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Masters Degrees (Fire Investigation)

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This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories and their practical application in fire investigation. Read more

This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories and their practical application in fire investigation. You will also experience extensive practical experience of the major techniques, methodologies and approaches used in fire investigation. In addition you will develop your skills in critical thinking using a range of academic paradigms by undertaking an extensive research project in the field of fire investigation.

  • The delivery of the course involves a partnership between The West Midlands Fire Service, one of the leading centres of Fire Investigation in the UK and the University. Both partners have an established track record in delivering training and education with a vocational aspect in this area.
  • The Fire Investigation facility situated at the Oldbury Fire Investigation centre will allow the student a unique hands-on practical experience that is not offered by any other MSc course in the Midlands region.
  • This course provides opportunities for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to an MSc degree.

Postgraduate Bursaries:

  1. If you commenced undergraduate study at any University in 2012 you may be eligible for a £10,000 bursary

What happens on the course?

Fire Science and Building Construction

This module will introduce you to the basic science that underpins the investigation of fire scenes. You will be introduced to the chemistry of combustion, including consideration of the effects of ventilation, physical properties of combustible materials and ignition sources. You will look at the ontogeny and progression of combustion events, but also the legal and health and safety aspects underpinning fire science.

Evidence Gathering at Fire Scenes

This module will cover all aspects of the practical steps needed to identify and gather evidence at Fire Scenes. Integral to this module will be an appreciation of issues of continuity and integrity and an awareness of the differences between criminal and other investigations of scenes of fire.

Fire Scene Investigation Practical

You will gain direct practical experience of undertaking a fire scene investigation at the Oldbury facility of the West Midlands Fire Service. This module will expose you to a simulated fire scene, where you will have to carry out the full investigation of documenting and recording the scene, followed by evidence identification and recovery.

Interpretation of Fire Scenes

This module will allow you to utilise the various evidence strands that are present in fire scenes to work out the cause, origin and spread of fires. You will then discuss the effects of fire and products of combustion on the human body, including human behaviour.

Managing Fire Scene Investigations and Report Writing

This module will provide an in-depth analysis of the considerations surrounding the management of the investigations of fire scenes. There will be an overview of personnel involved, their roles and contribution to the investigation. The module will also describe the preparation of written and oral testimony for courts of law. Finally the presentation of the report in oral testimony will be reviewed.

Research Methods

provides you with the necessary skills to undertake a research project in this exciting area. The module will include a project specific literature review, experimental design and project planning, an oral presentation and an introduction to statistics in investigating experimental questions.

Research Project

The research project in Fire Investigation is an integral part of the course and is intended to develop research skills in persons undertaking careers in forensic mark comparison. As well as applying the scientific approach to research coupled with statistical validation of results from the research methods module, genuine case-based research will be undertaken at the University, in one of the course partners or at a number of alternative providers.

Why Wolverhampton?

a) The delivery of the course would involve a partnership between one of the leading centres of fire investigation in the UK and the University. Both partners have an established track record in delivering training and education with a vocational aspect in this area.

b) The Oldbury Fire Investigation facility will allow the student a unique hands-on practical experience that is not offered by any other MSc course in the Midlands region.

c) There are opportunities for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to the MSc.

Career path

Unfortunately, fires are always going to happen. There will always be a need to investigate these as the consequences of fires are extensive damage to persons and property. The applied nature of this course means that a number of career paths are available to you. These include:

  • Crime scene investigators.
  • Fire Investigators working for Fire Services.
  • Independent Fire Investigators working for a range of insurance companies.
  • The MSc also provides suitable preparation for further research/professional study at Doctoral level leading to a PhD or Professional doctorate (DBMS).

What skills will you gain?

At the end of this course you, the student, will demonstrate:

  1. a systematic understanding of the underpinning science, technology and legal issues that informs fire investigation;
  2. a comprehensive understanding of the investigative techniques and the current tools used in fire investigation;
  3. the ability to critically evaluate current research and methodologies in fire investigation;
  4. originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in fire investigation.


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MSc Fire Investigation develops fire investigation knowledge and practical experience of investigation of actual fire scenes including excavation of fire debris, location of the seat of fire, investigation of the cause of fire, analysis for accelerants. Read more
MSc Fire Investigation develops fire investigation knowledge and practical experience of investigation of actual fire scenes including excavation of fire debris, location of the seat of fire, investigation of the cause of fire, analysis for accelerants.

This course is designed for those who are employed, or who wish to pursue a career, in the area of fire investigation as a fire officer, crime scene investigator, forensic scientist or insurance investigator.

Fire Investigation is the analysis of fire-related incidents and is a highly multi-disciplinary area. Fire investigators need knowledge of fire behaviour, scene management, analytical chemistry and investigative skills. This course covers fire science and fire behaviour, fire investigation, analytical science, and provides students with research skills and knowledge of being an expert witness in the English legal system.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

The Fire Laboratory houses a full suite of fire test equipment where the flammability and fire toxicity of various materials can be investigated. MSc students take practical classes, carry out simulated casework and conduct lab-based dissertation research projects. Students also have access to a wide range of analytical instrumentation in the Faculty of Science and Technology’s Analytical Unit. The Unit has gas chromatographs with pyrolysis injection capability and FID, MS and EC detectors, ion chromatographs and high performance liquid chromatographs with diode array, fluorescence and MS and Differential refractometer detectors. The Unit also has facilities for atomic absorption, UV-visible and infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, NMR spectrometry, inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy With Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDAX).

The course will be delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical exercises. Guided teaching and formal assessments will enhance the development of transferable skills such as report-writing, maintenance of case notes, formal presentations, participation in discussions, ability to work to deadlines, computing skills, public speaking, scientific analysis, adherence and development of laboratory protocols and research methods.

Assessment is by exam, practicals and coursework. Assessments include the examination of fire scenes from real fires and producing case notes and reports, essays, moot courts, presentations and a dissertation.

OPPORTUNITIES

Students graduating from this course will be well placed to gain employment in fire investigation teams, forensic science laboratories, and fraud departments in major government or private organisations, or to go on to further research in academia.

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MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a "top-up" of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents.

The MSc course in Fire Investigation requires the student to carry out a major independent research project in fire investigation. The project can be undertaken in the student's own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project.

Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) is a two-year educational programme in the Erasmus+ framework. Read more

The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) is a two-year educational programme in the Erasmus+ framework.

This masters programme is jointly offered by the following three full partner universities:

  • The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Ghent University, Belgium (coordinator)
  • Lund University, Sweden

Additionally, there are three associated partners where students can perform thesis research:

  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • The University of Maryland, United States of America

Classes in Edinburgh focus on fire dynamics, fire safety engineering and structural design for fire. Classes in Ghent have a more general fire safety engineering focus. Classes in Lund emphasise enclosure fire dynamics, risk analysis and human behaviour.

Our Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Fire Safety Engineering hosts bespoke equipment to support groundbreaking research and teaching, with combined thermal and mechanical loading and use of the latest image analysis techniques.

IMFSE is very pleased to involved seven industrial partners as official sponsors. With their annual financial contributions, it has been made possible to create the IMFSE Sponsorship Consortium, which awards IMFSE students with full or partial scholarships. The current sponsors are:

  • Arup
  • IFIC Forensics
  • UL
  • Promat
  • FPC
  • BRE
  • Fire Engineered Solutions Ghent

Programme structure

The programme consists of four semesters each worth 30 ECTS credits. Changing study location after each semester lets you benefit from the expertise of each university.

Semester 1

Students choose to study at either Ghent or Edinburgh.

Ghent University:

  • Fire Dynamics
  • Basics of Structural Engineering
  • Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer

And 9 ECTS credits from the following elective courses (subject to approval by the faculty):

  • FSE Based Firefighting (3 credits)
  • Modelling of Turbulence and Combustion (3 credits)
  • Turbomachines (6 credits)
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship (3 credits)

The University of Edinburgh:

  • Fire Science and Fire Dynamics
  • Fire Safety Engineering
  • Fire Safety, Engineering and Society
  • Engineering Project Management

Semester 2

Lund University:

  • Advanced Fire Dynamics
  • Human Behaviour in Fire
  • Risk Assessment
  • Simulation of Fires in Enclosures

Semester 3

Students choose to study at either Ghent or Edinburgh.

Ghent University:

  • Active Fire Protection I: Detection and Suppression
  • Active Fire Protection II: Smoke and Heat Control
  • Explosions and Industrial Fire Safety
  • Fire Safety Regulation
  • Passive Fire Protection
  • Performance-Based Design

The University of Edinburgh:

  • Fire Science Laboratory
  • Structural Design for Fire
  • Fire Investigation and Failure Analysis
  • Finite Element Analysis for Solids

Semester 4

The masters thesis can be completed at one of the three full partners universities, or at one of the three associated partners. The thesis work is supervised by at least one of the full partner universities.

Career opportunities

We aim to train the next generation of leaders in this field; there is currently great demand for fire safety engineering graduates worldwide and graduates have gained relevant employment or enhanced career opportunities.

A fire safety engineer fulfils a broad range of duties, in various ways related to fire. This can range from designing fire protection for a space station, to protecting treasures such as the US Constitution, to safely securing the occupants of a high-rise building from fire hazards.

Fire safety engineers are in great demand by corporations, educational institutions, consulting firms, and government bodies around the world. You may find career opportunities in the following industries:

  • consulting engineering firms
  • fire departments
  • fire equipment and systems manufacturers
  • government
  • hospitals and health care facilities
  • insurance industry
  • research and testing laboratories
  • educational institutions
  • entertainment industry
  • forensic investigations


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Innovative design allows more interesting and functional architecture but challenges traditional concepts of fire safety. To respond to these demands takes specialist knowledge and advanced skills in engineering analysis. Read more

Innovative design allows more interesting and functional architecture but challenges traditional concepts of fire safety. To respond to these demands takes specialist knowledge and advanced skills in engineering analysis.

This programme covers the fundamentals of fire science, including laboratory classes, fire safety engineering and relevant structural engineering topics, such as finite element methods.

You will gain knowledge of the critical issues in structural fire safety engineering, and an understanding of relevant fire and structural behaviours.

You will become familiar with performance-based approaches to design and have an awareness of the capabilities – and limitations – of relevant advanced modelling methods for structures and fire.

This programme is fully accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM)

Facilities

Our Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Fire Safety Engineering hosts bespoke equipment to support groundbreaking research and teaching, with combined thermal and mechanical loading and use of the latest image analysis techniques.

Programme structure

This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.

Semester 1 courses

  • Fire Science and Fire Dynamics
  • State-of-the-Art Review in Fire Safety Engineering
  • Structural Design for Fire
  • Finite Element Analysis for Solids
  • Thin-Walled Members and Stability

Plus one of:

  • Fire Investigation and Failure Analysis
  • Fire Safety, Engineering & Society

Semester 2 courses

  • Pre-Dissertation Project in Fire Safety Engineering
  • Fire Science Laboratory
  • Fire Safety Engineering Analysis and Design
  • The Finite Element Method
  • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering

Career opportunities

Internationally, there is great demand for graduates in this field, with expertise in structural fire safety engineering particularly sought after as performance-based design expands. All of our previous graduates are in relevant employment, with the majority working in fire teams at engineering consultancies.



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MSc Fire Safety Engineering is concerned with the study of fire development and prevention and the means by which its consequence may be reduced to a minimum in human, environmental and financial terms. Read more
MSc Fire Safety Engineering is concerned with the study of fire development and prevention and the means by which its consequence may be reduced to a minimum in human, environmental and financial terms. This postgraduate degree emphasises Fire Safety Engineering in the context of buildings and infrastructure. This involves skills and knowledge crossing all areas of learning including fire chemistry, physics of heat transfer, biology and toxicity, structures, law and legislation, environmental impact, risk management and design. It is supported by an established research base and builds on the training and educational programmes offered by the Institution of Fire Engineers.

This course is designed for students who will eventually hold senior positions within the fire-related professions. Throughout the programme, emphasis will be placed on self-motivation, critical thinking and analytical depth. The application of Fire Safety Engineering is multi-disciplinary and, as in the professional world, you will carry out project work, which will facilitate dialogue between the Fire Engineer and other members of the design and management teams.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

This MSc is accredited by both the Energy Institute (EI) and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) as fulfilling the further learning requirement for Chartered Engineer status, whilst also being a recognised course by the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

The course will be delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical exercises. Guided teaching and formal assessments will enhance the development of transferable skills such report-writing, maintenance of case notes, formal presentations, participation in discussions, ability to work to deadlines, computing skills, public speaking, scientific analysis, adherence and development of laboratory protocols and research methods.

There are different assessment methods employed across the modules. Some modules are assessed by both examination and coursework while others are assessed by coursework only, which may take the form of group projects, modelling exercises or time-controlled assignments or seminar presentations.

Benefiting from extensive research funding, we hold an enviable reputation for the quality of our teaching and research activities. All Fire courses are underpinned by the Research Centre in Fire and Hazards and benefit from the dedicated fire laboratories including equipment for small and intermediate scale facilities.

Our well-equipped modern fire engineering laboratory facilities comprise of state-of-the-art fire research equipment, used by experienced academics, are available for research and teaching. There are specialist facilities which include analytical and material characterisation equipment. A number of experiments, ranging from the investigation of fire retardants to the combustion properties of materials, and fire toxicity can be undertaken. We also have computational fluid dynamics facilities, that provide the use of CFD based fire modelling for research, teaching and consultancy.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Combined into a single-discipline, our Fire Safety Engineering Master’s degree meets a challenge of modern industrial needs. Graduates have become leaders in a range of backgrounds from fire services to civil engineering to safety management. The course is fully accredited by three professional institutions (CIBSE, EI and IFE) that play an active part in ensuring the course is developed to meet professional needs.

This course is supported by an established research base (Centre for Research in Fire and Hazards Science) which builds on the training and educational programmes offered by the Institution of Fire Engineers. Full-time students can underpin their studies with a range of balancing modules. The remainder of the MSc is a series of options which may involve external speakers as well as expertise from our staff. Students should check availability if they wish to undertake any option in particular.

MSc Fire Safety Engineering commences in Semester 1 with Fires in Buildings which examines: fundamental principles; mechanisms controlling spread of fires and fire development in enclosures; movement and smoke control; fire resistance and fire severity; human behaviour in fires and evacuation; the mechanism of fire suppression agents. Running in parallel, a Research Methods module supports the Dissertation, which is an in-depth study involving theoretical, computational, experimental or investigative analysis. The Dissertation is undertaken in Semester 3 together with the Engineering Design Project, which is an integration of themes of design, ICT and technology within a practical context requiring students to work in teams as well as individuals.

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MSc Fire Scene Investigation covers fire scene investigation theory and practice. It is the scientific approach to the examination, analysis and interpretation of evidence which can be found at a fire scene. Read more
MSc Fire Scene Investigation covers fire scene investigation theory and practice. It is the scientific approach to the examination, analysis and interpretation of evidence which can be found at a fire scene.

As a Fire Scene Investigator you will determine the origin and cause of a fire through the application of practical skills and scientific knowledge from a variety of disciplines. You will also require excellent written and verbal communication skills to ensure investigative conclusions are effectively communicated. This is often carried out in a high pressure environment such a criminal or civil court.

INDUSTRY LINKS

Accredited by Institution of Fire Engineers at Member Grade; Accredited by Energy Institute at Member Grade with Chartered status available with additional post qualification development.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Theoretical is undertaken at the University using state of the art facilities. Practical sessions are carried out at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre using live burn facilities and full scale room investigations.

FURTHER INFORMATION

This postgraduate course covers fire scene investigation theory and practice, the principles of fuels, sources of ignition and fire behaviour in buildings, fire modelling and computational fire dynamics in relation to fire cause and development hypothesis testing, providing evidence as an expert witness in court, the anatomy of large scale accidents and catastrophes, and research skills. The theory and practical sessions will build confidence through the development of practical expertise and specialist knowledge in the field of fire scene investigation and reporting protocols. Postgraduate Fire Scene Investigation at UCLan is accredited by the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Energy Institute.

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This Masters-level Forensic Bioscience course from Liverpool John Moores University is ideal for forensic science practitioners and science graduates. Read more
This Masters-level Forensic Bioscience course from Liverpool John Moores University is ideal for forensic science practitioners and science graduates. You will have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities plus a research-informed curriculum.

•Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
•Suitable for Forensic Science practitioners and science graduates, this course is informed by research and industry links
•Enjoy access to state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene facilities and a moot room
•Learn from forensic anthropologists, biologists, crime scene and fire investigation specialists and leading in-house academics
•Benefit from a local, national or international work placement
•Develop transferrable skills in legal matters and research methods and specialise in your chosen area


Forensic Bioscience is one of four forensic programmes offered by LJMU. All four options share a number of common modules, but each course has its own distinct identity.

During this course you will:
•explore the criminal justice system as a setting in which a forensic scientist might work (this relates to British and international law)
•discover how to apply appropriate techniques following the analysis and evaluation of complex forensic cases
•learn to critically evaluate current crime scene techniques

Although this year long programme does not have a part time study option, you can work at a slower pace and gain the full Masters over three years by completing the PG Cert in year one, the PG Diploma in year two and the Masters in year three. There is even the option to carry out the dissertation project in your place of work.
On joining the course you will be appointed a personal tutor who will be able to offer academic and pastoral support. The School also operates an open door policy, providing access to members of staff when you need them.

You will study at the Byrom Street site in the University’s City Campus. With an ongoing £12 million investment in laboratory facilities here and state-of-the-art research facilities in the newly developed Life Sciences building, you’ll enjoy a first class study environment.
The Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semesters, is located just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.
Legal aspects of the course are taught in the Moot Room in the multi-million pound Redmonds building on Brownlow Hill.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Forensic Bioscience
Combines theory and practical work in post mortem interval determination, entomology, microbiology and pathology.
Law and Court Room Skills
Discusses the criminal justice systems under which a forensic scientist may work and examines expert witness testimony. Aspects of regulation and quality assurance are touched upon.
Research Methods
Covers grant application, critical appraisal of leading research and data interpretation and evaluation. This leads naturally into the dissertation.
Bioanalytical Techniques
Examines state-of-the-art biomolecular techniques, including DNA and protein analysis. Commonly used techniques in the forensic field will be critically analysed and performed along with emerging techniques which can form the basis of the dissertation or further postgraduate study.
Taphonomy and Trauma Analysis
Examines decomposition processes and trauma analysis.


Dissertation
The Dissertation research themes are led by staff and PhD students. Students are encouraged to present their research at conferences.
The following options are typically offered:

Fire Investigation
Offers specialist knowledge of fire and explosive analysis both at the crime scene and in terms of analytical techniques.
Trace Evidence Analysis
Teaches you to identify, differentiate and analyse different types of trace evidence using advanced techniques. Microscopy, including SEM (EDX) and atomic force, form the basis of the practical analysis performed, along with other techniques.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a top-up of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation,, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents..

The MSc course in Crime Scene Investigation require the student to carry out a major independent research project in crime scene investigation. The project can be undertaken in the student s own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project.

Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a top-up of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents.

The MSc course in Firearm Examination requires the student to carry out a major independent research project in crime scene investigation.

The project can be undertaken in the student s own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project. Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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Why this course?. The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its . Read more

Why this course?

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.

You'll study

  • crime scene investigation
  • legal procedures and the law
  • evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
  • analysis of range of evidence types including footwear marks, trace evidence, and questioned documents

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:

  • body fluid analysis
  • blood pattern interpretation
  • DNA profiling
  • investigation of assaults and sexual offences

If you choose to specialise in forensic chemistry, you’ll develop expertise in:

  • analysis of fires and explosives
  • drugs of abuse
  • alcohol and toxicology

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.

Project

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: 

  • Scottish Police Authority, Forensic Services
  • Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST)
  • Forensic Explosives Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • LGC Forensics
  • Cellmark Forensic Services
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Institute of Forensic Research, Krakow, Poland
  • Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, Canada

The MSc in Forensic Science runs for 12 months, commencing in September. 

Facilities

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.

Accreditation

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

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.

Careers

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:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biology Casework Examiner
  • Deputy Laboratory Director
  • DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Case Worker Examiner
  • Forensic DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant Histopathology
  • Research & Development Chemist

Employers include:

  • Gen-Probe Life Sciences
  • HKSTC
  • Key Forensic Services Ltd
  • Lancaster Labs
  • LGC Forensics
  • Life Technologies
  • National Institute Of Criminalistics And Criminology
  • NHS
  • Seychelles Forensic Science Lab
  • University of Strathclyde

*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).



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This course will enable you to gain a strong background in the theory of analytical and forensic techniques and how to apply them to complex problems such as those encountered at crime scenes. Read more
This course will enable you to gain a strong background in the theory of analytical and forensic techniques and how to apply them to complex problems such as those encountered at crime scenes. It emphasises the key skills required in this specialised area of science, including good measurement and scientific practice, sample collection and chain of custody, evaluation and interpretation of data, and constructing expert witness reports.

Kingston University has its own scene-of-crime house located on site, which is used to recreate crime scenes and enables you to put your investigative skills into practice. The property's garden is used by the forensic team's archaeologist for field investigations.

Lecturers on the course have wide experience in the forensics sector and many have worked either as forensic scientists or as expert witnesses. They are also actively engaged in forensic research, and are supported by visiting speakers from leading forensic consultancies.

What will you study?

You will explore recent trends in forensic science and learn about the latest analytical devices used, such as atomic and molecular spectroscopic and separation techniques and DNA profiling.

You will look at the role of the forensic scientist and learn how to, for example, investigate and analyse drugs of abuse, fibres and firearms and conduct fire investigation. There is also the opportunity to present expert evidence at a mock courtroom trial in a magistrates' court, examined by Kingston's own trainee lawyers and/or their law lecturers.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to carry out your research project in industry (depending on your results and project availability) or in Kingston University's extensive forensic and analytical laboratories.

Assessment

Exams, laboratory reports, assignments, case studies, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical research project.

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.

-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Accreditation for this course

This course is accredited by the The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences for the component standards in Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence; Laboratory Analysis; and Crime Scene Investigation.

When you graduate you are eligible to apply to be an Associate Member (AFSSoc post-nominals) of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Having completed appropriate continuing professional development in a forensic science workplace, you can also become a Professional Member (MFSSoc) or Accredited Forensic Practitioner.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules
-The Role of the Professional Forensic Scientist
-Separation Science
-Molecular and Atomic Spectroscopy
-Forensic Chemistry and Trace Analysis
-Project

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Research students in Forensic Science have the opportunity to work alongside a multidisciplinary team in the School of Life Sciences, and can benefit from strong links with industry practitioners. Read more
Research students in Forensic Science have the opportunity to work alongside a multidisciplinary team in the School of Life Sciences, and can benefit from strong links with industry practitioners.

You have the opportunity to engage in the work of the Forensic Analysis Research Group, to develop innovative methods and techniques to assist in solving crime and casework-related issues. The team are currently engaged in high-profile studies including collaborative projects with the Centre for Applied Science and Technology at the UK Home Office.

You have access to a range of training programmes to support you in your independent investigations and an experienced supervisory team are on hand to offer advice and direction. Ongoing research projects in the School include Chemical Analysis of Legal Highs and GHB, DNA Analysis in Forensic and Archaeological Contexts, and Microcrystalline Testing for Drugs.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Main research areas:
-Drug analysis
-Ignitable liquid and fuel analysis
-Explosives analysis
-DNA fingerprinting
-Fingerprinting science
-Dye and pigment analysis
-Forensic anthropology
-Spectroscopic techniques (including Raman) and separation science
-Surface analysis
-Mechanical properties of biological materials.

Recent research projects include:
-Chemical analysis of fingerprints
-Analysis of legal highs and GHB
-Analysis of fuel markers and detection of fuel adulteration
-Development of sensors for forensic applications
-Microcrystalline testing for drugs
-Analysis of smoke for fire investigation
-Enhancement of DNA at crime scenes
-Development of colloids and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)
-DNA analysis in forensic and archaeological contexts
-Molecular typing of skin micro-organisms in forensic identification
-Forensic analysis of the mechanical properties of biological materials.

How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisors to assess progress and guide research methodologies, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

A PhD is usually awarded based on the quality of your thesis and your ability in an oral examination (viva voce) to present and successfully defend your chosen research topic to a group of academics. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

Career and Personal Development

These postgraduate research programmes allow you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and expertise in the specialist field of forensic science. They provide the chance to develop an in-depth foundation for further research or progression to careers in forensic science-related industries.

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This Masters-level Forensic Bioscience course from Liverpool John Moores University is ideal for forensic science practitioners and science graduates. Read more

This Masters-level Forensic Bioscience course from Liverpool John Moores University is ideal for forensic science practitioners and science graduates. You will have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities plus a research-informed curriculum.

  • Suitable for Forensic Science practitioners and science graduates, this course is informed by research and industry links
  • Enjoy access to state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene facilities and a moot room
  • Learn from forensic anthropologists, biologists, crime scene and fire investigation specialists and leading in-house academics
  • Benefit from a local, national or international work placement
  • Develop transferrable skills in legal matters and research methods and specialise in your chosen area
  • Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)


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This course begins in September 2018, subject to validation. Why choose this course?. Develop into an independent forensic researcher by learning essential skills. Read more

This course begins in September 2018, subject to validation

Why choose this course?

  • Develop into an independent forensic researcher by learning essential skills
  • Conduct a research project in an area of your choice so you can further explore your individual interests
  • Gain a stand-alone research qualification or bridge the gap between an undergraduate degree and PhD
  • Work alongside an experienced and enthusiastic academic team in the production of high quality forensic research
  • Use our extensive laboratories, forensic training facility or field sites, to explore the dynamic world of Forensic Science

About this course?

  • This course will support you in proposing, developing, and conducting a research project, providing you with invaluable experience and insight into how research is conducted.

Innovation in forensics

  • The forensic science sector has always strived to develop innovative forensic technology, particularly within the fields of molecular techniques and DNA profiling. Recent developments within this sector have led the Chartered Society of Forensic Science to push for increased forensic science research and development. As a result, we have developed our MRes Forensic Science to enable you to undertake your own original research within your chosen area of forensic science.

Active research staff

  • Our staff are active researchers, regularly presenting at scientific conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Our expertise covers a diverse range of forensic science subjects and we can support research that is either field or laboratory-based.
  • Specialist areas in which you could develop your research project include:
  • Forensic handwriting and document analysis
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Photography and imaging
  • Forensic entomology
  • Forensic microbiology
  • Molecular analysis
  • Wildlife forensics
  • Drugs of abuse and chemical analysis
  • Blood pattern analysis
  • Fire investigation
  • Ballistics
  • Fingerprint analysis
  • Detection of chemical and biological agents
  • Single molecule explosive detection systems
  • Chemical stability testing.

Specialised facilities

  • We have both field sites and specialised laboratory facilities available for your research projects. These include an imaging laboratory, a molecular laboratory, an insectary with adjoining entomology laboratory, a dedicated microbiology laboratory and an analytical suite housing GCMS, SEM, HPLC, and a UV Vis spectrophotometer. We can also support research that is field-based.


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