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Masters Degrees (Forensic Genetic)

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This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. Read more
This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. You will gain knowledge and scientific skills that are directly applicable to the field of forensic science, with prospects of employment in forensic science laboratories as well as in other analytical science laboratories.

The course involves a unique combination of forensic chemistry and forensic biology, covering subjects such as trace evidence, toxicology and DNA analysis. Once you have covered the underlying principles of both areas, you can then specialise in your chosen field for your MSc research project.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which enhances its credibility and currency among potential employers.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/forensic-science-dtpfrs6/

Learn From The Best

Our teaching team are active researchers who routinely incorporate their expertise and enthusiasm into their teaching. Many of the staff have worked in forensic science laboratories and have been involved in high profile cases such as the Stephen Lawrence, Joanna Yeates, Suffolk strangler and Jigsaw murder cases. Their areas of research include toxicology, the analysis of fibres and their transfer and persistence and the analysis of ancient DNA.

Academic staff include former forensic biologists, forensic toxicologists, and forensic fibre experts. They continue to maintain close links with the industry including the police and practising forensic scientists. Many of them are well-established within professional forensic science societies and organisations, which directly inform policy and practices within the field.

Teaching And Assessment

Our teaching will give you a solid grounding in all the technical areas that are key to forensic science, while simultaneously developing the higher level of independent thinking and advanced interpretation that is expected at Masters level. To support your learning journey, many of the staff have an ‘open door’ policy which makes it easy to ask questions; it’s also possible to book appointments with them so that you can work through queries about lab work, concepts and theories, and any other aspects of the subject.

We use different types of assessments: some will contribute to your final grade while others will be used to provide you with guidance on your progress and reinforce your learning. You can expect both your tutors and your peers to provide useful comments and feedback throughout the course.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)
AP0723 - Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0724 - Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0725 - Criminalistics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0726 - Forensic Genetics (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will have access to a dedicated crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes. Students can also access Return to Scene (R2S) software which provides a 360 degree interactive scan of a crime scene allowing you to perform further analysis in detail after you have left the scene. Northumbria University has also invested heavily in an impressive suite of analytical equipment allowing you to gain first-hand experience of the techniques used in operational laboratories.

We use a range of technologies to enhance your learning, with tools including web-based self-guided exercises, online tests with feedback, and electronic discussion boards. These tools support and extend the material that is delivered during lectures.

You will have 24/7 term-time access to Northumbria’s library, which was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

Research-Rich Learning

We host the Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science and our research directly impacts on what and how you learn. Northumbria is helping to push the frontiers of knowledge in areas such as:
-Forensic fibre comparisons using statistical and chemometric approaches
-DNA profiling in contexts such as injuries to children and poaching of wildlife
-Human genetic and phenotypic variation
-Analytical toxicology

As part of the course, you will undertake a Masters project that will require you to evaluate relevant literature as well as to develop your ideas within the context of existing research. The project will involve information retrieval, critical appraisal, presentation of aims and strategy, development of advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, the discussion and interpretation of results, and the composition of a written dissertation. Each project will be aligned to an active area of research that is specific to an academic member of staff.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. This reflects the relevance and rigour of the curriculum, and provides assurance of workplace-ready knowledge and application.

The focus on practical laboratory work, combined with the mix of group work, independent learning and professional practice, will help ensure that you develop skills that are transferable to a range of careers and disciplines.

Throughout your time at Northumbria we will prompt you to reflect on your self-development through the Higher Education Achievement Report process. We will also encourage you to take advantage of the services of our Careers and Employment Service such as CV advice and interview preparation.

Your Future

Forensic science has gained a high profile through TV dramas and, in the years ahead the sector is likely to be further transformed by technological advances in a number of fields. With an MSc Forensic Science you will be well-placed to take up a fascinating and rewarding role in forensic science laboratories.

What’s more, by developing the attributes of a Masters student, including the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and work effectively with others and on your own, you will enhance your employability in all sectors of the analytical science industry. You will also be well equipped to pursue further studies at PhD level.

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This Masters course at Liverpool John Moores University provides the skills and knowledge to forge a career in forensic anthropology. Read more
This Masters course at Liverpool John Moores University provides the skills and knowledge to forge a career in forensic anthropology. You will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field and carry out novel research.

•Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
•Stratigraphic excavation techniques to solve missing person cases
•Specialised forensic science labs and facilities
•Study a course developed and delivered by leading researchers
•Gain hands-on experience in the field
•Employment opportunities in forensic anthropology and related fields
•Optional module in skeletal anatomy – a complete introduction to working with bones


Forensic Anthropology is the combination of physical anthropological knowledge, and the application of forensic methods and techniques. The discipline is used by the justice system to solve cases where a missing person or an unknown murder victim is involved.

The MSc in Forensic Anthropology will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in the search for missing people, recovery of evidence and human remains from clandestine graves and identification of unknown corpses by osteological analysis.

The programme will develop a broad understanding of these issues, including excavation, laboratory analysis and the courtroom skills necessary to present findings in a trial. You will also have the opportunity to learn analytical techniques, taphonomic analysis, field methods and genetic applications.

The programme develops a high profile curriculum, which is supported by a structured lecture programme, workshops and seminars in the department’s well-equipped specialist laboratories.

The MSc in Forensic Anthropology is also supported by a skeletal reference collection and staff members are currently involved around the world as practitioners in forensic cases. When you complete the course you will have the skills to continue into academic research or employment as a forensic anthropologist.

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Level 7

Advanced research methods
Project management and employability skills
Academic and non-academic dissemination
Human identification from skeletal remains
Human identification from genetic evidence
Dental anthropology
Biomechanics and trauma analysis
Taphonomy
Excavation techniques
Paleopathology
Laws and courtroom skills
Crime scene investigation
Forensic sciences, chemistry and biosciences

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.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. Read more
The increasing impact of genetics in healthcare and the development of newer sophisticated technologies requires close collaboration between research scientists, clinical laboratory scientists and clinicians to deliver a high quality service to patients. The Medical Genetics MSc covers the delivery of a modern clinical genetics service, including risk analysis and application of modern genetic and genomic technologies in medical genetics research and in diagnostics and population screening.

Why this programme

-This is a fully up-to-date Medical Genetics degree delivered by dedicated, multi-award-winning teaching and clinical staff of the University, with considerable input from hospital-based Regional Genetics Service clinicians and clinical scientists.
-The full spectrum of genetic services is represented, from patient and family counselling to diagnostic testing of individuals and screening of entire populations for genetic conditions: eg the NHS prenatal and newborn screening programmes.
-The Medical Genetics MSc Teaching Staff have won the 2014 UK-wide Prospects Postgraduate Awards for the category of Best Postgraduate Teaching Team (Science, Technology & Engineering). These awards recognise and reward excellence and good practice in postgraduate education.
-The close collaboration between university and hospital staff ensures that the Medical Genetics MSc provides a completely up-to-date representation of the practice of medical genetics and you will have the opportunity to observe during clinics and visit the diagnostic laboratories at the new Southern General Hospital laboratory medicine building.
-The Medical Genetics degree explores the effects of mutations and variants as well as the current techniques used in NHS genetics laboratory diagnostics and recent developments in diagnostics (including microarray analysis and the use of massively parallel [“next-generation”] sequencing).
-New developments in medical genetics are incorporated into the lectures and interactive teaching sessions very soon after they are presented at international meetings or published, and you will gain hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.
-You will develop your skills in problem solving, experimental design, evaluation and interpretation of experimental data, literature searches, scientific writing, oral presentations, poster presentations and team working.
-This MSc programme will lay the academic foundations on which some students may build in pursuing research at PhD level in genetics or related areas of biomedical science.
-The widely used textbook “Essential Medical Genetics” is co-authored by a member of the core teaching team, Professor Edward Tobias.
-For doctors: The Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians’ Training Board (JRCPTB) in the UK recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics (which was established in 1984) as counting for six months of the higher specialist training in Clinical Genetics.
-The Medical Council of Hong Kong recognises the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics from University of Glasgow in it's list of Quotable Qualifications.

Programme structure

-Genetic Disease: from the Laboratory to the Clinic
-Case Investigations in Medical Genetics and Genomics
-Clinical Genomics - Students will take this course OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.
-Omic technologies for the Biomedical Sciences: from Genomics to Metabolomics - Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Frontiers in Cancer Science.
-Frontiers in Cancer Science - Students will take this course OR Clinical Genomics OR Omic Technologies for Biomedical Sciences.
-Disease Screening in Populations
-SNP Assay Design and Validation
-Medical Genetics and Genomics Dissertation

Teaching and Learning Methods
A variety of methods are used, including problem-based learning, case-based learning, lectures, tutorials and laboratories. These are supplemented by a wide range of course-specific electronic resources for additional learning and self-assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in research, diagnostics or clinical genetics. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use the primary scientific literature as an information resource, although textbooks such as our own Essential Medical Genetics will also be useful. You will have the options of: attending genetic counselling clinics and gaining hands-on experience and guidance in using software and online resources for genetic diagnosis and for the evaluation of pathogenesis of DNA sequence variants.

There are weekly optional supplementary tutorials on topics that are selected by students

Electronic Resources
-Access to a continually updated Moodle (virtual learning environment) with extensive additional teaching and self-assessment materials.
-An online web-portal with regularly updated direct links to >70 worldwide genetic databases & online algorithms (plus the latest new genetics discoveries), all easily accessible and grouped into useful categories.

Career prospects

Research: About half of our graduates enter a research career and most of these graduates undertake and complete PhDs; the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics facilitates acquisition of skills relevant to a career in research in many different bio-molecular disciplines.

Diagnostics: Some of our graduates enter careers with clinical genetic diagnostic services, particularly in molecular genetics and cytogenetics.

Clinical genetics: Those of our graduates with a prior medical / nursing training often utilise their new skills in careers as clinical geneticists or genetic counsellors.

Other: Although the focus of teaching is on using the available technologies for the purpose of genetic diagnostics, many of these technologies are used in diverse areas of biomedical science research and in forensic DNA analysis. Some of our numerous graduates, who are now employed in many countries around the world, have entered careers in industry, scientific publishing, education and medicine.

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This course, which uniquely combines forensic genetic and conservation genetic elements within one of the largest forensic science academic departments in the world, runs in conjunction with other well established and popular MSc courses. Read more
This course, which uniquely combines forensic genetic and conservation genetic elements within one of the largest forensic science academic departments in the world, runs in conjunction with other well established and popular MSc courses. Students will learn the fundamentals of molecular genetics, population genetics and phylogenetics that underpin the disciplines of forensic and conservation genetics and develop both theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Small cohort sizes will allow the use of a diverse range of assessments and the provision of considerable student support. Teaching will be carried out using a combination of lectures, tutorials, practicals, computer workshops and self-directed study. In addition to six taught modules, students will undertake a three-module research project which will develop laboratory and research skills. Depending on availability, students may also have an opportunity to visit and gain field experience at the Maasai Centre for Field Studies in Kenya.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

The forensic genetics group has dedicated pre and post-PCR laboratories housing an ABI3500, two ABI310 machines, an ABI7500 real-time PCR machine, a number of ABI2700 PCR machines, gel imaging systems, and several PCR cabinets. MSc students will carry out laboratory-based dissertation research projects within these well equipped modern laboratories. Research topics within the group are diverse, ranging from forensic genetics and human genetics, to wildlife forensics and forensic entomology. This will ensure that a wide choice of dissertation topics is available to our students. We also have a number of full-time and part-time MRes/MPhil/PhD students and an interest in research is actively encouraged and maintained throughout the year via seminars/ discussions.

The course will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, computer workshops, and practical classes, working independently or as part of a group. At least an equal amount of time should be spent in private study reading around the subject. Guided teaching and formal assessments on this course will enhance the development of a number of transferable skills such as the production of written case reports, formal presentations, active participation in discussions, ability to work to deadlines, computing skills, scientific analysis, adherence and development of laboratory protocols, and research methods.

Assessment is predominantly through coursework except for one module which is assessed by both examination and coursework. Coursework will include written essays, laboratory reports, case reports, presentations and in Part 3, a dissertation.

OPPORTUNITIES

Students graduating from this course will be well placed to undertake further research at the doctoral level or take up jobs in forensic/genetics/veterinary/diagnostic/wildlife protection laboratories.

Two of our graduates have taken on jobs as DNA analysts while a others have gone on to undertake further degrees or research towards a MPhil/PhD.

Depending on availability, students may have an opportunity to visit and gain field experience at the Maasai Centre for Field Studies in Kenya.

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Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project. Read more
Our MSc by Research in Life Sciences is a dedicated programme which is designed to enable students to further develop their research skills by focusing on a specialist project.

This course provides an opportunity for students from biological subjects to begin research in life sciences. Research may be conducted in a broad range of topics in biology and life sciences and as a researcher in the School, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with academics working on studies and projects.

The School undertakes research at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels in order to answer fundamental questions in molecular biology and biomedical science, forensic science and microbiology, animal and plant biology, and evolution and ecology.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research is conducted within six substantial research groups. Scientists in Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare explore the causes, functions and evolution of animal behaviour and the impact this has on animal welfare.

Those in Evolution and Ecology examine population dynamics and evolutionary processes at all levels of biological organisation. Researchers in Drug Design and Delivery focus on the application and efficacy of novel therapeutics, while academics working in Molecular Basis of Disease aim to understand disease at a molecular level in order to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Example Research Areas:
-Management of Native River Fish
-Forensic Analysis of Burnt Bones
-Public Perception of Dog Breed Types.

Example Research Projects:
-Peptide-guided drug delivery
-Cognitive phylogenetics in parrots
-Sexual selection dynamics in humans
-Protein Biochemistry with the development of cardiovascular disease
-Reconstruction of patterns of habitat colonisation using genetic methods.

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 supervisor, however the regularity of these will vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

Facilities

Students have the chance to develop their professional and technical skills in specialist laboratories equipped for research in biomedical, forensic and pharmaceutical science, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and animal and plant biology.

Minster House, adjacent to the laboratories, provides specialist facilities for the study of animal behaviour. Our links with local, national and international partners may provide postgraduate students with opportunities for further collaboration with scientists in industry, government and academia.

Career and Personal Development

Postgraduate-level research provides you with the opportunity to advance your knowledge and develop your practical and intellectual skills. Graduates may pursue careers in research and science-related roles, while others may choose to move on to research at doctoral level.

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The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and on the other the control of harmful species worldwide. Read more
The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and on the other the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

The course

Harper Adams is the UK’s only provider of postgraduate courses in entomology and related areas. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and the understanding of biodiversity. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunities.

Insects and allied invertebrates comprise approximately 78 per cent of the world’s macro-biodiversity, whereas vertebrates, even using the most generous estimates, make up less than three per cent. Insects and their relatives play an important role in all of our ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects. Many are also important pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems.

Many insects are also rare and endangered and need to be managed for conservation. Other insects are used as model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies.

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized training in entomology and conservation.

The course will:
■ prepare students for a career in entomology and/or conservation
■ offer vocational training in the area of applied entomology or insect conservation
■ prepare students for PhD studies

The course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and, on the other, the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and longstanding collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (minimum lower second class) or a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area together with related industrial or professional experience of at least two years. In addition, the suitability of candidates for particular programmes may be assessed by interview, considering reports from referees and by evaluating previous experience.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the taught part of MSc you will be able to identify insects to at least family level, determine their key characteristics, and critically evaluate the role of insects in managed and natural ecosystems. You will also learn to assess and exploit technology to solve insect-related problems.

The course will focus on producing integrated management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social and environmental requirements. Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to insect control and conservation to a range of audiences using various methods of communication.

The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pure and applied entomological research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will also learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing entomological studies.

The MSc covers a broad range of topics in entomology and conservation and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an entomological work environment or a research career in ecological entomology or insect conservation. There is, however, considerable flexibility, enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Careers

Students holding an MSc in Entomology have gone on to work for research institutes such as Rothamsted Research, FERA (the Food and Environment Research Agency), the James Hutton Institute, commercial biological control companies, the agrochemical industry and as agronomists and ecological consultants.

They have also gained employment with conservation bodies such as Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or overseas. A number of graduates have worked as forensic entomologists. Typically 70 per cent of Entomology MSc graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

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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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