Forensic and Criminal Investigation

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Type of study
Examination board


Not only will you study modules focusing on forensic science, applied science, criminology and psychology you will develop transferable skills that are highly sought after by both universities and employers alike.

Your evaluation and analysis skills will be developed through the forensic and applied science based units and within the criminology, psychology and forensic investigation units you will be able to demonstrate your ability to plan, research, problem solve, integrate data and communicate your finding.

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

Availability & Details

Forensic and Criminal Investigation, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma HSDC-SD-SNDFS

HSDC South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2017-18 (1 year)
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5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including Maths, English and two Science subjects

This course will be taught over two years, with the first year focusing on key scientific concepts in biology, chemistry and physics. Enabling you to develop the skills to plan a scientific investigation. Also covered in the first year and adding to your practical science skill base are, quantitative analysis, spectroscopy and chromatography.

You will develop your collection, analysis and reporting techniques of various types of forensic evidence, as well as the uses and values of environmental forensics in crimes. This is alongside forensic genetics in which you will study heredity, genetic engineering and their forensic science uses. In addition, this the study of the physiology of the human body will add to your understanding.

The second year will see you develop your practical science skills further, all of which are relevant to both the medical and forensic science industries. You will also explore microorganisms and associated practical techniques such as microscopy and aseptic techniques. The setting within a mock trial environment will assist in your understanding of the legal system, criminal law and criminal investigation procedures from crime scene to court. In addition to this developing the 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. Additionally, learn how forensic anthropology and archaeology are used in forensic investigation whilst covering the key techniques used to recover and identify human remains.


You will be timetabled over 4 days with the fifth scheduled as a study day. You will work through a continuous programme of assignments, class activities, practical tasks, exams, discussions, presentations and written reports.

Each assignment will be graded against the unit criteria and from there you will get an overall grade (Pass, Merit or Distinction).


You will be assessed with an exam in your first year as well as a task based activity set by the exam board. This will include a practical and a written component. Within your second year you will have two tasks that will be written and set by the exam board, both involving independent research. Other units will be assessed through assignment work that will be marked by the lecturers.

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South Downs has been the best two years of my education. All my teachers were great and amazing, and I think they were the most helpful they could have been.

Megan Capaldi-Tallon, A Level student

I’m really happy and pleased with my grades. I really loved my time at South Downs, I have also made lots of friends, it’s a really nice place to be, I don’t want to leave.

Lauren Piper, A Level student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student


This course will enable you to study Foundation Degrees, Undergraduate Degrees, Higher National Certificate (level 4/5) or Access to Higher Education courses.
Potential courses can include:
Policing and Criminal Investigation
Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation
Forensic Science
Forensic Psychology
Psychology and Criminal Investigation
Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation
Criminology and Law
Biological Science for Industry


Forensic Scientist, Police Officer, Laboratory Technician, Prison Officer, Criminal/Forensic Psychologist, Crime Scene Investigator, Crime Scene Examiner, Teaching

What to do next

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