Collision investigation home page - Sept 2021

A staged approach to a degree
In the UK Collision Investigators are treated by the Courts as Expert Witnesses and as such will have qualifications and experience in the field of collision investigation. Some may have an engineering or physics background and may have worked in research. Others such as police officers normally have formal qualifications in forensic collision investigation.

In partnership with De Montfort University (DMU), AiTS have developed a range of qualifications in the field of forensic road collision investigation. As an associate college of the university and part of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media, AiTS provide the teaching and DMU provides the quality processes and make the final award.

Since its inception as a University Certificate of Professional Development, UCPD, the qualification has continued to develop and it is now possible to continue onto a CertHE, FdSc and BSc(Hons) in forensic road collision investigation. Note that the qualifications have deliberately been separated, you can, but do not have to enrol for the FdSc from the outset, rather you can take a staged approach, stepping off at the end of any level. The programmes are designed to be studied on a part time basis with the option to study full time coming shortly.

The staged approach does not guarantee that having completed one qualification you can progress immediately to the next. Once you gain the qualification your university registration ends. If you wish to continue you will need to enrol again.

A direct approach to a foundation degree
If you are new to collision investigation, provided you meet the entry requirements, you can enrol directly onto the FdSc. This guarantees your progression from one one year to the next. For more details on the direct route click here.

Individual modules
You are still able to enrol on individual modules however you cannot displace a student who is on a university programme. At the moment places on individual modules are limited but are likely to become more available in the future. You can also take a mixed route for example study the CertHE and then sit the two level 5 digital data modules. When you take an individual module, you are not registered with the university and will not receive any university certification. You can claim Recognised Prior Learning (subject to certain rules) if you return to university studies later. Find out what modules we run here.

Degree Apprenticeship
In the UK, the police together with other employers have developed a Degree Apprenticeship which allows employers in England and Wales who pay into the levy to have their student's fees paid from the levy. DMU are in the process of altering the degree to match the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour outcomes developed by the employers as part of the apprenticeship. Whilst undertaking the Degree Apprenticeship, the student studies as an apprentice at the same time as they study for a degree. The Degree Apprenticeship can only be studied full time.

Major Change to delivery start dates
There is one important feature of the Degree Apprenticeship  that will fundamentally change the way in which the UCPD is currently offered.  The Institute of Apprenticeships requires that a  Degree Apprenticeship is offered only on a full time basis.  Because the UCPD has to be realigned to match with a full time year the current four starts in each year will reduce to one start date in September.  This will apply whether you are on the apprenticeship or simply studying the degree.  It also applies to full and part time studies.  We will continue to run the distance learning UCPD in January however if you take this route you are not guaranteed entry onto the following years CertHE.

Read more about the start dates, module attendance and full or part time studies here.

The qualifications are constantly evolving as technology changes. The programme team meets annually with leading practitioners from the criminal and civil sides of the industry as well as lead bodies such as the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators to ensure the programme remains fit for purpose.  The FCIN, Industry and ITAI have asked for Photography and Forensic Vehicle Examination (vehicles under 7500 kg) to be included at level 4, this will happen from September 2021.  To facilitate the changes,  Damage Analysis and Accelerometers have been removed from Level 4.  Content from the removed modules will be incorporated  into existing and new level 5 modules from September 2022.    


Important changes caused by the build up to the Apprenticeship

  • Single annual enrolment for all programmes
  • Change in the way the UCPD will be delivered
  • New registration deadlines
  • Full and Part time options 
  • Apprenticeship available from 2022 


Full or Part time

Currently you can only study for the degree part time but this will change from from September 2022 when you will have the option to study either part time (60 credits a year) or full time (120 credits a year).

Part time
Part-time study is roughly equivalent to studying at half the rate of a student on a full-time course at university.

  • You will study 60 credits worth of study a year.
  • You'll need to find around 16-18 hours to study each week.

Full time
If you want to complete your qualification at the same rate as a student at a traditional university, for example, an Honours degree in three years, you can choose to study full time.

  • You will study 120 credits worth of study a year.
  • You'll need to find around 32-36 hours to study each week.

Inevitably, unless your employer has agreed to let you study in work time, the number of hours you will need to study means giving up some of your own time and cutting down on some of your social activities, especially if you are studying full time. The OU provides some excellent advice on how to find time to study and the things you may have to consider moderating. There is an online planner which we strongly recommend you take a look at. Click the link to see more.

You will be asked to explain where your study time will be coming from during your induction.


You can link this degree to a forensic collision investigator apprenticeship.

Due to the potentially traumatic nature of the work, the minimum age for apprentices is 18, in line with the young person criteria under ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’.

Entrants require a minimum of two A levels at grade C or above; one of which should be in maths or a science, and five GCSE's at grade 4 or above (or equivalent) including English, Maths, and Science or suitable equivalent as BTECs. A full category B driving license is required within 12 months of starting the apprenticeship.

For those who do not meet the entry requirements we offer an equivalence route. Study and pass the UCPD to gain entry to the apprenticeship.

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For mature students the government lists acceptable alternative certificates further details are available here If you cannot find your certificate you will need to sit level 2 English and Maths.



AiTS have been training collision investigators in the UK and overseas since 1996. We are also the UK's main provider of Roads Policing, Prohibitions and Tachograph training in the UK and Ireland.

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