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Science & Research

Criminalistics Diploma

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This Criminalistics Diploma, available to study as both a paper-based and online course, examines crime and prevention. Also known as forensic science, criminalistics uses scientific principles to provide evidence in cases.

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Level 3 / NCFE / PI482

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Paper study
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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Expert Tutoring

12 months tutor support


24hr Access to

Course, assignments & tutor



Fully accredited course


NUS Card Eligibility

Enjoy student discounts

Course introduction

Students of criminalistics courses will learn how to collect crime scene evidence, as well as prove (or disprove) what causes accidents.

Criminalistics is an interesting area of study and one that many people are taking a keen interest in.

There can be all kinds of physical evidence left at a crime scene, such as the subtle smell of gas at an arson scene. There can also be a large range of material that challenges investigators and criminalists – hair, bodily fluids, blood, soil, paint, glass and more – all of which are important pieces of the crime-solving puzzle.

The role of the criminalist is to piece together all this evidence, connecting the suspect with the scene and/or the victim. It is not possible for everyone in a forensic science team or lab to be an expert in every aspect of forensic science. As such, many scientists are choosing to specialise in or one two key areas, such as criminalistics.

This customised qualification includes ten modules to complete, all of which have assignments for you to complete. Your tutor will mark these and use them to monitor your progress throughout the course.

Please note: Should you decide to purchase the online option, you must have access to a camera or a camera phone as you will be required to upload a JPEG image as part of your assignment for module 3.

The modules systemically work their way through how a criminalist would process a crime scene. The first few modules look at the crime scene itself, any biological traces left behind such as fingerprints. There are also modules that cover fire scenes, explosions, and ballistics.

There is also a later module on psychology and the crime scene, an important consideration when looking for evidence.

The next step after criminalistics courses online

Criminalistics is a specialism under the umbrella of forensic science. You don’t need any existing knowledge to complete this course, with many students on completion of this diploma, continuing to study with NCC.

There is a range of related courses, including Forensic Psychology and ballistics, as well as specialist psychology-based courses that examine in detail the effects of addiction on criminal behaviour and intent.

Studying from home is a flexible way to gain knowledge and skills. It allows you to learn at your own pace and in your own time, acquiring knowledge and skills that can progress your current career or lead you on a path to a new one.

Required knowledge

The good news is that no prior learning knowledge or experience is essential to take this Criminalistics Diploma course. This course is openly available to anyone wishing to learn more about this subject and would like to take part in a highly rewarding home study course. You have the freedom to start the Criminalistics Diploma course at any time and continue your studies at your own pace for a period of up to 12 months from initial registration


The Criminalistics Diploma course is assessed by a series of activity questions, all which require submission to your allocated tutor for marking and feedback.


This qualification has been developed by NCC to meet the specific needs of our learners and has been accredited by NCFE demonstrating the quality and rigor.

NCFE is an awarding organisation recognised by the qualification regulators for England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualifications Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation). This is an unregulated qualification and is not a nationally recognised qualification. On completion of the Customised Qualification, learners will receive a certificate of achievement. The certificate is evidence of the knowledge and skills gained by completing the qualification.

This qualification has been accredited by NCFE under the Customised Qualification and the certificate of achievement will be issued directly by NCFE.

Course modules

Module 1: The Crime Scene
Module 2: Biological Trace Evidence
Module 3: Fingerprints
Module 4: Trace Evidence
Module 5: Entomological Evidence
Module 6: The Fire Scene
Module 7: The Explosives Scene
Module 8: Ballistics
Module 9: Psychology and the Crime Scene
Module 10: Revision and Consolidation

Learner support

You will be provided with comprehensive materials designed to provide you with everything required to complete your Criminalistics Diploma course. You will have your own dedicated tutor who will guide you through your course work and answer any questions you may have during your Criminalistics Diploma course. Additionally our Help Desk will provide you with any practical advice through the portal or by email.


What does NCC stand for?

NCC originally stood for the National Consortium of FE (Further Education) Colleges. This brought together the FE Colleges to achieve the best provision. Regular national meetings were attended by both Colleges and Government agencies who funded them. This was very helpful to them both to best deliver training to their students.

For more than 25 years NCC has supplied FE Colleges with learning materials as well as student marketing.

NCC now specialise in online training of a very high quality to students both self-funded, paid for by schools, employers and training providers.

What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and you can study anytime, anyplace, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a job, family commitments, or any other commitment that won’t allow them time off to study.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Both our online and paper courses are completed via an online learning portal (LMS) which you can access after you receive your login details by email. Please ensure that you check your junk email if you do not receive your login details within 48 hours.

All learners will submit their assignments, receive feedback and correspond with their tutor directly through the LMS. If you require help from our support team, then simply email [email protected].

If you opt for the online course, you will not receive any course materials through the post. Everything is available via the LMS.

If you opt for the paper version, you are simply paying for a study book to be printed and posted to your home, or place of work. You will use this book as a reference guide, but you will still be required to upload your assignments and correspond with your tutor via the LMS.

If you are unable to access our online LMS, we do have alternative options available, so please email [email protected] in order to request further support.

What do I need to do to get started?

We recommend that you choose a course that will interest you and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, contact us here or dial 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How much will it cost?

The cost largely depends on the type and size of the course. The course cost is determined by the expenses associated with its provision, taking into consideration the course's size and complexity, development costs, the presence of a study materials, and the level of tutor support required. Some courses also necessitate additional in-person assessments by assessors, which incur additional expenses and consequently affect the course's cost.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course require an external invigilated assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

How do I enrol?

Once you've chosen your course, you have two options for enrolment:

  1. You can purchase the course online by clicking the "Buy now" button, which will enrol you automatically.
  2. Alternatively, you can call our helpline at 0333 3445 690, and our expert course advisors will assist you in signing up for the course and arrange for the delivery of any requested additional learning materials to your address.

All courses are available to purchase in full or via affordable monthly payments over 12 months. A £29 non-refundable deposit is required for monthly payments, and you will be required to set up a monthly direct debit.

We do not require you to complete a credit check to sign up for monthly payments.

How quickly will I receive my course materials?

We guarantee that you will receive any course materials ordered within 5 working days of registering, but for many of our courses it may take no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study book within our stated period.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

All the relevant information required to complete your course is available via the LMS. Additional research via the internet is encouraged, depending on the level you are working at, to bolster knowledge of the subject area.

There is no requirement to purchase any additional materials.

What support will I receive?

You will have access to a dedicated personal tutor whom you can contact through the Learning Management System (LMS) for assistance and guidance on any course-related matters. Your tutor will only initiate contact in response to your messages. If you encounter any difficulties reaching your tutor, please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected]

Many courses require you to submit work to your tutor during the period of study, and your tutor will assess your work and provide feedback to you within 10 working days. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please note that the course includes tutor support for a duration of 12 months. If you require additional time, please inform us, and we will make every effort to provide you with an option for a paid extension, if feasible, to assist you in completing your course.

Please be aware that our tutors are actively assisting multiple learners, and to ensure they are not inundated with excessive workloads, we have implemented a policy limiting learners to submitting a maximum of three units of work for evaluation at any given time. We recommend that you upload your completed units as you finish them. This way, you can benefit from your tutor's feedback to enhance your future assignment submissions.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 10 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Kindly note that our tutors are currently supporting multiple learners simultaneously. In order to maintain a balanced workload for them, we have established a policy that restricts learners to submitting a maximum of three units of work for evaluation at any given time.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course. Your end of support date is when you need to have your course copmpleted by in order to be able to be certificated, this is usually 12 months from purchase.

The duration of the course is largely down to you. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email [email protected], NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are:

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows, but we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is that if your circumstances change you can always take a limited break and come back to your studies to save your paid for support.

If you decide to enrol on more than one course at the same time, speak to our enquiries team for any bundle deals or offers.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Certainly, in most instances, there are no geographical constraints on where you can undertake your studies. However, it's important to note that specific courses may be subject to geographical limitations imposed by the Awarding Organisation, and these restrictions will be clearly stated in the course description.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you may return the materials within 14 days, provided you have not yet submitted any coursework for evaluation. Please note that you will be responsible for covering the return shipping costs. We will refund your payment, minus a non-refundable deposit of £29. Additionally, you have the option to select an alternative course that better matches your goals and aspirations.

For any help on cancelling your course please email [email protected], we will only deal with cancellation enquiries via email.

What is a Totum Card?

Totum is the new brand for UK student cards and replaces the old NUS student card. NCC students are eligible to sign-up for the Totum card where applicable, giving access to a multitude of retail, food and travel special discounts. For more information, you can visit their website:

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Reviews from learners who completed...

Criminalistics Diploma

M Byrne

“Well worth it!”

I am half-way through the course and honestly, I was having few doubts before enrolling and now I am so glad I did! My tutor is amazing and her feedback is always constructive. I wish I studied with NCC sooner! After this course I am 100% sure I will embark onto my next adventure...level 4 :D

Laura Myers

M Byrne

“Quick and easy”

Loads of details about the courses. Quick and easy enrolment. Affordable. Can't wait to get started :)


M Byrne

“Will definitely be studying with NCC again!”

I've just completed the Criminalistics Diploma and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I've studied with NCC before and as usual they didn't disappoint.

The course itself was very interesting, with modules ranging from fingerprinting and ballistics to crime scene psychology, so there's a good variation across the ten modules. Not only this, but there's some practical experiments involved in some of the modules which I found very exciting to undertake, along with the written assignments. I have a long-standing interest in criminology and found the modules in-depth and covered a lot of useful and relevant information.

The course materials were excellent and very easy to following, such as the layout in the assessment saying precisely what is required to achieve a pass for that specific module, along with the activity questions.

I love the home learning courses, as there's so many to choose from and no prior knowledge is needed for the actual subject, plus you can work at your own pace.

The feedback from my tutor (Philip Boyce) was also excellent and very encouraging and supportive. Thanks also to Shaun Connick and Sally Swift for replying to my e-mails so quickly!

So, another great one from NCC - and I will definitely be studying with you again!

Mark Quine,

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