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Forensic and Criminal Investigation BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

This course is intended to provide an educational foundation for those wishing to pursue a career within forensic science, forensic psychology, criminology or criminal investigation. This full time course is the equivalent to 3 A Levels, and will see you study modules focusing on forensic science, applied science, criminology and psychology.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including Maths, English and two Science subjects.

Course Content

This full time course will see you study 13 units over two years. You will develop transferable skills that are highly sought after by universities and employers alike. For example, your evaluation and analysis skills will be developed through the forensic and applied science based modules. You will also be able to demonstrate your ability to plan, research, problem solve, integrate data and communicate your findings.

Throughout the two years you will develop your critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills, as well as developing your ability to review your own performance and develop your skills.

Year One:
Your first year will introduce you to the key science concepts of biology, chemistry and physics. You will study forensic genetics covering heredity, genetic engineering and their forensic science uses. In addition, the study of the physiology of the human body will add to your understanding.

You will develop your collection, analysis and reporting techniques of various types of forensic evidence, as well as the uses and value of environmental forensics in crime. Other practical areas covered in your first year include how to plan a scientific investigation, quantitative analysis, spectroscopy and chromatography.

Year Two:
The second year will see you develop your practical science skills further, all of which are highly applicable to both the medical and forensic science industries. You will experience a mock trial environment, assisting in your understanding of the legal system, criminal law and criminal investigation procedures from crime scene to court. This will help develop your ability to explain crime and criminal behaviour in England and Wales using criminological theories. You will also study how criminal and forensic psychology are applied within the Criminal Justice System.

You will learn how forensic anthropology and archaeology are used in forensic examination whilst covering the key techniques used to recover and identify human remains. You will also explore microorganisms and associated practical techniques such as microscopy and aseptic techniques.

How will I be taught?

This course is taught through a continuous programme including:

  • Class activities
  • Practical tasks
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Presentations
  • Exams
  • Written reports

Each assignment will be graded against the unit criteria, this will then determine your overall grade (Pass, Merit or Distinction).

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods for the first year of this course include an exam, and a task based activity set by the exam board. The task based activity includes both practical and written components.

Second year assessments include two written tasks set by the exam board. These written tasks both involve independent research. Other units will be assessed through assignments marked by the lecturers.

Will I need any extra equipment?

No extra equipment is required.

What qualifications will I get?

Students will be awarded the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation.

What will it allow me to do in the future?

Successful students can go on to study Applied and Forensic Science, Criminology, or Forensic and Criminal Psychology. There are a range of Higher Education degree courses including;

  • Policing and Criminal Investigation
  • Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation
  • Forensic Science
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Criminology and Law
Further Information

All information was accurate at the time of publishing, and may be subject to change.

For general College enquiries, please call 023 9279 7979 or email college@southdowns.ac.uk.

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