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Why study Forensics, Policing and Investigations at Liverpool John Moores University?
- A new degree programme designed to explore, in-depth how forensics links to the field of investigation
- Innovative and thought-provoking modules both reflect and challenge current investigative practices and debates
- You will be taught by lecturers with academic and professional backgrounds in policing and the use of forensic science
- Be part of the new Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, the UK's first research centre devoted to supporting the needs of 21st century policing
- Opportunities to gain real-life experience of policing as a Special Police Constable or police volunteer
About your course
Love murder mysteries and true crime? Thinking about a career that allows you to incorporate that love? While reality is often very different from what you see and hear on television, social media or hear in a podcast, this is a fast-paced, rewarding career field that combines science, keen powers of observation, and evidence-based strategies to help serve your community and combat a variety of antisocial and criminal behaviours.
The BSc Forensics, Policing and Investigations degree at Liverpool John Moores University will engage you in the understanding and development of key strategies for effective crime scene management.
This new degree Forensics, Policing and Investigation degree has been written to foreground specialist forensic content, so you can understand how forensics links to the field of investigation and policing.
LJMUs suite of Policing and Investigations programmes take students on a critical exploration of contemporary policing issues as they develop skills and prepare for professional practice.
We have developed this programme over many years of policing studies degree delivery, working with Merseyside Police Constabulary, College of Policing and other key stakeholders in the policing and criminal justice sectors. The resulting programme of study is a brand new course, which prepares students for the diverse world of investigative, forensic and evidence gathering techniques, leading to a wide range of rewarding career options.
Many of our students undertake study and field trips as part of their studies to understand and practice real-life applications. Previous trips have seen students visiting the Emergency Services Training Centre and the Henry C. Lee Institute.
WATCH: students recently visited the Henry C. Lee Institute in New York (USA) to learn about ballistics forensics:
"The course has been extremely interesting, giving me an insight into the policing world while developing my understanding that the term policing can be incorporated in to many different career aspects. I have developed a firm understanding of academic theories and have been able to apply these greatly to my role as a Special Constable. The course incorporates a great mix of academia, practical teaching and an overall student experience which I have felt that I have grown a lot as a person in confidence and knowledge."
All of our qualifications conform to the professional and regulatory guidelines established by The College of Policing and have been developed to reflect changes in the way that police constabularies are recruiting new constables nationally.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
Employability Once you complete one of the BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons) Policing programmes, you will have the knowledge, skills and qualification that makes you an attractive candidate for a career in the police service or for careers in many areas particularly connected to investigation, security or criminal justice e.g. roles within the armed services, prison service, social work or criminal justice-related roles within the Civil Service.
Alternatively you may consider pursuing an academic career through postgraduate study.
Successful completion of the BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) does not provide any guarantee of recruitment as a trainee Police Constable. Each police force within England and Wales sets out its own recruitment process and selection policy and entry requirements vary from force to force. You are therefore strongly advised to check the specific requirements of your chosen force prior to undertaking study.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Exploring Policing Studies - Skills for Success
In this module you will develop your academic skills including referencing and writing. You will research the court system in England and Wales and develop team work in a shared research project.
Introduction to Policing
This module aims to help you understand key theories and concepts relevant to policing and the wider criminal justice system by examining the chronological development of policing and other institutions within the system, landmark events and their inter-relationship and relevance.
Crime Scene Investigation
This module introduces you to crime scene investigation so you can develop skills such as: analysis and problem solving, written communication and team work. The basic crime scene skills of photography, note taking, and sketching are taught along with the concept of recovery, enhancement and comparison of fingerprints.
Practice, Procedure and the Criminal Law 1
This module aims to introduce you to the role, responsibilities and powers of the police in differing societal and operational environments. The module provides you with a critical introduction to the foundations of criminal law and the criminal justice system. You will identify the key ingredients of a criminal offence, the varying liability of third parties, and common defences prescribed by criminal law, highlighting the importance of police integrity and the role played by police officers in the successful application of criminal law sanctions.
Technology and Policing
This module will introduce you to the legal, professional and ethical issues relating to the use of a broad range of technologies in the policing and law enforcement context. You will explore the issues around social media and its use in the personal and professional context and the criminal use of technologies and the challenges this presents.
Introduction to Criminology for Policing
This module will introduce you to a core of key concepts to encourage you to reflect upon the contribution of criminological theory and to understand contemporary crime issues and policing responses to them.
This module aims to develop your understanding of the concept of equality and diversity. It provides you with an opportunity to critically explore factors which have come to inform policing environments and practices, and to reflexively acknowledge how personal behaviours can support the promotion of the principles of equality and diversity within the workplace and the wider community.
Professional Skills for Policing
This module focusses on the professional, reflective and critical skills required to develop ethical personal and professional practice.
Practice, Procedure and the Criminal Law 2
The module aims to introduce you to aspects of the criminal law and police powers. At the end of the module, you will be able to identify and critically appraise the extent of these laws and powers, alongside exploring relevant legislation, policy and practice guidance.
The module aims to develop your understanding of the legislative and policy framework which sets out the parameters for the investigation of criminal offences and provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate and explain investigative procedures through the use of case studies and crime scene practical's. It will also provide an opportunity to critically explore the range of regulatory processes and professional values which inform practice, theories of team work, communication, issues of professional status and power and working across organisational boundaries.
This module develops practical skills in crime scene investigation and extends the knowledge of forensic analysis and concepts introduced at Level 4. You will also develop knowledge of the court system and the legal context of the discipline.
Policy, Practice and the Evidence Base
This module will develop your understanding of the literature relevant to the concept of evidence based practice as it relates to Policing. You will also explore the epistemological, methodological and ethical underpinnings of the study.
The Psychology of Investigation
This module aims to help you understand how Psychology can support you when conducting interviews in relation to Qualitative methodology.
Study Year Abroad - Policing Studies
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Semester Abroad - Policing Studies
The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.
The module aims to enable you to develop a detailed knowledge of your identified field and through this knowledge build a critical understanding of relevant policy and procedural guidance as it is applied in practice.
Advanced Forensic Methods
The aim of this module is to provide you with thorough knowledge of advanced types of crime scene investigation and to introduce new and novel research in forensic science and to be able to use advanced statistical methods for evaluating forensic evidence.
Approaches to protecting vulnerable people and the management of offenders
The module aims to develop your understanding of the legislative and policy framework which sets out the parameters of multi-agency working arrangements across the sector. There will be an opportunity for you to work across disciplinary boundaries and gain experience through work related learning using 'real life' case studies.
Comparative Studies in Policing
The aim of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to conduct a focused piece of independent work in an international context on an area related to the Policing programme, and to encourage you to monitor and reflect critically on your own learning.
Policing, Security and Risk
This module aims to provide you with critical theoretical, empirical, policy and practical understanding of policing and the security industry. You will gain qualitative skills, writing skills and presentation skills to support your understanding of policing, security and risk realities.
Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
In this module you will examine the key concepts in relation to terrorism and explore a number of key issues including definitions of terrorism, ideologies, typology, group structures, tactics, methods of operation, target selection, state response, use of technologies, funding and media impact. You will also explore the concept of, and delivery of, counter terrorism initiatives with a focus on the measures being adopted within the United Kingdom, drawing on comparative counter-terrorism strategies from the US and Canada.
Investigative Skills 2
The module aims to develop your understanding of the legislative and policy framework which sets out the parameters for the investigation of criminal offences. You will be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate and explain investigative procedures through the use of case studies and crime scene practicals.
Application of Intelligence to Policing
This programme will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the role, uses and application of intelligence within contemporary policing and partner agencies. You will also develop an understanding of how intelligence can be ethically collected, collated, evaluated, managed and analysed. This will also include the impact of the National Intelligence Model within policing and the wider criminal justice arena.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, online activities, workshops and seminars all of which you are expected to attend. In addition you will be supported to develop your skills relating to independent study and group work. You will need to participate in online activities and discussions using our virtual learning environment, Canvas.
To support you in your studies for this programme you will have access to a state of the art complex that the university is investing in and which includes a house that can be used to create crime scenes.
Work-related learning is incorporated into every level of this programme so that once you graduate you will be equipped with a range of transferable skills and knowledge in analysis and interpretation, presentation, teamwork, initiative and research.
You will be strongly encouraged to become a Special Police Constable, a police volunteer or to volunteer within the criminal justice field throughout your studies so that you can gain practical insight into operational practices, build professional relationships and enhance your employability skills for police and related criminal justice professions after graduation.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
It is often useful to discuss course-related issues on a one-to-one basis and for this reason we will assign you a personal tutor for the duration of your studies at LJMU. Your tutor will also help you put together your personal development plan so that you can monitor progress and set your own targets.
Module tutors also provide support in the form of online learning materials, course guides and one-to-one consultations if you need them, and there will be study skills sessions to help you prepare for assessments.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
Your marks and feedback will be available within 15 working days of submitting a piece of work. That's because we believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to develop further.
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Justice Studies is a leading provider of education in Policing Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice. We provide specific training for policing students wishing to enter the service as a graduate recruit. The John Foster Building has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives 24 hour access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.