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Forensic Science Level 3 Extended Diploma

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Key information

Qualification type

A-level, Vocational

Course code



Level 3


2 years


Oxford City Centre,
Oxpens Rd,
Oxford, OX1 1SA

Start date

Sep 2021

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

Learn the exciting techniques used in the discipline of forensic science, ranging from visual examination of a crime scene to physical or chemical analysis.

This two-year Forensic Science Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to three A Levels. It delivers a foundation of core science and provides an introduction to specific forensic topics such as crime scene investigation, criminology and forensic psychology.

With a Forensic Science Level 3 Extended Diploma you can progress to higher education to study courses at university. These can range from forensic or crime-scene science to biology, chemistry and forensic psychology. 

What I'll learn

You will follow the Edexcel BTEC specification. There are core and specialist units.

Core units:

  • Unit 1: Fundamentals of science (Year 1)
  • Unit 2: Working in the science industry (Year 1/ 2)
  • Unit 3: Scientific investigations (Year 2)
  • Unit 4: Scientific practical techniques (Year 1/ 2)
  • Unit 5: Perceptions of science (Year 2)
  • Unit 6: Using mathematical tools in science (Year 1)

Specialist units:

  • Unit 8: Using statistics for science (Year 1)
  • Unit 11: Physiology of human body systems (Year 1)
  • Unit 12: Physiology of human regulation and reproduction (Year 2)
  • Unit 18: Genetics and genetic engineering (Year 1)
  • Unit 19: Practical chemical analysis (Year 2)
  • Unit 22: Chemical laboratory techniques (Year 1/ 2)
  • Unit 31: Criminology (Year 2)
  • Unit 32: Forensic evidence collection and analysis (Year 2)
  • Unit 33: Forensic photography (Year 2)
  • Unit 34: Criminal psychology (Year 1)
  • Unit 35: Applications of forensic psychology (Year 2)
  • Unit 36: Forensic fire investigation (Year 1)
  • Unit 40: Criminal investigation in practice (Year 2)


How I'll learn

You will acquire a range of relevant skills including:

  • decision making
  • problem solving
  • challenging assumptions
  • quantifying and managing information

You gain the skills necessary for further academic study such as strong report writing and study skills, including presentation skills. You also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment including:

  • self-confidence
  • speaking in front of others
  • working with others
  • taking responsibility
  • managing your time    

Classes take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect you to be fully committed to your studies and attend all timetabled sessions.

In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are also many enrichment opportunities which enable you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.

Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.

By the end of the course you will have benefited from individual support including advice about higher education and careers.


How I'll be assessed

Assessment for this course is through a combination of coursework and examination.

The examination period is May/June.

There are regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step.


Entry Requirements

Applicants for the Extended Diploma in Forensic Science will normally have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 (C) (or equivalent) or above, including maths, English and double or triple science.

If you are interested in an A Level programme and have alternative qualifications you would like us to consider, please contact us with your details.

Applicants will be invited to attend an interview and complete an internal assessment.

All students will have their literacy and numeracy needs supported within the programme.


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs). 
Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.