Forensic and Criminal Investigation with Psychology - Level 3 (Full-Time)

Level 3 - A Level or BTEC National or IB or NVQ Level 3 or Equivalent

Subject Area Science

Attendance Full-Time


Whilst studying this Forensic Science focused course, you’ll gain hands-on experience of real working laboratory environments. You will work on a variety of projects, using your skills of analysis in chemistry, physiology, microbiology, forensics, physics, biology and psychology.

Taught by experts in this field, you will gain specialist skills for employment or progression into higher education. You will also have the chance to learn outside the classroom through a variety of trips and projects.

The after completing the first year of the programme, successful students will be awarded a BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigations which is equivalent to 1.5 A Levels and holds the same UCAS points. You will then be able to progress to the second year which is equivalent to 3 A Levels in total and holds the same UCAS points. Upon successful completion of the second year you will be awarded a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigations as well as a Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology.

Course Enrichment

• Previously, students have designed and carried out science experiments in local primary schools, providing exciting lessons to young children, and gaining valuable experience in teaching and science communication.
• Our links with Procter and Gamble offer exciting work placements and internships whilst CY Partners deliver guest lectures on the careers available within the industry.
• Students regularly visit employers to understand the demands of the science industry and to see how science is applied in practice. Visits have included Thomas Swan, Piramal and Nestlé.
• Students have enoyed field trips to the Crown Courts, The Eden Project in London and the STEM conference at The Discovery Museum.

This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: September 2021. For further information, please call 0191 200 4000 or email
Duration: 2 Years
Venue: Parsons Building, Rye Hill Campus

Who the course is for

This qualification is typically for school leavers aged between 16-19 who have a great interest in forensic science and wish to follow a work related course with emphasis on lab skills.

The large majority of our students progress onto higher education with other students choosng to go straight into employment.

It is recommended that prospective students research their desired career/university course to ensure that this is the right course for them.

Qualification Gained

BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigations (RQF) and BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Psychology (RQF).

How to Apply


Click on the "Apply for this course" button at the bottom of this page.

In Person

Come along to our Student Services Office, located within Armstrong House. Alternatively, visit an Open Event at our Rye Hill Campus, click here for dates and times.


Course Content

During the first year you will study the following units (assessment method in brackets):

Principles and Applications of Science I (exam)
Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques (coursework)
Science Investigation Skills (assessed practical)
Forensic Investigation Procedures in Practice (coursework)
Physiology of Human Body Systems (coursework)
Forensic Genetics (coursework)

In the second year, you will study the following units (assessment method in brackets):

Applications of Criminology (exam)
Criminal Investigation Procedures in Practice (coursework)

Psychological Approaches and Applications (exam)
Conducting Psychological Research (coursework)
Health Psychology (exam)
Criminal and Forensic Psychology (coursework)  

All content can be found on the BTEC website.

You will also benefit from tutorial sessions and work experience sessions including work placements where possible.

Learning Methods

This course is taught through a mixture of lectures, practical work, demonstrations and work shops.

Assessment Methods

The majority of the course is coursework based however some units are externally assessed through exams or assessed practicals.

Progression Opportunities

If you successfully complete the course, you could progress to a degree in Forensic Science, Criminology, Psychology or a related area.

Career Opportunities

If you want to get a job straight away, you could work in a research laboratory, a quality control laboratory, a hospital laboratory, a materials testing laboratory, a forensic science laboratory, a laboratory within an educational establishment or an environmental science laboratory.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements are 5 GCSEs grades (4-9) including English, Maths and Science at a grade 4.

Students for whom English is not their first language must have achieved an English Language test score of at least 5.5.

Any borderline candidates must attend an interview with a member of the Vocational Science team (0191 200 4466).

A reduced programme is available for students who narrowly miss out on English or Maths.

Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, you can contact Student Services by using the LiveChat function on this page, by emailing or by telephoning 0191 200 4000. We are currently open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.


Course Costs

16 to 18s

Learners are eligible for free tuition if they are aged 16-18 when beginning their studies.

If the course being applied for is a two-year qualification, you will continue to be eligible for free tuition for the remainder of the course.

If the course being applied for is two separate one-year qualifications and you begin studying year one of the course aged 18, you will be required to pay fees for the second year.

If you are aged 18 when beginning the course, it is advised that you talk to our Student Services Team on 0191 200 4000 or by email who will be able to explain the options available.

Please note, if you are applying from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland you may be subject to different funding rules than students who live in England. Depending on your age and type of course you choose you may be liable for fees, even if you are under 19. Please contact Student Services on 0191 200 4000 to discuss your eligibility.