Taught course

Forensic Investigation

University of Portsmouth · School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (Social Science, Humanities, Law, Psychology, Forensic Science or Management subject). Information Technology or science related subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with equivalent professional experience in a relevant organisation will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content


Forensic evidence is a vital component in bringing perpetrators to justice. On this MSc Forensic Investigation degree course, you'll learn the practical skills and theories that underpin forensic science and its role in criminal justice, from a crime scene to the courtroom.

You'll study when and why forensic science techniques are used within criminal investigations, as well as how best to deploy them, building your experience in realistic settings, including our crime scene simulation spaces. You'll develop the ability to form strategic forensic responses in the investigation of crime, and understand how to apply them within your career.

Drawing on the expertise of our passionate and research-driven criminology team, you'll also develop your skills in independent research design, data analysis and critical thinking.

You can tailor your studies with specialist subjects such as applied forensic science, aquatic forensic investigation, and investigation and psychology.

When you graduate, you'll have all the skills you need for a successful career in forensic investigation or police work, or another related criminal justice field, such as intelligence or crime science.

Course highlights

  • Explore forensic investigation on a Master's course developed with our partners in law enforcement and forensic science, including Hampshire Constabulary, Key Forensic Services and Forensic Access
  • Have the opportunity to use our lab equipment to carry out your own forensic research, such as our crime scene simulation spaces and virtual reality (VR) software
  • Learn from a team of forensic investigation specialists in our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, including experts with experience in crime scene investigation, disaster victim identification and forensic science leadership
  • Work with Hampshire Constabulary as part of our Forensic Innovation Partnership, taking part in collaborative research
  • Hear from industry expert guest speakers from around the world
  • Be part of our community of researchers by getting involved with our criminology research groups, such as the Forensic Science research group and the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity research group
  • Interact and explore forensic investigation with fellow professionals from the world of criminal justice

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

Career support

You'll benefit from:

- Networking events

- Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events

- Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council

- Workshops to enhance your employability skills

- Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair

- 1-to-1 appointments

- CV and cover letter advice

- Interview preparation and practice

- Support starting your own business

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

With exciting developments in research, accreditation of frontline practices and a national drive for 'transforming forensics' (National Police Chiefs' Council), there's never been a better time to study forensic investigation.

This Master's degree in Forensic Investigation will give you a practical and research-based understanding of forensic methods, as well as a postgraduate qualification you can customise to exactly the area of criminal justice you aspire to. You'll delve deep into the subjects you choose to study through research, gaining an evidence-based perspective and a greater ability to be analytical and evaluative.

If you already work in the field of criminal justice, you'll be ready to pursue higher-level roles, or to break into a different area of the discipline. If you're still to embark on your career in criminal justice, you'll gain the knowledge and advanced research problem-solving skills you need to stand out to employers and contribute positively to justice system reform.

You could also go on to further study, or progress on to a graduate scheme such as PoliceNow or the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme.

Graduates of this course can go on to roles such as:
  • forensic practitioner
  • crime scene investigator
  • police or law enforcement officer
  • probation or prison officer
  • data analyst
  • intelligence analyst
Graduates of this course can go on to work for organisations such as:
  • the Civil Service
  • national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Government agencies and departments internationally
  • probation and prison service
  • the Courts
  • local administration / authorities
  • private security companies
  • charities

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

University Admissions Centre
+44 (0)23 9284 5566