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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 / NCFE / PI573

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Course summary

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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.

Assessment

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.

Certification

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: 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.

FAQs

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: https://www.ncchomelearning.co.uk/awarding-organisations

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: https://www.totum.com/

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Reviews from learners who completed...

Forensic Science Diploma Level 4

M Byrne
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“Highly recommend”

Although I have completed several recognised accredited qualifications within my professional, I have never experienced a course with such comprehensive feedback or one managed with such efficiency. I am more than impressed with NCC. My tutor responded well within the recommended timeframe once I had submitted my coursework and answered any queries I had almost immediately. I highly recommend NCC and hope to enrol on an advanced course soon.

Tina W

M Byrne
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100%

“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
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“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
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starstarstarstarstar100%

“Excellent!”

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
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starstarstarstarstar100%

“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
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starstarstarstarstar100%

“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
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“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
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“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
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“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
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“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
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“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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