BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Forensics and Criminal Investigation (Year 2)


This programme builds from the BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Forensic Investigation where you will carry over the units. You will have achieved 1.5 A-level equivalent qualification, and this will be carried over to this 3 A-level equivalent programme.

The course is designed to give you a broad understanding and hands-on experience of the latest scientific, forensic and criminal investigation methods used in the world today. Over the year you’ll have the opportunity to study everything from practical scientific procedures, forensic analysis of drugs, forensic psychology and time of death studies. You’ll spend time in our state-of-the-art super laboratory learning to use industry standard equipment and approaches adopted by policing forces all over the world.

  • You will study several mandatory modules which include:
  • Applications of Criminology
  • Criminal Investigations Procedures in Practice
  • Application of Criminal and Forensic Psychology

In addition, you will study four optional units, which may include:

  • Physiology of Human Body Systems
  • Environmental Forensics
  • Forensic Fire Investigation
  • Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation
  • Forensic Photography
  • Forensic Genetics
  • Practical Chemical Analysis
  • Microbiology and Microbiological techniques
  • Forensic Photography
  • Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

We know that having good qualifications alone doesn’t always make you stand out.

That’s why we’re all about going the extra mile with you.

Studying with us means practical, hands-on workshops, group sessions, expert guest speakers, visits to local employers, wellbeing drop-ins, chill out time … the list goes on. 

As part of the course, you will also take part in an external work placement to help you develop your confidence and skills to stand out from the crowd. 

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma Criminal Investigation (in addition to 5 GCSE’s 4-9 including Maths, English and Science)

There are a mix of externally set assignments, alongside internal assignments.

You could progress to a higher education programme, apprentiship or into work. Higher education courses that learners can progress onto include Applied Science, Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, Criminal Investigation, Forensic psychology, Criminology and Law. Some of our previous learners have also gone on to study Archaeology and Ancient History and Pharmacy degrees. You can also apply for a higher apprenticeship in a scientific or medical field or work in the vocational sector, such as a laboratory technician or scientist, or the criminal justice system (including police).

The requirements of the qualification will mean learners develop the transferable and higher-order skills that are highly regarded by both higher education and employers. For example, practical and analytical skills, reading scientific text, problem solving and carrying out practical laboratory tasks and planning forensic investigations.

Examples of module content include:

  • Science Units – Master laboratory techniques. How do bacteria grow? How do we use microscopes effectively? Analyse the activity of enzymes. How does light help to visualise chemicals and how does the body change after death? Demonstrate scientific concepts and evaluate scientific information. Analyse forensic samples and produce data for evaluation.
  • Criminal Investigation Procedures in practice – Understand the legal framework that criminal law investigators must adhere to, to obtain a secure criminal conviction. Learn about intelligence gathering and interview techniques, and which agencies are involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Forensic Psychology – what causes an individual to commit crime? What are the biological and social theories related to criminal behaviour, how are criminals profiled and what treatment plans can be put in place?

The qualification is equivalent in size to 3 A Levels (Extended Diploma) studied over two years (you will have 1.5 A-Levels equivalent carried over from the foundation diploma)

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