The forensic and criminology sector is diverse and wide-ranging including, for example, forensic science, forensic and criminal psychology and forensic criminology. There is a wide range of occupations for graduate entry including forensic laboratories, the police force and the probation service. The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. The qualification provides the knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare students for further study or training.
Everyone taking this qualification will study six mandatory units, covering the following areas: principles and applications of science practical scientific procedures and techniques science investigation skills forensic investigation procedures in practice applications of criminology criminal investigation procedures in practice.
Students choose two option units from a group. The option units have been designed to support progression to the range of sector-related courses in higher education and to link with relevant occupational areas. The optional units offer breadth and depth of topic areas relevant to the forensic and criminal investigation sector, and cover areas such as:
physiology of human body systems
forensic genetics environmental forensics forensic investigation practical chemical analysis.
This qualification enables students to acquire substantial cross-sector scientific knowledge and practical scientific skills, as well as forensic evidence collection and analysis skills, an appreciation of the application of psychology in forensic profiling and an understanding of the criminal justice system. In addition to the sector-specific content outlined above, the requirements of the qualification will mean that students develop the transferable and higher order skills that are highly regarded by higher education and employers. For example, carrying out practical laboratory tasks, planning investigations, and evaluating case studies/sources of information to be able to draw arguments together and produce forensic reports for use in court hearings.
Students will need to have five GCSE passes at grade C or above, preferably including Maths and English. Alternatively, students will be accepted onto the course if they have an equivalent vocational qualification at a merit grade, and Functional Skills Maths and English, preferably at Level 2. All students must have achieved, or show the ability to achieve, Maths and English to GCSE grade C or equivalent. Where a student has not yet fulfilled this requirement, a functional skills qualification is a mandatory part of this course.
Students will need to be prepared to participate in a range of practical activities, and to support their peers in group activity assessments.
L3 National Foundation Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation
The course consists of a variety of internally and externally assessed units. Externally assessed units allow you to present what you have learned in the unit. They can be challenging, but give you the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and understanding, or your skills in a direct way. This could be an exam or completing a vocational task in a limited timeframe. Most of your units will be internally assessed. This involves completing a series of assignments, set and marked by your tutor. The assignments allow you to demonstrate learning in a number of ways, from written reports to a video recording. Each of these tasks are graded as pass, merit or distinction which lead to an overall grading at the end of two years' study when combined with grades from other units.
Students are expected to spend additional study hours in the Learning Resource Centre Library in order to successfully complete this programme. You will also need to complete research and homework on a regular basis in order to build up your knowledge and confidence with public services. It is expected that you will need to spend approximately 6 hours a week on your course work outside of your normal class time.
During the course students will be expected to complete some work experience. This helps students understand the types of roles available in industry and the skills required to gain employment in the sector.
This qualification is primarily designed to support progression to employment after further study at university. However, it also supports students who choose to progress directly to employment, as the transferable knowledge, understanding and skills will give successful students an advantage when applying for a range of entry level industry training programmes and/or Higher Apprenticeships in areas such as laboratory technician or forensic technician
Fees and Additional Costs
If you are over 18 there may be registrations fees if you have not previously registered with the exam board. Students will be offered the opportunity to visit exhibitions and shows and these may require students to pay entrance fees and transportation costs. Students may also benefit from purchasing textbooks the details of these books will be discussed during induction when the latest edition of books will be recommended.