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Masters Degrees (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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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 would involve 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.

Opportunities for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to the MSc will be part of this proposal.

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In just a brief duration of time - in a few minutes or even in a fraction of a second - a fire or an explosion can have catastrophic consequences in residential buildings or in industrial plant. Read more

In just a brief duration of time - in a few minutes or even in a fraction of a second - a fire or an explosion can have catastrophic consequences in residential buildings or in industrial plant. In UK alone, hundreds get killed and tens of thousands are injured every year. Some single incidents cost millions of pounds, the total monetary cost of fire and explosions in the UK is estimated at £12 billion per year or approximately 1% of GDP.This course offers students from diverse academic backgrounds advanced training in the field of Fire and Explosion Engineering for those wishing to embark on a career, or further develop their career, in the industry. Particular emphasis is placed on fire and explosion protection systems within a legislative framework that is complex and fast-changing.Core modules will cover both foundation and advanced aspects of fire and explosion engineering, from the factors that influence flame spread to the latest research in explosion prediction. You’ll also gain a firm grounding in fire safety design and have the chance to design a fire protection system for a complex building.

Specialist facilities

  • An Enclosed Fire Rig Test facility
  • The Cone Calorimeter (standard and modified with controlled ventilation)
  • A 1m³ indicative standard fire furnace (planned for 2017)
  • Purser furnace
  • The Limiting Oxygen Index apparatus
  • The standard ISO vessel for dust explosions (in storage until at least 2017)
  • TGA (trace gas analyzer) and GC (gas chromatography) analytical equipment (off-line).
  • The on-line FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) toxic product analysis.
  • Mass spectrometer (MS).
  • Particulate emissions measurements (including particle size)
  • Access to the world class Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre (LEMAS), within the School, and high speed photography for visualisation of fast processes and optical analysis of particles before and after reaction.

Some of the modules on this programme are offered as short courses by the Faculty of Engineering’s Continuing Professional Development unit.

Find out more about our Fire Engineering short courses

This programme is also available to study part-time over 36 months.

Course content

You’ll study core modules that allow you to understand issues such as flame spread and steady burning, as well as developing your knowledge of fire protection designs for complex buildings. You’ll also review research around explosions, how they can be predicted and mitigated.

A major part of the MSc are two projects that will give you valuable experience and skills.

The first project involves the design of a protection system, so you’ll learn about the application of techniques such as sprinklers, pressurisation, smoke venting, automatic fire detectors, means of escape and emergency lighting systems.

The other is a lab or computational based project taking into account your own preferences. You can choose from the list of topics we offer each year, but most part-time students choose to put forward their own topic which may be related to the interests of the employer or sponsor. If you take this course part-time with the support of your employer, you can undertake your projects in the workplace.

Both projects are assessed on the basis of a written dissertation and an oral presentation.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll need to visit Leeds six or seven times over three years. You’ll attend two presentation days and either four or five teaching weeks, depending on whether you choose the e-learning module Fire Risk Assessment and Management.

Course features include:

  • Extensive participation in course delivery by lecturers from industry brings strong industrial involvement to the course
  • Most taught modules are delivered in intensive CPD one week format. Modules are spread evenly throughout the year
  • Extensive participation in course delivery by lecturers from industry brings strong industrial involvement to the training package
  • Projects can be undertaken in the workplace (part-time) or at the University (full time and part time)
  • Block module format allows both full-time and part-time students a choice of modules.

The taught modules are assessed by coursework and 'open book' tests; typically within a period of 6-10 weeks from start to finish.

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Fire and Explosion module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MSc) 60 credits
  • Fire Safety Design 45 credits
  • Fire Risk Assessment and Management 15 credits
  • Fire Dynamics and Modelling 15 credits
  • Fire and Explosion Investigation 15 credits
  • Explosion Prediction and Mitigation 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Fire and Explosion Engineering MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Each taught module is delivered in an intensive one-week block, allowing full and part-time students to study alongside each other. These teaching weeks will allow you to benefit from the expertise of our own academics – informed by their groundbreaking research – as well as a range of visiting lecturers from industry to gain an understanding of fire and explosion engineering in theory and practice.

Assessment

Taught modules are assessed by via coursework and ‘open book’ tests, typically within 6-10 weeks from start to finish.

Career opportunities

Challenging career opportunities for fire and explosion professionals are available in just about every type of business, industry and government operation.

They include fire and explosion consultancies, fire safety planning offices of local authorities, civil engineering and architectural companies, chemical/pharmaceutical companies, the oil and gas industries, fire and explosion protection equipment manufacturers, government bodies and departments, specialist research and testing labs and insurance companies.

Links with industry

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to meet potential employers at the week-long taught courses.

The Fire programme at Leeds is actively supported and sponsored by, amongst others, the following companies/organisations:




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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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Enhance your depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and practical skills with this Analytical Forensic Science Masters from Liverpool John Moores University. Read more
Enhance your depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and practical skills with this Analytical Forensic Science Masters from Liverpool John Moores University. Prepare for analytical careers in forensics and beyond.

•Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
•Study a curriculum informed by research and industry practice
•Benefit from LJMU’s investment in Analytical Chemistry, accessing cutting edge technology, state-of-the-art laboratories and new crime scene facilities
•Learn from analytical forensic chemists, molecular biologists, crime scene and fire investigation specialists and leading national experts
•Develop transferrable legal and research skills
•Enjoy extensive career opportunities

Analytical Forensic Science 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.

Analytical Forensic Science has a heavy practical bias, enabling you to explore current and emerging analytical techniques and practices.
Using state-of-the-art laboratory, crime scene and moot room facilities, you will:
•explore the criminal justice system as a setting in which a forensic scientist might work
•be able to apply appropriate techniques following the analysis and evaluation of complex forensic cases
•learn to critically evaluate current crime scene techniques

You will enjoy a first class learning environment at the city centre Byrom Street site which boasts an ongoing £12 million laboratory investment programme and state-of-the-art research facilities in the newly developed Life Sciences building. Legal aspects of the course are taught in the Moot Room at the multi-million pound Redmonds building on Brownlow Hill.


This is a full time, year-long Masters course although you can opt to work at a slower pace and study over three years. There may even be the option to carry out the dissertation project in your existing place of work.
On joining the course you will be appointed a personal tutor who will offer academic and pastoral support. The School also operates an open door policy, providing access to members of staff when you need them.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Advanced Drug Analysis and Toxicology
Combines theory and practical work in analytical chemistry techniques, relating to drug analysis including legal highs.
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.
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.
Dissertation
The Dissertation research themes are led by staff and PhD students. Students are encouraged to present their research at conferences.
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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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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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 (this course replaces Fire Investigation and Failure Analysis, which will move to Semester 3 from 2017/18 onward)
  • 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 Safety, Engineering and Society (this course will be replaced by Fire Investigation and Failure Analysis from 2017/18 onwards)
  • 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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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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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.

Read less
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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Study for this Masters in Bioarchaeology at Liverpool John Moores University and gain hands-on experience at the archaeology excavation at the Poulton Project, carry out novel research and discover new laboratory techniques. Read more
Study for this Masters in Bioarchaeology at Liverpool John Moores University and gain hands-on experience at the archaeology excavation at the Poulton Project, carry out novel research and discover new laboratory techniques.

-Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
-Masters course developed and delivered by leading researchers in the field
-Excavation and bioarchaeological analysis of real human remains
-Gain hands-on experience in field and laboratory techniques using specialised bioarchaeological labs and facilities
-Substantial bone selection for research and for experience as teaching toolstools


Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-advancing science that combines archaeology with branches of the natural sciences. Study focuses on the key topics pertaining to human remains from archaeological sites.

Bioarchaeology includes areas of scientific investigation including palaeodemography, past behaviour, biological affinity, subsistence strategy, and health and well-being in the past.

The MSc in Bioarchaeology will help you to develop a broad understanding of these issues, through the excavation and analysis of human and animal remains. Analytical techniques will cover dental and osteological analyses, archaeological field methods, and ancient genetics.

The programme aims to develop your advanced practical skills in skeletal analysis, making use of the department’s well-equipped specialist laboratories and reference collections.

A particular strength of our provision and Faculty expertise is that we are able to address the bioarchaeology of many world areas and time periods. When you complete the course, you will have all the skills necessary to continue into an academic career or gain employment in research, museums, education or commercial organisations.

During the year you will be given a personal tutor that will support you throughout your time at LJMU and be following both your academic and professional development.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Semester 1 (three core modules)

Advanced Osteology and Skeletal Pathology
Provides students with an advanced knowledge of the human skeleton and the ability to identify animal bones, methods of curation of skeletal collections and understanding of pathological modifications.
Research Design and Quantitative Methods
Provides extensive training in generic research knowledge and statistical techniques for the Natural Sciences. Students design a research project and are assessed via the preparation of a full grant application for the project.
Dental Anthropology
Provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required by bioarchaeologists to identify and examine human teeth.
Semester 2 (two core modules and one option)

Bioarchaeology: Bones, Teeth and Genes
Focuses on the different methods used to study human remains in archaeological and anthropological contexts. Delivery is through a combination of lectures, practicals, workshops and seminar sessions by experts in different fields, followed by reading and in-class discussion of recent literature.
Excavation
Covers field survey, site management, excavation and related data analysis. In addition to practicals and lectures, the course includes a non-residential field experience.
Dissertation
Comprises an independent, in-depth scientific research study on a chosen relevant topic. The following options are typically offered:
Ballistics and Arson Investigation
Teaches the fundamental principles of fire science, fire dynamics and material science, enabling students to demonstrate their application of fire investigation.
Taphonomy Trauma Analysis
Provides students with an extensive understanding of the biomechanics of human bones and the reaction of bones to the environment for a taphonomic history of the remains. Students gain a broad appreciation of different types of weapons to reconstruct a traumatic event using skeletal evidence.
Human Identification and Forensic DNA
Analyses the issues related to the identification of an unknown subject from both skeletal and genetic features. The module also introduces students to the use of a DNA typing approach for the identification of human remains.

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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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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Risk has become a key concept in modern society. Read more

Programme Background

Risk has become a key concept in modern society. Growing concern about the environment and a number of disasters have served to focus attention on the hazards and risks involved in a wide range of activities from offshore oil production to rail and air transport; from the design of football stadia to the operation of chemical plants and environmental protection. Today there is a wide range of techniques available to assess risk and reliability, both in relation to safety and in the wider sense. These techniques now underpin new legislation on safety and have relevance over a broad spectrum of activities, including environmental and other systems, where risk and reliability are key concerns.

The MSc/PG Diploma programme in Safety, Risk and Reliability Engineering is designed to give a thorough understanding of these techniques and experience of their application to a variety of real-world problems. It aims to provide students with an understanding of safety, risk and reliability engineering in both a qualitative and quantitative manner, and to develop the skills to apply this understanding. The programme will also introduce students to recent developments in analytical techniques, e.g. computer modelling of risk, reliability and safety problems.

Professional Recognition

This MSc degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See http://www.jbm.org.ukfor further information.

The MSc and PgDip degrees have also been accredited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Graduates are eligible to join IOSH as Graduate members and then undertake an initial professional development process that leads to Chartered membership. http://www.iosh.co.uk for further information.

Programme Content

The MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Safety, Risk and Reliability Engineering is only available by attendance-free distance learning. The programme comprises eight courses. All courses have written examinations and some have compulsory coursework elements. MSc students are also required to complete an individual project (dissertation). This programme has a stronger engineering bias and you should only attempt this if you have done some University level mathematics or equivalent. Otherwise the Safety and Risk Management course might be more appropriate.

For the project component of the programme distance learners are likely to develop something based in their country of residence with advice and supervision from staff in the School. This may well include work with a local company or may involve independent study. Individual arrangements will be set up with each student.

For more detailed information on this programme please contact the Programme Leader before applying (see above).

Courses

• Risk Assessment and Safety Management
This course aims to give students an appreciation of risk from individual and societal perspectives as well as understanding the basic principles of risk assessment and modelling and how safety management works in practice.

• Systems Reliability
Gives an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative techniques that are used in the reliability, availability and maintainability analysis of all types of engineering systems.

• Learning from Disasters
Provides students with an in depth understanding of some of the classic disasters and their consequences by using a range of practical accident investigation techniques. Students will learn to analyse complex histories in order to find the underlying root cause.

• Safety, Risk and Reliability
Leads to an understanding of the principles of structural reliability theory and its application to risk and reliability engineering.

• Fire Safety, Explosions and Process Safety
Introduces students to the basic principles of fire safety science and engineering, and develops skills in associated modelling leading to an understanding of principal fire/explosion related issues in process safety.

• Data Analysis and Simulation
Develops knowledge of statistical data analysis and its application in engineering and science and introduces the concepts of using simulation techniques for analysis of complex systems. It also teaches linear optimisation techniques and the ability to apply them to solve simple problems.

• Human Factors Methods
This course will equip students from academic and/or industrial backgrounds with knowledge on, and the means to deploy, a wide range of specialist human factors techniques. The emphasis is on method selection, application, combination and integration within existing business practices. Students will develop a critical awareness of what methods exist, how to apply them in practice and their principle benefits and limitations.

•Environmental Impact Assessment
Provides the candidate with the knowledge and understanding of the principles and processes of the Environmental Impact Assessment. By the end of the course, the student should be familiar with the European EIA legislation and its translation into the Scottish planning system, and be able to demonstrate an understanding of the EIA process, the tools and the agents involved in an EIA and the possible problems with using EIA as a decision making tool. It is also intended that the student will be able to appreciate the purpose of the EIA process from a number of perspectives; that of a developer, an EIA practitioner and a policy maker.

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