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BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day


A student in a protective suit, gloves, mask and show covers picking a sample off a floor and putting it into a tube Hear from our staff and students

Studying Crime and Investigative Studies at ARU

Get exposure to the real world of crime and investigation. Our Cambridge-based degree course covers forensic science, crime scene processing, policing and the law.

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Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why study Crime and Investigative Studies at ARU?

  • Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the professional body for forensic practitioners in the UK and internationally, meaning you will have the maximum opportunity to gain the essential skills for a career in this field.
  • Bring the world of work to life through Live Briefs; designed and developed with local police forces and other linked organisations, giving you invaluable exposure to ‘real world’ problem-solving.
  • Explore outstanding crime scene facilities and SuperLab in our £45m Science Centre. Get hands-on with industry-standard technology, such as 360-degree cameras and technology systems.
  • Our staff have a diverse breadth of expertise and a combination of over 50 years’ work experience, making learning more authentic, hands-on and current.

Are you interested in crime, forensic science, policing and the law, but unsure which subject to study? You’ll cover them all on our Crime and Investigative Studies degree course.

We combine crime scene examination and procedures around ISO accreditation with other crime-related subjects, such as policing, intelligence and the law. You’ll learn about forensics, policing, the law and the important of a methodical crime-scene process from lecturers with first-hand experience in the field.

We’ll help you to understand the practical aspects of crime, and how they affect everyday investigations. You’ll look at different types of crime – from burglary through to murder – and find out how these are investigated by the Police, and how other agencies such as fire and rescue contribute to investigations.

As a BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies student at ARU, you’ll learn not only how to process a crime scene but also how to investigate a crime from scratch. We’ll consider all the processes involved through modules including Forensic Scene Examination.

Is it accredited?

Our three-year degree course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) and explores traditional investigative methods used by the Police, as well as newer approaches such as evidence-based policing. You will also learn how to present professional reports in both a policing environment and within a court of law.

You will gain real-world experience through work placements, internships and field trips, and career possibilities in criminal justice, crime analysis, fire investigation, fraud, policing and victim support.

Course options

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Key facts

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Entry Requirements


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Fees and Paying for University


The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences logo

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Our three-year degree course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the professional body for forensic practitioners in the UK and internationally.


Exterior of the Science Centre on Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus

Outstanding facilities and support

As a Crime and Investigative Studies student at ARU you'll be able to:

  • use cutting-edge facilities, including our new Science Centre with its range of laboratories
  • learn from expert tutors and visiting professionals
  • use creative resources such as 3D printers
  • benefit from award-winning IT and library facilities.

Take a guided tour and meet our students.

Student standing in front of a door with 'Police do not cross' tape on it - crime scene visible in background

Practical experience

Choose Crime and Investigative Studies at ARU and:

  • get an understanding of the workplace through visits to places such as the Crown Court, and other field trips
  • benefit from ongoing careers and employability support
  • access business support and mentoring through our start-up hub
  • take an optional placement year as part of your course, and gain valuable work experience.


As a Crime and Investigative Studies graduate, you’ll be ready to work in various areas of the criminal justice system – particularly policing, crime scene examination, prisons and security – as well as government intelligence agencies.

The legal and criminology elements of the course open up career possibilities in social and youth work, crime analysis, victim support and legal work. Some of our graduates have gone on to work at:

  • Counter Terrorism Policing
  • Metropolitan Police
  • National Crime Agency
  • Royal Air Force
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Prison and Probation Service
  • NHS
  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • AstraZeneca
  • Labcorp

ARU graduates of this course earn on average £2,500 more per year than the sector average 15 months after graduating. Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcome Survey 2023), and ranked 3rd in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates that agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

Person standing at a door with 'Police line do not cross' tape across it

"If you look for similar courses in the UK, you won’t find anything quite like what ARU offers. We have practical sessions almost every week. It truly is a wonderful experience."

Nick, BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies student

Follow Nick's university journey

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Crime and Investigative Studies

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Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

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Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements
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