BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation

Forensic Investigators produce evidence that can be used in a court of law. This programme will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience of scientific methods for the investigation and solving of crimes.

GCU has recently invested more than £1.5 million to create state-of-the-art chemistry and biology laboratories where students gain invaluable practical experience in using modern instruments, such as a DNA analyser, ultra powerful microscopes and mass spectrometers.

This programme provides you with a firm grasp of the theoretical and practical aspects of the chemical and biological sciences, with forensic staff consultancy casework discussed throughout. You will have the opportunity to spend up to a year at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the USA.

Graduates can be accepted as Associated Members of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), which is a step towards chartered chemist status.

Your career

Graduates have gone on to work in the chemical and biochemical analysis sectors, the environmental forensic area, forensic science, the police, food safety, teaching, pharmaceuticals and the oil and gas industry.

Year 1

Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics, Maths & Stats, Scots Law, and Introduction to Forensic Investigation.

Year 2

Physical Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Civil & Criminal Procedure, Organic Chemistry 1, Inorganic Chemistry, Cells & Biomolecules.

Year 3

Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, Incident Prevention, Investigation & Analysis, Organic Chemistry 2, Forensic Analysis, Chemical Data Analysis & Management.

Year 4

Environmental Forensic Analysis, Forensic Microscopy, Advanced Forensic Biology, Advanced Techniques in Forensic Science, Project.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

Study Options

  • 2020/21


Mode of study


Start date




BSc (Hons)
Full Time
3 - 4 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BSc (Hons) Full Time 3 - 4 Years 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Year 1

SQA Higher: BBBC including Chemistry, plus Nat 5 English and Maths

A level: CCC including Chemistry, plus GCSE English and Maths at C/4

ILC Higher: H2 H2 H3 H3 including Chemistry, plus English and Maths at Ordinary Level O2

IB Diploma: 24 points must include Chemistry at Higher Level

SWAP: Access to STEM programme at BBB

BTEC: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied/Forensic Science (must include Chemistry) at MMM plus GCSE Maths and English at C/4

Foundation Apprenticeship

Accepted as equivalent to one Higher as part of the overall grade profile of Highers required for entry. Any essential subjects at Higher should still be achieved in addition to the Foundation Apprenticeship.

Year 2

BTEC: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied/Forensic Science (must include Chemistry) at DDM plus GCSE Maths and English at C/4

College HNC: 15 credit HNC Applied Science with B in graded unit, must include Chemistry, Maths and Biology.

English language

In addition to meeting the qualification requirements, international students where English is not the first language require an IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2020/21

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
EU: £1,820*
International: £12,250

Tuition fees 2019/20

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
EU: £1,820*
International: £11,845

*Scottish and EU student tuition fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.

**Students from rest of UK will pay no more than £27,750 towards the total fees of a three or four-year degree.

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only. Fees and refund policy.

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

View our Undergraduate scholarships.

For new international students, particular care is taken around our induction events which begin on 13 September 2019 to welcome you to the UK and GCU prior to the start of teaching. There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus tours, city tours and social events where you can meet other international students. Where possible, we encourage you to arrange travel to allow you to arrive in time to enjoy these.

Find out more about international life at GCU.

Graduates of this programme can be accepted as Associate Members of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) which is a step closer to chartered chemist status.

Students have the opportunity to spend up to one year at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the USA.

Combination of unseen written examination, assessments and oral presentations. This distinctive programme marries a deep understanding of scientific principles coupled with a broad and varied educational approach, enhancing our student’s employment prospects, not only within the field of forensics but also in other areas. Many of our key staff are practising forensic experts, enhancing our students learning while Academic Development Tutors help develop generic skills such as report writing and exam techniques. The National Student Survey for 2012 gave 96% student satisfaction for Forensic Investigation.

Written exam

  • 50%
  • 53%
  • 45%
  • 30%

Coursework assessment

  • 38%
  • 47%
  • 50%
  • 50%

Practical exam

  • 12%
  • 0%
  • 5%
  • 20%

Our students have the chance to study abroad for all or part of Level Three with our partner institutions in Finland, Sweden and Canada with possible opportunities to study in the USA from 2012-13 onwards. As part of their Level Three assessment, our students take part in an industrial visit which enhances their knowledge of how industry operates and allow them to marry theory to practice. This Structured Industrial Practice Studies is undertaken in collaboration with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, with whom we have long links.

Scheduled learning and teaching

  • 27%
  • 26%
  • 27%
  • 44%

Independent study

  • 73%
  • 74%
  • 73%
  • 56%

Placement study

  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%