Forensic science is a dynamic discipline that is crucial to the investigation of crime, the collection of evidence and intelligence, and in securing justice. This multidisciplinary MSc programme offers students a unique opportunity to gain forensic science skills and methods within a holistic crime science framework.
Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of crime and forensic science, together with the key conceptual and philosophical frameworks in this field. They will gain practical skills in crime scene investigation, experimental design and implementation, statistical analysis, data analysis and modelling, and will be able to evaluate the weight and applicability of forensic evidence for investigative and court purposes.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
An exit-only Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.
Students choose three of the following optional modules:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises and statistical and computer classes. Assessment is through coursework, examination and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Crime and Forensic Science MSc
Graduates of this programme will gain the skills necessary for a career in crime investigation, forensic science provision, consultancy, policy-making, and with public sector employers such as police forces, Home Office, and Ministry of Defence. They will also have gained the research tools necessary for a PhD or further doctoral research.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Graduates from this programme gain a solid understanding of the key principles of crime and forensic science, along with the ability to analyse problems and use appropriate scientific and professional skills to solve them. They can evaluate forensic evidence and their CSI training (developed and delivered with input from London-based police forces) gives them the edge over other applicants for crime scene investigation roles, if this is what they decide to do. They have the opportunity to learn specialist techniques in areas such as forensic archaeology and forensic geoscience, and are given a thorough grounding in academic research methods.
Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
This MSc will train graduates to think strategically and critically about crime and forensic science, equipping them with transferable skills suitable for a wide range of careers.
The UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI) brings together academics from across the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to share their professional experience.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The MSc in Analytical and Forensic Chemistry is aimed at those with a strong interest in modern instrumentation and in novel methods of chemical and forensic analysis.
A revolution in forensic, environmental and pharmaceutical science has been borne through advances in analytical science. We are now seeing a strong, worldwide demand for imaginative, skilled analysts who have knowledge and hands-on experience of modern analytical instrumentation.
Forensic science is a multidisciplinary activity that relies on chemical and analytical techniques to provide invaluable evidence from investigations of disasters, accidents and criminal activities. It may involve the detection of tiny amounts of explosives, poisons and drugs or the identification of fibres, paints, combustion residues, glass fragments, or counterfeit currency. Forensic work is also of a biological nature, with crime detection techniques such as DNA fingerprinting requiring an understanding of the underlying biochemistry.
The University’s Analytical Science Group has an international reputation for its innovative approach to analytical and forensic chemistry. We are one of the UK’s premier analytical groups, with a range of state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation.
In Semester 1 you take three core modules. These are designed to give a broad and balanced understanding of the most important developments in modern analytical and forensic chemistry:
In Semester 2 you use key research tools – such as online information retrieval – to learn about the background and the planning behind your chosen research project. You will also develop specialist knowledge of analytical and forensic chemistry:
In Semester 3 you complete an advanced analytical and forensic chemistry research project culminating in a Masters-level thesis and an oral presentation of your research successes:
Your learning will be diverse and varied. It will include interactive lectures, workshops, laboratory practicals, and computer lab sessions. You will explore the theoretical, practical and investigative aspects of analytical chemistry and forensic science, and develop invaluable professional skills, including the application of quality assurance and health safety, oral and written communication skills, problem solving, data handling and working in teams.
* All modules are subject to availability.
We teach a modern curriculum covering key areas of analytical chemistry of importance to industry, including process analysis, quality assurance, spectrometry and chromatography; and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research topics in areas such as lab-on-a-chip.
The knowledge and skills you will learn on this MSc will prepare you for a career in forensic science providing invaluable evidence from investigations of disasters, accidents and criminal activities.
We undertake world-class research in many scientific areas and are famous for our pioneering work on liquid crystals. Many of our Masters students choose to progress on to PhD-level study.