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Masters Degrees (Blood Spatter)

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This course is designed for those with a first degree in either forensic science or another science subject (ideally chemistry or biology but other degrees are also acceptable) who want to further their knowledge and experience of forensic science. Read more
This course is designed for those with a first degree in either forensic science or another science subject (ideally chemistry or biology but other degrees are also acceptable) who want to further their knowledge and experience of forensic science.

The full-time distance learning MSc should be completed in 18 months including your dissertation. There is a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus at the end of Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study. These workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.

The MSc dissertation completes your study. This is a independent research project which will usually be undertaken, at least in part, in our state of the art specialist facilities.

Course content

This course builds upon your previous experience in the biological, chemical or forensic or other appropriate sciences to develop your ability to analyse evidence in a myriad of forms. The emphasis is on accuracy, accountability and thoroughness, with the ultimate aim of providing results and interpretation for use by a court of law. The theory is delivered using Blackboard, an online virtual learning environment. This provides the flexibility of studying at your own pace and from any location in the world. Whilst using Blackboard, you will interact with other students on the course through online discussion groups and receive excellent support from tutors via e-mail or phone.

The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma courses are, respectively, the first third and first two thirds of the MSc course. At Postgraduate Certificate level, the emphasis is on the crime scene, specifically the collection, packaging and analysis of evidence such as fingermarks, footwear marks, documents, hairs, fibres and glass. Those continuing on to the Postgraduate Diploma will then change the emphasis of their studies to the chemical and biological analysis of evidence in forensic laboratories. During the Diploma, you will learn about a host of techniques, from the interpretation of blood spatter evidence to the analysis of illicit drugs, and from DNA profiling to the analysis of fire accelerants and drugs. The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study each end in a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus. These summer workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.

MSc students continue their studies beyond the Postgraduate Diploma stage, allowing specialisation in an aspect of forensic science. To complete the MSc, you will undertake a independent research project in an area either suggested by yourself or by choosing a title from a list of topics. In this work, the emphasis is on initiative and originality in the analysis and interpretation of results. The experimental part will usually be undertaken at our Stoke-on-Trent campus but, by agreement, could be based at the learner’s place of work or at a local institute.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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MSc Forensic Science is designed for both graduate students and forensic practitioners. It will develop theoretical knowledge and practical application of the key aspects of forensic science. Read more
MSc Forensic Science is designed for both graduate students and forensic practitioners. It will develop theoretical knowledge and practical application of the key aspects of forensic science. On this course you will initially cover the fundamentals of forensic biology and forensic chemistry that underpin much of the laboratory analysis associated with forensic investigations. Following on from this, the recovery and processing of a variety of evidence types found at crime scenes will be studied in detail as will the evaluation and presentation of that evidence in a legal context. You will have access to extensive modern facilities with state-of-art facilities, including our crime scene houses, forensic, chemistry and biology laboratories. After completing six taught modules students will undertake a three module research project which will develop research skills – a diverse range of projects are available, both within the University and through external placements.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

UCLan’s School of Forensic and Applied Sciences is the first specialist School of its kind in Europe, benefiting from purpose-built facilities and £29 million of investment. Our facilities have recently been enhanced by the opening of our new £12.5-million J B Firth building to support our capability in chemistry and fire safety and engineering. In addition, our state-of-the-art resources include three crime scene houses, a vehicle examination area, a blood spatter pattern analysis suite, dedicated laboratories for the search and recovery of evidential materials, forensic anthropology, forensic biology and genetics and forensic entomology, together with a moot court room.

This course is assessed through preparation of case notes, essays, reports, practical reports, group and individual presentations and written and practical exams.

OPPORTUNITIES

Placements are possible with forensic providers, both in the UK and overseas on an ad-hoc basis. Placements are also possible in other relevant institutions, such and biology or chemistry laboratories.

Our courses are taught by internationally-acclaimed academics and former senior practitioners.

Will Goodwin, Sibte Hadi, Matt Baker, Judith Smith, Isobel Colclough, Allan Scott, Charlie Ellis, Geoff Keeling, Kev Pritchard

[[LEARNING OUTCOMES[[
-To provide an in-depth study of Forensic Science
-To develop the critical and analytical skills involving the principles, practices and techniques of Forensic Science
-To develop competence in research methods and presentation of information
-To develop skills in solving problems both independently and as a team member to a level commensurate to the master’s level

FURTHER INFORMATION

On this course you will initially cover the fundamentals of Forensic Biology and Forensic Chemistry that underpin much of the laboratory analysis associated with forensic investigations. Following on from this, the recovery and processing of a variety of evidence types found at crime scenes will be studied in detail as will the evaluation and presentation of that evidence in a legal context. The final 16 weeks of the course will involve undertaking a research project.

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On this part-time, distance learning course you will learn how to evaluate and interpret different forms of forensic evidence and how to consider its relevance to police investigations. Read more

Course Description

On this part-time, distance learning course you will learn how to evaluate and interpret different forms of forensic evidence and how to consider its relevance to police investigations. You will study the scientific principles and practical application of the many and varied techniques used to forensically examine different evidence types.

You will learn how to select the most appropriate techniques for different evidence types, how to interpret the results and how to apply critical analysis to determine what that means in terms of evidential value.

The skills and knowledge you will gain on this course will enable you to confidently argue the reasoning behind the interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence and to demonstrate in a court of law that you are credible as an expert witness.

This course is offered in association with the University of Florida and the University of Canberra.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Course Structure

If you complete all of the modules and a dissertation you will be awarded an MSc. However it is also possible to compete only the modules, without a dissertation, and receive a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or to complete just the first year modules and receive a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) These are 'exit awards' which means that you cannot apply for them directly; you must apply for the MSc.

Core Modules:

Crime Scene Examination
Trace Evidence Analysis
Evidential Value and Interpretation
Research Methods

Option Modules (choose 4-6):

Physical Evidence modules

Fingerprint corrosion of metal
Arson investigation
Forensic engineering
Toxicology of chemical weapons (F)
Blood distribution and spatter (F)
Environmental forensics (C)

Biological Evidence modules

Biological evidence and serology (F)
Forensic toxicology (F)
Biological evidence and serology (F)

Human Remains modules

Introduction to forensic archaeology
Introduction to forensic anthropology
Forensic entomology (F)
Forensic genetics (F)

Management modules

Crime scene management
Intelligence gathering and data mining

*Modules marked F or C are taught by the University of Florida or the University of Canberra.

After completing your modules, you will complete a dissertation of approximately 15,000-20,000 words, which may be related to work-based issues you are facing.

(Please note: due to regular enhancement of the University’s courses, please refer to Leicester’s own website (http://www.le.ac.uk) or/and Terms and Conditions (http://www2.le.ac.uk/legal) for the most accurate and up-to-date course information. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this information prior to submitting an application.)

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