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Masters Degrees (Forensic Ballistics)

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This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive insight of the field of firearms, ammunition and ballistic investigations. Read more

Course Description

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive insight of the field of firearms, ammunition and ballistic investigations. The course is highly practical and hands-on, aiming to produce a clear understanding of how firearms and ammunition function, the science of ballistics, the role of the forensic firearms examiner and how the forensic evidence produced in gun crime can be used to help resolve issues in relation to criminal and civil law.

The course aims to equip students with the necessary understanding of science and technology, law, courtroom skills and research methods in order to thoroughly prepare them for professional development as an expert witness in forensic science.

The Forensic Ballistics MSc is part of the Forensic MSc Programme which is formally accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

Course overview

The course consists of a one-week period of introductory studies followed by academic instruction in modular form. Most modules are of five days' duration, interspersed with weeks devoted to private study. Students are required to take four core modules, four role specific modules and choose three elective modules based on their particular background, future requirements or interests. This is followed by a four-month research project and either a thesis or literature review and paper.

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgDip - one year, Part-time PgDip - two years

English Language Requirements

Students whose first language is not English must attain an IELTS score of 7

Individual Project

The individual project takes four months from April to July. The student selects from a range of titles, or may propose their own topic. Most are practically or experimentally based using Cranfield’s unique facilities.


By written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and viva voce.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to opportunities to practice as a professional expert witness in forensic ballistics, within forensic laboratories, police departments, government bodies and non-governmental organisations. It is also a necessary introduction that could lead into conducting research at PhD level in the subject.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/forensic-ballistics.html

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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.
Covers field survey, site management, excavation and related data analysis. In addition to practicals and lectures, the course includes a non-residential field experience.
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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