.

In contrast, other aspects of the teaching, learning, and assessment across the programme will be collaborative ¿ for example in the collective investigation of crime scenes in simulated ¿real-world¿ environments - giving students the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, problem-solving, risk-assessment, negotiation, adaptability, and team-working, whilst requiring them to share and articulate experiences and ideas, and to be supportive and empathetic to others. In addition, as part of the authentic learning experience, students may face uncomfortable learning situations but will be supported to develop their capabilities to adapt and manage these difficult scenarios ¿ please see the individual module descriptors for more detail.

Students will initially benefit from the new Level Four Semester One module, Academic Skills for Criminology and Forensic Investigation, which will have the development of student resourcefulness and resilience at its heart. This will provide the foundations for the ongoing and continuing development of student resourcefulness and resilience that will be embedded progressively throughout the programme, supported by factors including timetabling that encourages agency in planning workloads, formative and summative assessments, and ¿feedforward¿ and ¿feedback¿.

Further opportunities to develop resourcefulness and resilience skills are also available through PTY and other, shorter, placement provision, both in terms of the supported process of acquiring a position, and ensuring successful completion of the PTY, again with the support of a personal tutor. In addition, the final year dissertation will enable students to gain particular skills in leadership, resourcefulness, and problem solving through the navigation of ethical considerations, and working in a professional and collaborative partnership with their dissertation supervisor. Opportunities to conduct dissertation research within partner agencies will also be available and will necessarily help to develop students¿ resourcefulness and resilience in a professional context.

Upon completion of the programme, students will have benefited from a network of support, and will have become independent and resourceful learners who are able to appropriately apply confidence, reflection, critical thinking and analysis, and problem-solving skills.

v. Sustainability

Social and political inequalities are embedded within the concept of sustainability, and these issues are vital in understanding both crime and the operation of criminal justice practices. As such, sustainability is recognised throughout this programme, from a macro to a micro level, involving embedded understanding of the concept of sustainability in modules, understanding ethical considerations, having the ability to recognise and challenge social inequality, developing a sense of shared responsibility; and understanding globalisation. Given the practical elements of this programme, developing student understanding of the sustainable use of physical non-recyclable resources is also important.

As such, the creation of the programme in this regard has been informed in part by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations ( As the UN state, at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ¿are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth ¿ all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests¿. The 17 goals have different degrees of relevance for the delivery of this programme, but central to our thinking have been Goal 10 ¿ to reduce inequality within and among countries ¿ and Goal 16 ¿ to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels. Throughout the programme, therefore, students¿ awareness of these issues will be enhanced through their learning experiences and, in particular, through the authentic aspects of their activities and assessments.

The Dissertation also provides a significant opportunity for students to consider ethics in depth, as they individually engage with the respective ethical considerations of their independent research projects. In doing so, they are not only able to demonstrate their own abilities as a future leader but can use such skills and thinking across other areas (for example, to enhance their employability). By the end of the programme, it is expected that students will have developed confidence in their own ability to tackle societal inequalities and promote inclusive and sustainable practice in the future.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.