The Master of Chemistry in Environmental Forensics programme is an exciting opportunity, using active learning and providing practical experience in close cooperation with industry and environmental researchers.
Environmental forensics is the systematic and scientific evaluation using various disciplines for the purpose of developing defensible scientific and legal conclusions regarding the source, age and history of chemical pollutants released into the environment. You, together with industry and leading researchers, have the opportunity to develop the knowledge needed for you to contribute to a future resilient society.
The programme offers insight into several disciplines including analytical and environmental analysis, in order to characterise the source and amount of chemical pollutants in the environment as well as describe their history. In order to facilitate a broad understanding of the specialities involved in environmental forensics, the curriculum will include a wide-range of multidisciplinary expertise within natural sciences such as environmental science, isotope chemistry, environmental sampling, human health, advanced statistics, and transportation modelling. To ensure that students gain practical field experience, real-life cases are provided in collaboration with industry. The programme uses problem-based learning (PBL) to encourage active learning and to develop problem solving abilities. These skills will be used to identify sources and history of environmental pollution.
It is a two-year programme, but can be finished after one year resulting in a 60-credit Master of Science in Chemistry. Year one deals with distribution of environmental pollutions, environmental toxicology, human exposure, sustainability and environmental regulations, and forensic analytical methods. Year two includes advanced statistical methods, research methodology and project management. Both alternatives conclude with project work in a research group and/or with industry.
This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection.
Soils underpin the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and are key to food production. Soils form the basis of all agricultural production, but they also store water, mediate the impact of pollutants, provide biological habitats, have an impact on the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, are involved in dealing with society’s waste, are a source of extractable minerals and provide the foundations for the housing and roads on which society depends.
You will learn about soil function and management, and soil classification, assessment and analysis, with a strong emphasis on practical skills. You will gain expertise in the relationship between soil and sustainable approaches to land resource use.
This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
This programme involves two semesters of compulsory and option taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of optional courses^. We particularly recommend:
Courses are subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
An integral, week-long study tour lets you refresh skills learned on the programme and develop new tools and techniques, useful during the dissertation process. The tour has historically been held in Mende, France. In addition to the formal taught component, students had the opportunity to go rafting and visit the Aven Armand caves.
There may also be a short tour during induction week, to give students a chance to get to know each other.
A recent report by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) identified soil science as an area in which there are critical skills shortages, meaning graduates will be in high demand.
Soil scientists are employed in a broad range of vocations including environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, environmental impact assessment and analysis, site reclamation and remediation, and conservation as well as advising on government policy, archaeological excavations and laboratory analyses, forensics, and landscape design.
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016/2017.
You’ll join a global network of Strathclyde forensic science graduates in highly respected positions all over the world.
In addition to preparing you for life as a forensic scientist, you’ll also graduate with a wide range of practical skills, problem solving and investigative thinking relevant to a wide range of careers.
Following a general introduction to forensic science in semester 1, you can choose to specialise in either forensic biology or forensic chemistry. As a forensic biologist you’ll study a range of topics including:
If you choose to specialise in forensic chemistry, you’ll develop expertise in:
The focal point of the course is our major crime scene exercise, in which you are expected to investigate your own mock outdoor crime scene, collect and analyse the evidence, and present this in Glasgow Sheriff Court in conjunction with students training in Strathclyde Law School.
In semester 3, MSc students undertake a three-month project, culminating in the production of a dissertation.
Students may be given the opportunity to complete their project in an operational forensic science provider either in the UK or overseas (subject to visa requirements). Alternatively, students may complete their project within the Centre for Forensic Science itself, under the supervision of our team of academics.
Examples of institutions that previous Strathclyde students have been placed in to undertake their project include:
The MSc in Forensic Science runs for 12 months, commencing in September.
Teaching takes place in the Centre for Forensic Science. It’s a modern purpose-built laboratory for practical forensic training, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for analysis of a wide range of evidence types. This includes a microscopy suite, DNA profiling laboratory, analytical chemistry laboratory, blood pattern analysis room, and a suite for setting up mock crime scenes.
The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences is a professional body with members in over 60 countries and is one of the oldest and largest forensic science associations in the world.
Our MSc in Forensic Science is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, demonstrating our commitment to meeting their high educational standards for forensic science tuition.
Assessment consists of written coursework, practical work assessments, oral presentations and formal written examinations. Practical work is continually assessed and counts towards the award of the degree. The project is assessed through the completion of a dissertation.
The award of MSc is based upon 180 credits.
Most forensic scientists in Scotland are employed by the Scottish Police Authority.
In the rest of the UK, forensic scientists are employed by individual police forces, private forensic science providers such as LGC Forensics and Cellmark Forensic Services, or government bodies such as the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
Outside of the UK, forensic scientists may be employed by police forces, government bodies or private companies.
Forensic scientists can specialise in specific areas such as crime scene examination, DNA analysis, drug analysis, and fire investigation.
Most of the work is laboratory-based but experienced forensic scientists may have to attend crime scenes and give evidence in court.
Where are they now?
Many of our graduates are in work or further study.**
Job titles include:
*information is intended only as a guide.
**Based on the results of the National Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (2010/11 and 2011/12).
Study the dynamic field of efficient information transfer around the globe. We teach this course jointly with the Department of Computer Science so you get up-to-date knowledge and understanding.
Many go to work in industry as engineers for large national and international companies, including ARUP, Ericsson Communications, HSBC, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Intel Asia Pacific.
This is a research environment. What we teach is based on the latest ideas. The work you do on your course is directly connected to real-world applications.
We work with government research laboratories, industrial companies and other prestigious universities. Significant funding from UK research councils, the European Union and industry means you have access to the best facilities.
You’ll be taught by academics who are leaders in their field. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) puts us among the UK top five for this subject. Our courses are centred around finding solutions to problems, in lectures, seminars, exercises and through project work.
LED, laser photodetectors and transistor design, a high-tech field-emission gun transmission electron microscope (FEGTEM), a focused ion beam (FIB) milling facility, and electron beam lithographic equipment.
Our state-of-the-art semiconductor growth and processing equipment is housed in an extensive clean room complex as part of the EPSRC’s National Centre for III-V Technologies.
Our investment in semiconductor research equipment in the last 12 months totals £6million.
Specialist facilities for the design and manufacture of electromagnetic machines, dynamometer test cells, a high-speed motor test pit, environmental test chambers, electronic packaging and EMC testing facilities, Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Advanced Electrical Machines and Drives.
Advanced anechoic chambers for antenna design and materials characterisation, a lab for calibrated RF dosimetry of tissue to assess pathogenic effects of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones, extensive CAD electromagnetic analysis tools.
We deliver research-led teaching from our department and Computer Science with individual support for your research project and dissertation. Assessment is by examinations, coursework and a project dissertation with poster presentation.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
World demand for mass spectrometry (MS) and chromatography has grown at an unprecedented rate, with qualified graduates in short supply and highly sought-after. Postgraduate (PG) training is essential as undergraduates are not taught to the required depth. Swansea is the only UK institution to offer a range of schemes solely dedicated to these topics, drawing upon expertise in the Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS), based at a long established UK centre of excellence.
Course content designed for the needs of industry:
Essential topics such as fundamentals of mass spectrometry and separation science, professional management of laboratory practice, data analysis and method development.
Extensive training in a research-led Institute:
To improve their analytical science skills to professional levels required for the workplace.
Highly practical course and extensive in-house equipment:
MRes Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) students can experience more in-depth and ‘hands-on’ learning than most current analytical MRes programmes. Additional sessions including experiment design, health and safety, and laboratory skills are held in preparation of the research project, to ensure students are adequately equipped for project work.
Taught modules encourage problem solving skills, involving relevant simulated (pre-existing) scenarios:
To develop analytical thinking, professional and academic skills through advanced practical and theoretical studies and the submission of a scientifically defensible thesis.
Participation of expert industrial guest lecturers:
Unique opportunities to network with potential employers and enhanced employability prospects in highly skilled and relevant areas such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food and nutrition, homeland security, clinical diagnostics, veterinary and forensic science, environmental analysis, plus marketing and sales, to name a few.
Assessments that encourage transferrable skills essential for employment:
Including case studies, problem sheets, data processing and informatics exercises in addition to the traditional examinations and essay based assignments.
All MRes Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) students will complete the following taught modules:
Mass spectrometry – basics and fundamentals
Separation science and sample handling
Data analysis and method development
Professional management and laboratory practice
MRes students will also be expected to complete a 120 credit research thesis with a viva.
Professional Development (PD) Portfolio
This will enable students to organise and highlight current competencies and training needs into a single document. This can be essential in documenting necessary requirements for continued professional development with a relevant professional body (i.e. Royal Society of Chemistry, RSC, CChem status).
A PD portfolio will typically contain:
- Educational training and experience
From external parties such as National Mass Spectrometry Facility (NMSF), industrial guest lecturers, and educational exercises recognised by the RSC.
- Practical/instrument training and experience
From external parties such as NMSf and instrument manufacturers.
- Research training and experience
MRes project - health and safety, project training, laboratory practice competency framework test and research
Plus any affiliations and CV.
This will be an organised and detailed record of competencies for presenting to prospective employers with the potential to offer Swansea University (SU) PG students an edge in ensuring gainful relevant employment.
An application to the Royal Society of Chemistry will be submitted after the first year of study.
Course content designed for the needs of industry
Fundamentals of mass spectrometry and separation science, professional management of laboratory practice, data analysis and method development.
Extensive training in a research-led Institute
Highly practical course and extensive in-house equipment
Experience more in-depth and ‘hands-on’ MRes than most Applied Analytical Science courses.
Taught modules encourage problem solving skills, involving relevant simulated (pre-existing) scenarios
Assessments that encourage transferrable skills essential for employment
Professional Development (PD) Portfolio
Participation of expert industrial guest lecturers
Unique networking opportunities with relevant potential employers for enhanced employability in areas such as:
- Food and Nutrition
- Clinical diagnostics
- Homeland security
- Marketing and sales
- Textile manufacture
Applied Analytical Science graduates will be extensively trained in a research-led institute. The highly practical nature of the course and extensive in-house equipment will enable students to experience a more in-depth and 'hands-on' MRes than most current analytical courses.
Instrumentation/techniques within IMS include:
Liquid chromatography/high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS and LC/HRMSn)
Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MSn); low resolution MS.
Nano-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (nano-LC/MS)
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
Liquid chromatography/ultraviolet spectrophotometry (LC/UV)
Liquid chromatography/diode array (LC/DAD)
Electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)
Atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS)
Electron ionisation-mass spectrometry (EI-MS)
Chemical ionisation-mass spectrometry (CI-MS)
Liquid secondary ion-mass spectrometry (LSI-MS i.e. ‘Fast Atom Bombardment’, FAB),
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS)
We routinely carry out a number of sample preparation techniques including:
Solid phase extraction (SPE)
Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE)