Taught course

Criminal Investigation

University of Central Lancashire · School of Law and Policing

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold at least 2:2 degree with appropriate professional experience or equivalent.

Applications from all candidates will be considered on their merits in the light of the nature and scope of the programme.

A detailed admissions procedure will be forwarded on application.

IELTS: Score of at least 6.5 or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

Our MSc Criminal Investigation course is designed to equip you with the practical skills and knowledge you’ll need to become a professional crime investigator, or someone who’s responsible for managing serious and complex cases.

How to you go about solving a complex murder case? Or conducting a fraud investigation?

On this course you’ll develop the advanced skills and techniques you’ll need to apply when conducting a criminal investigation, including research methods, presenting information, solving problems and working independently or as part of an investigative team.

You’ll discover how to use develop and use the critical thinking and analytical skills required to lead teams of detectives and crime scene investigators in the investigation of serious and complex cases. With the guidance of experienced senior investigating officers and academics you will develop your competence in solving complex problems, giving you the confidence to design, plan and implement solutions to problems in major criminal investigations and be capable of analysing the potential effectiveness of such solutions.

You’ll also get insights into the very latest methods in criminal investigation – from exposing international human trafficking networks to managing homicide scenes.

Why study with us

  • Take control in our ‘HYDRA’ immersive learning suite, used by many emergency services to prepare senior officers to handle major incidents such as complex murder investigations.
  • Many of our staff are former senior investigating officers and detectives, so you’ll be learning from professionals with extensive experience in this field.
  • This course is available in full-time, part-time and distance learning modes of study to accommodate those currently in full-time work.
  • The course includes a diverse student group with backgrounds ranging from recently graduated students to experienced law enforcement professionals who may be returning to formal academic studies, based on the Preston Campus and around the world.

What you'll do

  • The course will examine your abilities to plan and justify investigation plans for proactive and reactive serious crime investigations against organised crime groups, while applying appropriate criminal law procedures.
  • The course assessments will challenge you to fulfil the role of a senior investing officer for a serious crime, involving complex victim disaster identification issues.
  • You’ll make full use of our dedicated facilities, including the Hydra Suite and visits to our crime scene houses.

Learning and assessment

The course is delivered in six-hour blocks, which enables professionals who are already working in the field to undertake the degree more easily.

You’ll be assessed using a variety of coursework assignments such as essays, reports and presentations.

Semester One focuses on ensuring that have the necessary study skills you’ll need to succeed on the course – including report writing, delivering presentations and problem solving. These skills will all prove useful in your future career.

Industry links

We have forged a pioneering partnership with Lancashire Constabulary to create the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy, which offers our students the chance to gain practical experience alongside serving CSIs and scientific support professionals.

We also enjoy strong links with many other law enforcement agencies and have regular visits from high-profile speakers to share their experience.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)1772 892 400