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Forensic and Criminal Investigation BTEC

The National Extended Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation is a two-year programme equivalent to three A Levels. It combines the study of the three sciences as well as aspects of forensic science and criminology, such as forensic photography and criminal psychology.

The programme will challenge and develop both your practical and academic skills to a high level.

During the two-year course, you will study the following 13 units. These include as many pure science optional units as possible to give you the foundation for the widest possible range of choices for your next step.

– Principles and applications of science
– Practical scientific procedures and techniques
– Science investigation skills
– Forensic investigations procedures in practice
– Applications of criminology
– Criminal investigation procedures in practice
– Applications of criminal and forensic psychology
– Physiology of human body systems
– Forensic traffic collision investigation
– Forensic photography
– Forensic genetics
– Practical chemical analysis
– Microbiology and microbiological techniques

In your first year, you will undertake a Forensic Day experience in college where you will undertake activities run by a former home-office forensic scientist. Later in the year you will investigate and analyse a (simulated!) crime scene using your newly acquired skills of forensic analysis.

In your second year, you may be able to visit local pharmaceutical companies to see instrumental analysis in action – with explanations provided by experts.

During the course, you will develop many transferable skills such as practical dexterity and attention to detail, communication and teamwork, and research and analysis, all of which are valued both by employers and universities.

Please note: This is a full-time course and cannot be taken alongside any other A Level or vocational courses.

Apply for this course

Select from the start date/s below…

Sep 2023 : North Devon : Full-time
Course Code : FTB362 (2023)
Level : Level 3
Duration : 2 Years
North Devon campus Apply

Course details


Assessments are designed to fit the purpose and vocational nature of the qualification. You will take some examinations, but the majority of assessments will be assignment-based. You will also take part in set tasks in class.

Entry Requirements

To be accepted onto this Level 3 programme, you must hold at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including GCSE Maths and English Language.

You will be required to have a grade 5/4 in Double Science or a 5 and a 4 in two separate sciences. In addition, you will be required to have grade 4 in Maths, grade 4 in English Language and grade 4 in another subject.


If you want to work in Forensic and Criminal Investigation as a scientist or as a Police Officer, we would recommend you ultimately achieve a degree level qualification. This programme will give direct entry to degree-level study and provide you with the practical skills needed to succeed.

Study Programme

Every full-time student at Petroc will have their own Study Programme which will include:

– Your academic or vocational qualification.

– Maths and English Language development – if you have not achieved GCSE grade 4 in either of these subjects.

– Work Experience – hours will vary depending on your qualification and course level.

– Tutor Support – to support your personal, academic and professional development.

– Sustainability – helping you to identify how you can improve the sustainability of your future employment sectors.

– Personal Development Awards – developing six key areas of personal and employability behaviours to prepare you for the working world.

Apply for this course

Starting Date : 08/09/2023
Course Code : FTB362 (2023) North Devon campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

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