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Forensic Science (including foundation year) - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Our Forensic Science (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) degree focuses on the science and investigative techniques required for a career in forensics.

This four-year course has a built-in foundation year (Year 0), designed to help you enter higher education if you can’t meet the entry requirements or don’t hold the traditional qualifications you require to enrol on an undergraduate degree. You’ll graduate with the same title and award as students on the standard three-year course.

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More about this course

Our Forensic Science (including foundation year) BSc (Hons) course will provide you with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of forensic science. It will equip you with a range of scientific techniques to examine problems of a biological or chemical nature within the context of forensic science.

The foundation year will equip you with the fundamental knowledge of scientific disciplines including biochemistry, chemistry and biology. We’ll help you develop your study and transferable skills in time management, writing and mathematics, enabling you to start the subsequent years of your study with confidence. There will also be an introduction to the laboratory environment, as well as to the simple biological and biochemical procedures relevant to any science degree.

You’ll share your foundation year with students completing Year 0 from other disciplines, which will allow you to share your ideas and meet people with different academic interests.

During the subsequent three years, you'll be joined by students from the standard three-year course and study a wide range of challenging and engaging subjects including anatomy, physiology, criminalistics, DNA technology, biochemical toxicology and forensic interference from biological remains. To learn more about the content of your final three years of study, visit the Forensic Science BSc (Hons) page.

If, at the end of your foundation year, you find yourself wanting to specialise in a different area of human sciences, there will be flexibility to do so.

Assessment

Throughout the course you will be assessed through a range of coursework assignments, online tests, progress tests, presentations and practical reports.

Professional accreditation

As a graduate of the full degree you’ll will be eligible to apply for associate membership of the Society of Biology.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code F413
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent eg Functional Skills at Level 2). Applicants who meet the UCAS points criteria but who obtained a D (grade 3) in English and/or Maths at GCSE may be offered a University test in these areas

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 0 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module introduces students to key biochemical concepts to provide a foundation for subsequent study in the Applied Biology, Biomedical Sciences, and Molecular & Pharmaceutical Science subject areas at Level 4.

    The aim of this module is to give students the necessary background to appreciate the structure and function of the key molecules that cells are made of such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. An introduction to the principles of cellular energetics and metabolism will be given, and the maintenance of biological pH buffering systems will be discussed. This will provide suitable grounding for the study of life science subjects at level 4

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    This module introduces students to key concepts of cell biology and human physiology to provide a foundation for subsequent study of biological subjects at Level 4. The key aims and objectives of this module are to enable students to achieve a fundamental knowledge base of biology which will underpin studies at higher levels. An introduction will be given to the structure of cells and the concept of the cell as the basic unit of life. A range of cell types will be discussed. Following an appreciation of the role of cells in the structure and function of tissues and organs, students will be introduced to the anatomy and physiology of key organ systems in the body.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will be introducing important ideas and concepts in fundamental chemistry that will allow students to study scientific subjects at level 4. The module aims to develop students’ understanding of fundamental concepts key to subjects involving the molecular sciences. In addition, skills adjunct to the chemical sciences including numeracy, logical argument, research, referencing and the utilisation of abstract models will be developed.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday morning

    This module will introduce (i) the basic mathematical concepts needed to succeed on any science degree course; (ii) basic laboratory techniques related to life science modules, designed to support and re-inforce theoretical syllabus content; (iii) study skills to prepare students for future studies. The practical section will reinforce safe practice in the laboratory environment and introduce laboratory record keeping. The mathematics section will be taught using equations relevant to biology and chemistry to encourage connections between disciplines to be made. Supporting material will be available on-line; tutorial sessions will focus on practising mathematical techniques. Formative online pre-laboratory session questions will prepare the students in advance for the practical in question. Formative exercises in the form of mini tests will be carried out during tutorial sessions to reinforce the previous lecture.
    In terms of aims, this module will enable students to consolidate their understanding of mathematics, and to increase confidence by extending their use of mathematical vocabulary, definitions and formal reasoning. The module will also give students an introduction to the laboratory environment and to simple biological and chemical procedures. Particular attention will be drawn to developing study skills, and to broadening students’ transferable skills in time management, writing and studying skills, enabling them to derive maximum benefit from their proposed courses of study. The module will also give students an introduction to the laboratory environment and to simple biological and biochemical procedures relevant to any science degree.

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Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module introduces students to the theoretical and practical aspects of human anatomy and physiology in health and disease. It is designed for life-science students with an interest in human biology, but particularly for those wishing to pursue advanced studies in the Biosciences or Forensic Science.
    This module aims to provide students, through lectures, tutorials and practical classes, with a sound knowledge of human body structure using appropriate anatomical nomenclature and an in-depth understanding of the physiology of selected body systems. The module will also aim to introduce basic concepts in immunology and pathology.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    The module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This is a module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole. An overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information will be provided and the principles of Mendelian inheritance will be investigated. The consequences of mutation on gene expression are examined together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualification. This module aims to expose students to some of the key questions of cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities; provide students with practical experience in a range of laboratory-based biological techniques; enhance students' ability to manage themselves and to develop organisational and analytical skills which are applicable to the workplace; provide an overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes together with principles of Mendelian inheritance; examine the consequences of mutation on gene expression together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    Description: The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, isomerism, moles, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to introduce students to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of chemical formulae, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are expounded, with emphasis on bonding, molecular structure, and simple reaction mechanisms. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. Professional issues, study skills and data analysis will be integrated in the module. In some practical sessions the techniques are related more specifically to the degree area the student is studying.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. More specifically the module aims to give students an introduction to the laboratory environment by exposing them to simple bioscience (including microbiological) and fundamental chemical procedures. Further it aims to: introduce and familiarise the student with/to the laboratory environment, including its capacity to harness cutting edge technology (e.g. laboratory informatics systems, deployment of software for use in virtual experiments). These aspects are intended to enhance both the student experience and pedagogic quality of the provision. The module also aims to develop basic lab practice: personal safety (as expedited by COSHH and Risk Assessments), awareness of others and where appropriate to consider ethical issues that can have an impact on the execution of a given experiment. It is intended that students will become competent in writing laboratory records and scientific reports where emphasis is placed on: contemporary scientific record keeping, style, recording data, interpreting data and drawing a conclusion from results. Students will be introduced to basic lab procedures such as: handling of scientific apparatus, handling, purification and analysis of biological and chemical agents, including their safe handling and an introduction to microbiological and biomedical techniques. The development of study skills and the analysis of data will be a core component of the module. This will be fostered by integrating statistical analysis within practical sessions allowing students to analyse generated data and link theory to practice. Professional issues (such as those highlighted by the IBMS) will also be integrated into the module. The transferable skills that will be developed will not only enable students to derive maximum benefit from their chosen courses of study, but to also allow them to consolidate and inculcate these in preparation for employment and employability.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will develop problem solving and report writing skills in qualitative analytical chemistry and will enable students to identify analytical substrates on the basis of combined analytical results from a variety of sources.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the broad range of forensic science disciplines and an overview of the main practical techniques found within criminalistics. Areas of study will include an introduction to the legal system as it applies to forensic science investigations, crime scene processing, forensic chemistry and biology, human identification, impression evidence, and DNA Analysis.

    Students will develop communication and technical skills necessary for forensic scientists and they will be able to distinguish between the defined areas of criminalistics through case studies and practical work.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the application of personal responsibility and decision-making. The purpose also is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and theoretical understanding with skills to equip them to advance from basic principles to the higher level in their fields of study.

    A degree course in forensic science emphasises the development of analytical and problem-solving skills which are very relevant to a wide range of employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors. There are significant demands for forensic science skills from law enforcement organisations (police, customs, environmental health) and investigatory agencies.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides an introduction to physiological, cellular and molecular fundamentals of human immunology. It includes consideration of innate and acquired immune defences, genetic variation and immune defence, and immune responses or involvement in a range of pathological conditions. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules, and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems, and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module focuses on understanding key principles of metabolism. These principles are illustrated through study of the major metabolic pathways. How metabolism interacts with the nutritional environment is discussed throughout the module.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications This module aims to provide an understanding of the principles of metabolism encourage an appreciation of the diversity and interconnection of metabolic pathways, and to stimulate an understanding of the applicability of metabolism in a broad range of biological context. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and decision making

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    Description: This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. Pre-requisite BC4001
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. It provides students with the opportunity to study the nutritional requirements for microbial growth and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP) through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to their achievements and be able to articulate these to others. The University will facilitate students in the recognition and recording of their achievements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of the principles of molecular biology in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, with emphasis on understanding mechanisms of gene expression, genome structure, variation and replication, and genetic inheritance and genetic causes of disease. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module aims to develop students’ understanding of advanced bioanalytical techniques and to enable students to determine which analytical technique is suitable for a particular type of sample. The module will reinforce and build on analysis skills introduced in CH5007 and provide an opportunity for students to interpret more advanced data, particularly spectra and chromatograms and to solve defined problems. The students will gain practical experience in selected analytical techniques.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts. The module should also help students to gain the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of disease and toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous and foreign compound metabolism on pathology. Students will learn how these pathological processes can be modulated in the treatment of disease and poisonings.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to understand the principles and practices of biochemical pathology . This will be by expanding a student's knowledge and understanding of human biotransformations (metabolism) particularly as they influence the nature of disease(pathology) and toxic states (toxicology). Students will engage with problems in toxicology and pathology and study a range of topics including forensic, regulatory and environmental toxicology and metabolic pathology. They will be provided with an understanding of the key role of foreign compound (xenobiotic) metabolism in biochemical toxicology and given the opportunity to study the aetiology and treatment of disease and poisonings.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines the role played by the various branches within the field of forensic science and the potential inferences that can be found from biological remains. Amongst other concepts and techniques in forensic investigation taphonomy, palynology, archaeology and entomology will be explored.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

    This module aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to the forensic inferences gathered from biological remains. The module introduces the role of pollen in forensic investigations and allows students to examine the provenance of sediment and its depositional characteristics. The use of invertebrates in forensic science will be explored, particularly for ageing cadavers. The module also reviews the role of serological and DNA analysis in the context of forensic investigations. Students will also examine osteological factors and characterisation. Ethical issues will be discussed throughout the module with particular reference to the excavation, study and reburial of human skeletons.

    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature/meta-analysis of databases or bioinformatics research. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.
    The research project and laboratory skills sessions will enable students to carry out at least 35 hrs on directed competency skills-based activities and an equal amount of time on independent work-related learning activities on various themes approved in conjuction with the School Employer Liasion Board. In addition students will spend 230 hours on project-related activities

    This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.
    In addition the module will also encourage students to develop professional work-related learning skills through the competencies skills sessions which have been developed to map to and are responsive to employers requirements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    This module provides information and guidance to facilitate an understanding and knowledge of the theory and practical applications of molecular biology, genetics and genomics. It explains the underlying mechanisms of molecular biology and enables these ideas to be expanded to the understanding of human health and disease.
    To provide, thorough in depth study, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practical applications of the underling molecular biology of modern genetics and genomics. This module will investigate both historical and modern approaches to genomics. It will reinforce analytical, evaluative and communication skills. The module will also enable students to research a topical issue in depth and present it at an appropriate level and reflect on the topics studied and their application in biomedical practice.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    Description: This module builds on the knowledge and understanding developed at level 4, through the module Cell and Molecular Biology. It will also be underpinned by topics covered in the module entitled “Molecular Biology”. In this module specific diseases will be used to illustrate genotype/phenotype relationships. The module will address the application of current knowledge to clinical practice in the NHS and will examine how a family with affected offspring, would be counselled.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The module aims to help students develop their understanding of genetic mutations and how they relate to human disease. It will enable students to relate disease phenotype to mutations in gene products or aberrations in gene expression. The module develops an understanding of how human biology has been enriched through the huge increase of genetic data now available. The lectures and practicals enable students to appreciate how these data have allowed the development of novel therapeutic strategies, predictive testing and illustrate how an affected family may be counselled with respect to their inherited condition, in the UK NHS. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • spring semester

    Description: This module focuses on extending students' learning experience by providing them with an opportunity to tackle real-life problems, appropriate to their academic level, by undertaking a short period of professional activity in the workplace. The placement needs to be approved prior to being undertaken, by the work placement coordinator. It is expected that the student should work for 140 hours, for which they will be required to provide evidence (completed in the summer or part-time over the Autumn or Spring semester). The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed on an individual basis. Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities and with all aspects of their job search and applications. However, it is the students’ responsibility to obtain suitable employment, and roles cannot be guaranteed. DBS checks and or Hep B vaccination may be required for some placements (NHS or School-based).
    This module aims to provide the student with an opportunity to: Increase their personal and professional development and gain experience of the culture and structure of a working environment; evaluate, and critically reflect on, the workplace as well as the student's role and contribution to it; and to apply previously-learnt academic knowledge to the task in hand. Explore employment options and consider future career plans. It will also ensure that suitable health and safety requirements are in place and the work activity will be approved by the module team in advance.

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After the course

Successful completion of this degree will open up a wide range of exciting career opportunities in the field of forensic science.

The course is also excellent preparation for further study at postgraduate level.

What is a degree with a foundation year?

This is a four-year degree course with a built-in foundation year (Year 0). It's the perfect route into university if you don't meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard undergraduate degree. You'll graduate with a full undergraduate degree with the same title and award as those who studied the three-year course.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Start your course in January

You don't have to wait until September to start this course at London Met – why not start in January?

If you're a UK or EU student, you can simply call our January hotline on or complete our fast-track online application form.

If you're an international student, you'll need to complete our standard online application using the "Apply direct" button.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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