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Science & Research

Forensic Science Diploma Level 4

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The Level 4 Forensic Science Diploma has been written as a progression route from our successful Level 3 Forensic Science Diploma and investigates the role of a Forensic Scientist and how they gather/interpret evidence.

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Level 4 / Quality Licence Scheme / PI573

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over 12 months and £ deposit

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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

Eligible for an NUS TOTUM Student card with this course.

The Level 4 Forensic Science Diploma comprises of twenty individual modules, each looking at a different aspect of crime scene investigation.

The initial module covers the science of crime scene investigation (field forensics) and focuses specifically on the crime scene and will provide you with an understanding of the importance of time, care and detail when evaluating a crime scene.

The next modules focus on evidence gained from a crime scene, the legal categories of evidence in criminal investigation and identifies the difference between individual and class characteristics of evidence. Biological, Non- Biological, Fingerprint, Ballistics and Arson evidence are studied in detail.

This customised course covers evidence at the Explosive Scene and the difference between an accidental explosion and the triggering of a bomb and investigates how and why the bomb scene is processed. In this module learners will discover how explosives differ and why this is important in assisting the Bomb Scene Investigator to determine what evidence to look for.

Forensic Pathology is detailed in the next modules, specifically looking at forensic pathology at the crime scene and the mortuary. It covers the role of both the Coroner and Pathologist and how evidence is collected and time of death is estimated. How an autopsy is carried out is detailed and investigates the many ways in which death can occur and how the forensic pathologist recognises them.

The next few modules focus on different roles within Forensic Science, specifically the role of a Forensic Anthropologist, a Forensic Odontologist and a Forensic Entomologist.
In Forensic Anthropology you cover the anthropological determination of gender, investigate the anthropological determination of age, the anthropological determination of ethnicity and the anthropological determination of height weight and individual differences.
In Forensic Odontology you will cover how the characteristics of human dentition can be used to help identify human remains, how the characteristics of human dentition can be used to help establish the age of human remains and investigate how bite marks can establish connections between a suspect and the victim.
In Forensic Entomology you will investigate arthropods and insects and their role in determining PMI, examine the actions of the forensic entomologist, crime scene investigator at the scene, investigate the life cycle of the blowfly, factors in its development and its importance in determining PMI and how the forensic entomologist maintains the chain of evidence.

The programme then details Forensic Botany. It covers role of the forensic botanist, investigates the sub discipline of palynology, anatomy and dendrochronology, plant ecology and investigates limnology.

Forensic Serology is then detailed and he student will examine the role of the forensic serologist, investigate blood typing, investigate the analysis of blood, semen, saliva other bodily fluids in the laboratory.

The next modules detail DNA Typing, Forensic Toxicology and Firearms Investigation.
DNA Typing covers DNA and its structure, DNA coding, DNA testing and profiling and the National DNA database and the legislation that supports it.
Forensic Toxicology will investigate toxicology and the role of the forensic toxicologist, examine presumptive and confirmatory testing for drugs and poisons and revise chain of evidence maintenance in respect of toxicological samples.
Firearms Investigation looks into the role of the firearms examiner, firearms identification, ammunition comparison, distance and angle of trajectory, identification of trace evidence and analysis of gunshot residue and serial number restoration.

Finally the student will examine questioned documents and the role of the questioned document examiner, examine handwriting analysis, investigate the examination of typewriters and typewritten documents, word processors and printed documents and investigate the examination of forged documents, the examination of inks and papers and document verification.

Each module throughout the Forensic Science Diploma links the content covered in each module to either the importance of preserving the chain of custody or the chain of evidence at a crime scene.

This course has been developed as a progression course from our Level 3 Forensic Science Diploma.

Required knowledge

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


The student will be required to demonstrate their personal learning and thinking skills by means of self and tutor assessed activities. Throughout the course the student will be expected to demonstrate reflective learning by evaluating their strengths and limitations as learners, setting themselves realistic goals and criteria for success, monitoring their own progress and acting on feedback to make changes necessary to improvement of their learning.


At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).
The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme. This means that NCC Home Learning has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at QLS Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group’s knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables them to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

Course modules

Module 1: The Crime Scene
Module 2: Evidence
Module 3: Biological Evidence
Module 4: Non Biological Trace Evidence
Module 5: Fingerprint Evidence
Module 6: Ballistics Evidence
Module 7: Evidence of Arson
Module 8: Evidence at the Explosive Scene
Module 9: Forensic Pathology at the Crime Scene
Module 10: Forensic Pathology at the Mortuary
Module 11: Forensic Anthropology
Module 12: Forensic Odontology
Module 13: Forensic Entomology
Module 14: Forensic Botany
Module 15: Forensic Serology
Module 16: DNA Typing (Fingerprinting)
Module 17: Forensic Toxicology
Module 18: Forensic Firearms Investigation
Module 19: Questioned Documents
Module 20: Forensic Vehicle Examination

Learner support

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


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, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You'll need to be able to commit the required time to your studies. We recommend that you choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 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 does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

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.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. 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.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait 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 pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the type of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

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 have an external assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

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 an 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 ‘’, NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

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.

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 though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

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 12 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.

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

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

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

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing or calling 0333 3445 690.

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Reviews from learners who completed...

Forensic Science Diploma Level 4

M Byrne

“First time NCC and very impressed”

Just completed my first module and feedback was very quick and great communication. Looking for further my education very happy so far.

Siobhan Speke,

M Byrne

“Fantastic customer service team”

Fantastic customer service team. Kind and helpful. I was a bit scared of this new journey but just went for it. Start your own journey and get those important qualifications to make your life better.

Carly Nicholls,

M Byrne


I am currently studying my second diploma with this college. In both cases, my tutors have been very helpful and got assignments back to me promptly. They have also been on hand to answer and questions and concerns I have. I had a few issues at one point but the support team were there straight away doing what they could to help. Everybody is very understanding. Spreading the payments across the months has made it possible for me to complete the courses. I have and continue to find it very easy to study with NCC! I would certainly recommend it.

Emma Hooker,

M Byrne

“Thank you NCC x”

Great courses easy to follow instructions, I've stuffer with dyslexia and the tutor was very helpful and understanding. I passed my courses with the help of both my tutors and student services so thanks all. I enjoyed studying with NCC that much I'm now doing another course.

Marie Bradbury,

M Byrne

“Already done one course”

Already done one course. Enjoyed it. Very easy to enrol easy instructions to follow. All done in less than 10mins. Cannot wait to start. Gone from level 3 to level 4 in forensic science. Prompt feedback. And Ceri always there to help

Cathy Joel,

M Byrne

“The easiest enrolment process”

The easiest enrolment process, just a few clicks and you're done! Any of my questions have always been responded to within hours, and my tutor gave me incredibly in-depth feedback throughout my first course. Now about to start the next level of Forensic Science and can't wait, thanks to NCC!

Kelly Butler,

M Byrne

“Everything has been exemplary excellent.”

I have really enjoyed learning with NCC Home Learning their materials are very clearly and user friendly, in terms of tutor support it was excellent, I have really learnt a lot from them and the diploma I have achieved. It 's a huge milestone for me in the sense that I have an entry qualification to enrol for a Bachelors Degree in Forensic Science in Universities offering this type of program. I'm really thankful to NCC Home Learning and Brentwood College for everything they've done.

Joseph Chinkota ,

M Byrne

“Karen Nesbitt”

Excellent course ,have done several courses and have enjoyed every single one .

The tutors are always at had and feed back is fast so you can move on to the next part .

Brilliant would recommend

Karen Nesbitt,

M Byrne

“Tutor very clear with feedback”

After 2 years and 2 levels completed, I would like to thank Philip for his help. He was always very clear with any feedback and this helped me see the areas I needed to correct to complete each level.

Nicola Bryan,

M Byrne

“Would sign up for another course!”

I have thoroughly enjoyed completing this course, as it was a step on from the online diploma level 3 in Forensic Science. I have found Philip Boyce to be a knowledgable tutor who offered me reliable support and advice throughout both courses, and provided me with constructive feedback. I was able to relate to him and his feedback, and found it to encouraging. I have studied 3 courses with NCCHL and have found all three to be enjoyable and satisfying, and would like to see more courses on offer in relation to social sciences, criminology and investigation because I would sign up to another course without doubt! Once my masters is complete, I would consider signing up to the criminology diploma, as much for fun as for my CV.

Laura Rawlings,

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