Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Police, forensics and investigation

The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies has a long and distinguished history of research, course provision and consultancy/training services in the field of policing and investigation, drawing from both its research-based expertise in police studies and extensive professional experience in policing itself.

Studying forensics at ICJS is both fascinating and challenging. It involves the convergence of forensic detection and crime scene examination techniques with criminological, criminal justice and legal issues and problems. Within the criminal justice system numerous agencies and groups are involved in dealing with crime and criminality. Forensic techniques are at the forefront of perhaps the most crucial issues for all those agencies - identifying, catching and prosecuting offenders. Criminology and forensic studies deals with all these important aspects in detail. In doing so, students are trained in a broad range of core employability skills that include:

  • Data/evidence identification, assimilation, collection and recovery
  • Data/evidence analysis and interpretation
  • Crime reconstruction and behavioural analysis
  • Criminal investigation and forensic strategies

ICJS has excellent contacts with all major criminal justice agencies. We use our associations to foster research and work experience opportunities and much of our academic research is enhanced by close working with key partners, both within forensic departments and more generally the police and probation services. We have developed programmes which offer our students a considerable advantage if they have plans for a police career. Forensics in the 21st century is a fascinating subject which covers a range of disciplines (forensic science, crime scene examination, criminology, psychology, criminal investigation, social policy and politics to name but a few) and our wide academic disciplinary staff group offers students the opportunities to explore forensics in its broadest sense.


Research on policing and investigation within ICJS falls under our Policing, Crime and Investigation Research Cluster (led by Professor Steve Savage) and comes under the following headings:

Read more about ICJS research on policing and investigation.


Course provision in the area of policing and investigation is offered at a variety of levels and all part-time by distance learning or on-line learning:

ICJS also delivers the Masters in Public Administration to the Metropolitan Police Service Emerging Leaders Programme (in association with the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies) and contributes to the following courses:

Students with a master's qualification can progress to a professional doctorate:

  • Doctorate in Criminal Justice (D.Crim.J.)

We recognise experience-based learning through the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

Consultancy and Training

Consultancy and Training services in policing and investigation cover a variety of fields and a range of clients in policing and related areas, including:

  • Investigative skills training for police oversight bodies: clients include Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman’s Commission (Republic of Ireland)
  • Investigative interviewing skills training: clients include a wide range of UK police forces and investigative bodies in the UK and internationally (see Centre of Forensic Interviewing)
  • Training evaluation and accreditation services: clients include a range of UK police forces (including the Surrey Police) and the Botswana Police Service
  • Pre-join police training schemes: together with the Surrey Police, we have developed the well known Policing, Law and Community programme, which enables those interested in a police career to study the underpinning knowledge elements of the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme  before application to the police service. The scheme was winner of the ACPO Innovation in Policing Award for 2008.

Virtual Open Days

We will be holding virtual open days throughout the coming months for students who want to find out more about our part-time distance learning undergraduate degrees.

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