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Applied Forensic Science

Course Code: UF9019
  • Level: 4
  • Qualification: Higher National Certificate
  • Awarding body: Pearson
  • Duration: One - two years
  • Course type: Full-time, Part-time
  • Time of day: Daytime
  • When you'll study: Two to three days per week (full-time); one day per week (part-time)

What's it all about?

As a student on this course you will join City College Plymouth’s growing higher education community. You will be taught by lecturers with a blend of both industry and academic experience with the passion to support you in your learning journey.

With smaller class sizes, more one-to-one time with lecturers and lower fees, it has never been easier to stand out from the crowd with the help of a university-level qualification!

The course will develop your professional skills and assist you in becoming an independent and reflective practitioner. You will take part in a mixture of group and individual work, allowing you to develop your professionalism alongside your understanding of key concepts, principles and practices in forensic science.

Course information

This course will enable you to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to succeed in employment in forensically-based industries or to complete a top-up course at university. Through the study of mandatory core and relevant specialist units, you will cover much of the knowledge, skills and understanding required for successful progression into higher level study or entry into vocationally relevant employment in science laboratories or research centres.

Modules covered include:

  • fundamentals of laboratory techniques
  • scientific data handling approaches and techniques
  • regulation and quality in the applied sciences (pearson-set)
  • cell biology
  • fundamentals of biochemistry
  • criminal investigation.

In order to be successful on this course, you will need to have one of the following::

  • a BTEC Level 3 qualification in Applied Sciences (or a related subject)
  • a GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject; this profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as maths and English
  • other related level 3 qualifications
  • an Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution
  • related work experience
  • an international equivalent of the above.

Prospective students without the standard entry requirements as listed above are strongly encouraged to apply as relevant work experience will be taken into consideration eg: if you have worked or are working in a care or laboratory setting.

Assessment will be both creative and designed to support and develop you. Examples of the methods of assessment used include:

  • laboratory reports
  • short presentations
  • creating videos or websites to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding
  • timed tests and practical activities
  • group based research work
  • creating scientific posters summarising the latest research
  • an extended research project.

You will be assessed on your skills, knowledge and professional development.

Successful students can progress onto a HND and onwards to a level 6 top-up at a university. Employment opportunities include: technician scientist, laboratory technician, research technician, quality support technician, technologist, development technician, manufacturing technician and science technician.

Please note fees are quoted for one year only.

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Future careers

What you could earn:

Chemical Scientists


Potential salary


Entry level salary


Average salary


Annual openings in Plymouth

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