This subject is about applying science to criminal and civil law enforcement.

As a course it will introduce you to the world of forensic science, and give you the in-depth knowledge, practical understanding and technical ability needed to work in the field of crime scene investigation. It’s about gathering, establishing, analysing and identifying evidence which can be linked to criminal investigations, a process which is done using laboratory methods and the latest technology.

The modules cover a wide range of disciplines, most of which are based on chemistry and biology. It will give students a intellectually challenging study of a full range of forensic applications, including crime scene investigation techniques, advanced microbiological and chemical analysis and specialist areas such as forensic anthropology and forensic entomology. Students will leave as high calibre, versatile graduates who are able to analyse forensic evidence competently, and who can interpret and present evidence through both oral and written testimony in a court of law.

It is an ideal subject for anyone who wants a career in forensic science or fields such as scientific journalism, the pharmaceutical industry, environmental monitoring, laboratory-based employment or accident investigation.

Online forensic science degree overview

You will explore how forensic scientists work, the various techniques that they use and the way conclusions are come to, and how they are given in court. You will study the tools and resources used, and discover how law enforcement agencies, the police and forensic scientists, all work together in a logical and structured way to collect data from a crime scene. A lot of time is spent trying to exclude or establish a link between a crime and a suspect.

There are many specialist areas of this subject that can be studied, such as; explosives, firearms, and document authentication.

These online courses cover a range of subjects in a way that fits around your work and social commitments. Distance learning offers students an opportunity to master this exciting subject through cost-effective, and flexible home study.

As this is a demanding course and a specialist field, and it would be advantageous, (but not necessary) if students already had some previous scientific knowledge before they enrolled on a program.

Typical modules and subjects that can be taught on an online forensic science degree

  • Alcohol Analysis
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Ballistics
  • Biology
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
  • Counterfeits, Fakes and Forgeries
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Crime Scene Reconstruction
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Drug Abuse
  • Environmental Forensics
  • Fibre Examination
  • Fingerprints
  • Fire Investigation
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Document Examination
  • Forensic Drug Chemistry
  • Forensic Death Investigation
  • Forensic Entomology
  • Forensic Geology
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Photography
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Genetics
  • Human Anatomy
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Legal Studies
  • Pathology
  • Scientific and Laboratory Skills
  • Serology – DNA and Body Fluids
  • Spectroscopy
  • Toxicology
  • The Investigative Process

Students will learn how to

  • Separate one substance from another.
  • Communicate information clearly and comprehensively.
  • Conduct lab tests.
  • Carry out investigations.
  • Collect evidence from crime scenes.
  • Examine human / skeletal remains.
  • Analyse fingerprints and DNA.
  • Give evidence in court.
  • Write professional reports.
  • Analyse evidence that has been gathered from a crime scene.
  • Serve as an eyewitness in court hearings.

Students will learn about

  • How forensic science is applied to crime scene investigations.
  • The basic technical equipment for crime scene investigation.
  • Ballistics, in particular the different types of gun, bullets and cartridges.
  • The importance of scientific evidence to the justice system.
  • The role of the police, witnesses and evidence in a criminal case.
  • Classifying and identifying fingerprints.
  • Fire and arson investigation

Career prospects and roles for forensic science graduates

  • Graduates can find employment in areas such as;
  • Crime labs
  • Medical diagnostic labs
  • Hospital laboratories
  • Clinical chemistry laboratories
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Government regulatory agencies
  • Criminal defence firms

About this page
This is a resource page that will give you useful information about what you can expect to learn on an accredited online forensic science degree course. It also lists links to a selection of popular and relevant online degrees that are run by established US and UK universities. We have focused on these two countries because at present most English language online courses are run by academic institutions based in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Through the links on this page you will find out about the:
Admission requirements
Course costs
Course length
Enrolment dates
Financial aid available to students


More online degrees
Online degree courses

Related forensic science links
Forensic science degree

Campus based degree courses
University courses

Student resume templates (over 50 free samples written for entry level positions)
Entry level resume templates

Student resources
Essay writing
Graduate internships
Mature student courses
Personal statement examples
Revision timetable
Revision tips
Student accommodation
Student accounts
Study skills
Student travel
University interview questions
University open days