The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016/2017.
You’ll join a global network of Strathclyde forensic science graduates in highly respected positions all over the world.
In addition to preparing you for life as a forensic scientist, you’ll also graduate with a wide range of practical skills, problem solving and investigative thinking relevant to a wide range of careers.
Following a general introduction to forensic science in semester 1, you can choose to specialise in either forensic biology or forensic chemistry. As a forensic biologist you’ll study a range of topics including:
If you choose to specialise in forensic chemistry, you’ll develop expertise in:
The focal point of the course is our major crime scene exercise, in which you are expected to investigate your own mock outdoor crime scene, collect and analyse the evidence, and present this in Glasgow Sheriff Court in conjunction with students training in Strathclyde Law School.
In semester 3, MSc students undertake a three-month project, culminating in the production of a dissertation.
Students may be given the opportunity to complete their project in an operational forensic science provider either in the UK or overseas (subject to visa requirements). Alternatively, students may complete their project within the Centre for Forensic Science itself, under the supervision of our team of academics.
Examples of institutions that previous Strathclyde students have been placed in to undertake their project include:
The MSc in Forensic Science runs for 12 months, commencing in September.
Teaching takes place in the Centre for Forensic Science. It’s a modern purpose-built laboratory for practical forensic training, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for analysis of a wide range of evidence types. This includes a microscopy suite, DNA profiling laboratory, analytical chemistry laboratory, blood pattern analysis room, and a suite for setting up mock crime scenes.
The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences is a professional body with members in over 60 countries and is one of the oldest and largest forensic science associations in the world.
Our MSc in Forensic Science is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, demonstrating our commitment to meeting their high educational standards for forensic science tuition.
Assessment consists of written coursework, practical work assessments, oral presentations and formal written examinations. Practical work is continually assessed and counts towards the award of the degree. The project is assessed through the completion of a dissertation.
The award of MSc is based upon 180 credits.
Most forensic scientists in Scotland are employed by the Scottish Police Authority.
In the rest of the UK, forensic scientists are employed by individual police forces, private forensic science providers such as LGC Forensics and Cellmark Forensic Services, or government bodies such as the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL).
Outside of the UK, forensic scientists may be employed by police forces, government bodies or private companies.
Forensic scientists can specialise in specific areas such as crime scene examination, DNA analysis, drug analysis, and fire investigation.
Most of the work is laboratory-based but experienced forensic scientists may have to attend crime scenes and give evidence in court.
Where are they now?
Many of our graduates are in work or further study.**
Job titles include:
*information is intended only as a guide.
**Based on the results of the National Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (2010/11 and 2011/12).
This programme offers an exciting opportunity to study forensic psychology within a department with an established expertise in a range of therapeutic skills and therapies. It is especially designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of practical skills and the latest research in preparation for a career in the forensic field.
Our MSc Forensic Psychology degree will introduce you to the key theoretical concepts and practical approaches relevant to the legal and criminal justice system. The core philosophy of the course is to promote an understanding of the role of forensic psychologists in various forensic settings, whilst preparing you for a rewarding career or doctoral study in the field of forensic psychology.
You will be taught by leading experts in the field who are chartered psychologists and HCPC registered Forensic Psychologists to learn about the latest developments in the field of Forensic Psychology. You will develop knowledge of contemporary psychological theories of understanding crime. You will be encouraged to develop the ability to critically evaluate research, start thinking reflectively and communicate the knowledge you acquired to a wider, multidisciplinary, audience.
From an investigative standpoint, you will develop a strong scientific understanding of the current theories of aetiology of criminal behaviour and the assessment of risk. You will gain an understanding of evidence for legal aspects in consideration for court cases, and sentencing and parole boards. You will be encouraged to think critically about methodological challenges and limitations arising from these topics. You will also learn how to appropriately conduct and disseminate your own research in preparation for the doctoral level, if you decide to pursue your studies further.
During this one year course, you will gain a strong foundation in understanding the field of forensic psychology, study real-life case studies and apply theory to practical work with an emphasis on career preparation. You will develop the necessary clinical and practical skills to carry out assessments for treatment of criminal behaviour. To support your professional development, the programme will introduce you to the ethical principles and the codes of conduct in forensic psychology and the concept of evidence-based practice.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation in which you will specialise in a research area of Forensic Psychology. Our expert teaching staff will support you in developing your work. You will also benefit from our network of connections within the field of Forensic Psychology.
With 10 focused forensic psychology specializations such as Family Violence, Sex Offender Behavior, Cybercrimes, Terrorism, and Police Psychology, you can gain the expertise you need to drive positive change within the legal system.
Walden’s online Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Psychology degree can prepare you to apply new insights, skills, and perspectives to a variety of nonclinical roles in areas like cybercrimes, criminal investigative analysis and profiling, terrorism, and victim advocacy. Explore the biological, psychological, and social factors impacting criminal behavior. Evaluate psychological approaches and their effectiveness in dealing with offenders. Examine research methods used in forensic assessments, and learn to evaluate and enhance systems and programs aimed at forensic populations.
By earning your online master’s in forensic psychology at Walden, you can develop a stronger understanding of specific criminal behavior—and develop the expertise needed to make a difference within the criminal justice system. You can also make a positive impact on communities as well as the first responders and professionals who serve those communities.
Through Walden’s master’s in forensic psychology degree program, you can:
Graduates of this forensic psychology degree program will be prepared to:
Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.
Walden’s MS in Forensic Psychology allows you to choose the General Program or from a variety of specializations that focus on a specific population or subject. The programs of study for the General Program and specializations each consist of 10 courses.
Note on licensure: The MS in Forensic Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.
Statistics like this point to a growing need for nonclinical professionals who understand these forensic populations and others, including substance abusers, sex offenders, victims of violence, at-risk youth, and military veterans.
The MS in Forensic Psychology can help prepare you to work in a variety of positions, including:
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
Our world leading courses use innovative teaching methods to develop your knowledge and skills in forensic imaging and support you in your distance learning experience wherever you are in the world - for radiographers, technologists, and other forensic imaging professionals.These courses will support you to develop a forensic protocol that adheres to relevant guidance and legislation, and develop skills in producing images that will be acceptable in court by learning about the requirements for high-quality evidence.
You will learn about how to image children for suspected physical abuse and investigation of infant deaths, location of forensic evidence (for example drug smuggling, ballistic material), age assessments for human trafficking or illegal immigration, and identification of the deceased. A new module will develop skills in post-mortem imaging utilising CT and MRI to replace the conventional autopsy. The PgCert develops forensic imaging skills, enabling you to undertake forensic imaging in your department and to comply with the forensic radiography guidelines from the Society and College of Radiographers and the International Association of Forensic Radiographers. The second year develops more advanced forensic imaging skills in mass fatalities and Disaster Victim Identification, and a practice area of your choice. During your third year (MSc) you develop the research skills needed to contribute to the forensic imaging knowledge base.
Our courses are recognised by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and accredited by the Society and College of Radiographers.
Two modules ensure that you are fit for practice within the scope of forensic practice relevant to the needs of a clinical radiology department. The first is Medico-Legal Issues in Forensic Imaging Practice (Sept - Jan) and the second is Principles of Forensic Imaging (Jan - June). All sessions are facilitated by recognised specialists in the field of forensics, demonstrating the multi-disciplinary nature of forensic practice.
Year 1 core modules
Option modules (choose one of the following):
Year 2 core modules (MSc only)
Option modules (choose one of the following):
Year 3 core module (MSc only)
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
These courses are taught by distance learning, and are structured to keep you on track throughout your studies. You never need to attend the university, and apart from the webinars, you can complete the online activities at times that work best for you.
The three-week induction at the start of the course gives you time to get to know the virtual learning environment, learn what electronic learning resources are available to you, and introduces you to each other and the course. You will also have the opportunity to improve your writing skills with online workshops. So when the forensic topics start, you are read to concentrate on the subject.
Weekly contact with your tutor and peers via instant messaging or email, for support when you want it.
Topics are delivered at a pace that gives you more time to learn about that area and relate this to your own practice.
Structured activities help you to think about each topic and discuss ideas with your peers – videos, screencasts, quizzes, directed reading, virtual workspace for discussion, and interactive and collaborative work.
Regular webinars where you and your peers join together online at the same time to engage in a teaching session with your tutor or other forensic specialist.
Webinars take place on an evening (6.30pm - 8.30pm) and there are approximately six per 12-14 week module.
Courtroom simulation – learn how to give evidence and experience being cross-examined.
International specialists in the field of forensics, demonstrating the multidisciplinary nature of forensic practice in mass fatalities incidents, will facilitate all sessions. Previously, these specialists have included forensic radiographers and technologists, consultant paediatricians, consultant paediatric radiologists, forensic pathologists, forensic biologists, forensic researchers, rorensic anthropologists, HM Coroner, and a post-mortem imaging service provider.
How you are assessed
The assessment strategy is designed to be compatible with distance learning and to provide a variety of methods, enabling a more inclusive assessment strategy – written assignments and presentations. These are submitted online or presented in the webinar room.
The Society and College of Radiographers advocates that those who undertake forensic imaging examinations must be educated and trained at postgraduate level. This course addresses this. Successfully completion of the course enhances your career as a practitioner with specialist imaging skills.
Most advanced posts in the NHS require a master’s degree. If you plan to become the lead radiographer/technologist for forensic imaging in your department, the advanced skills you develop in this course will give you an advantage.
Feedback from previous students indicates that as a result of this course, they have become articulate and confident in presenting their research at conferences, aspiring, creative and confident in changing practice, aspiring to enhance practice resulting in promotion to forensic lead, and becoming more confident as a person. In addition, they have become articulate in writing at Level 7, critical of research, creative with learning and adaptable to learning and time management. Furthermore, they have been facilitated to be adaptable, confident, articulate leaders in forensic radiography with some becoming active committee members of the International Association of Forensic Radiographers, with some also engaging with the Department of Health and Home Office as a result, demonstrating the significant impact of this course on forensic imaging nationally and internationally.
Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme also supports you with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by incorporating practice-based assessments.
The course introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. You are introduced to the role of a forensic psychologist in practice. The programme focuses on core theoretical models of crime with an emphasis on theoretical, practical and methodological limitations.
When considering applied skills in forensic practice, there is a focus on specialist assessments, core treatments and interventions utilised when working with various client groups in a forensic setting. Client groups include offenders in prison, secure hospitals and the community, as well as offenders on probation and within the legal system (court assessment). You gain the ability to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area.
There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in optional forensic practice placements via the university’s volunteering department. Core modules include Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework, Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions, and Investigative Psychology.
You have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation. There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
Graduates of the course pursue careers in various specialisms within forensic psychology, including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health.
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.
UK, EU, World
Students have the opportunity to volunteer on optional forensic practice-related placements.
A diverse range of teaching methods are employed including laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual project supervision. Students have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation.
There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, and examinations, as well as a quantitative or qualitative empirical project.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.
This MSc provides the academic training required for a career as a forensic psychologist.
The programme will introduce you to a range of psychological theories, methods and processes within the context of the legal, criminal and civil justice systems.
Based at a research-led London university with strong links to forensic services, you’ll be taught by world-class researchers, and experienced practitioners from the NHS, and the prison and probation service.
Led by chartered forensic clinical psychologist Dr Caoimhe McAnena, the MSc also includes contributions from world-class researchers and practitioners who will teach on the programme and supervise research projects.
We have been awarded full British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation, which will give you the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society.
One of the major strengths of this course is our strong links with local forensic mental health services. Our studentships cover tuition fees and a placement opportunity, enabling students to study part-time while working in an NHS or prison setting.
If you will be doing a placement with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust your offer will be conditional on meeting our Fitness to Train requirements before you begin your studies. Other placements will not have these additional conditions.
The course will cover the assessment and treatment of offenders, risk assessment methods, and treatment of offenders with mental health and personality disorders.
There will be a focus on criminal investigations by examining psychological issues in eyewitness identification, investigative interviewing of witnesses and suspects, psychological profiling and detecting deception.
You'll also explore legal and criminological concepts relevant to contemporary social issues and organisations. Issues relating to ethics, human rights, professional practice and research will be emphasised to provide a firm grounding for further professional training and practice.
By completing this programme you will:
The programme is comprised of 7 core modules and 1 option modules.
The core modules are:
You then choose one option module, which may be selected from a range of courses offered in the Department of Psychology, for example:
This new programme aims to satisfy the academic component of professional training in forensic psychology. Accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as meeting the requirement for Stage One of the BPS Diploma in Forensic Psychology has been applied for. When accredited, successful completion will allow you to enrol in the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage Two) with the aim of achieving the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) Qualification in Forensic Psychology, and becoming a Chartered Psychologist with the DFP and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Graduates of the programme will be well-qualified a wide range careers in:
Relevant career opportunities are available in the:
Many of these posts will be training positions to allow the completion of the Stage Two qualification in Forensic Psychology described above.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The PgDip/MSc Forensic Science concentrates on practices, procedures and analytical techniques used within forensic science, and how they are applied in support of the investigation of crime and the criminal justice system as a whole.
This course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.On completing this course you will be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of forensic science and how scientific methods are applied to the investigation of crime. You benefit from our links with practitioners and other professional organisations relevant to the field of forensic science. Key members of staff are former forensic scientists or crime scene scientists with considerable operational experience.Expect to carry out analytical and practical work in the University’s on-campus forensic facilities including specialist analytical laboratories, crime scene house laboratory and forensic chemistry and biology laboratories. Watch a short video and hear what Matthew Grima, a former student, says about this course.
This course has been accredited and commended by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences - the international professional body for forensic science.
For the PgDip award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules. For an MSc award you must successfully complete the 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.
PgDip and MSc core modules
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (through lectures, tutorials, projects, assignments and laboratory work).
You are also expected to spend time on your own (this is called self-study time), to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.
As an example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time.
On this programme you complete a project related to professional practice. This, along with the involvement of practitioners and academics in the delivery of these courses, ensures that they are relevant to the requirements of the criminal justice system.
How you are assessed
Modules are assessed by in-course assignments, including a courtroom-based expert witness assessment and end exams.
Employment opportunities exist in the field of forensic science and forensic investigation with forensic science providers and law enforcement agencies. Other roles include scientific investigation where the application of science in a legal or regulatory context is important.
This MSc programme has been accredited and commended by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the international professional body for forensic science.
See the career path of one of our graduates