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Masters Degrees (Forensic Geoscience)

We have 4 Masters Degrees (Forensic Geoscience)

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Forensic science is a dynamic discipline that is crucial to the investigation of crime, the collection of evidence and intelligence, and in securing justice. Read more

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.

About this degree

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.

Core modules

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Designing and Doing Research
  • Understanding and Interpreting Forensic Evidence
  • Foundations of Security and Crime Science
  • Law and Expert Evidence
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Case Assessment and Interpretation for Forensic Scientists
  • Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
  • Information Security Management
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Osteology
  • Forensic Geoscience
  • Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Practices of Crime Scene Investigation and Expert Testimony
  • Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Advanced Forensic Anthropology

Dissertation/report

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

Careers

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

  • Crime Analyst, Home Office
  • Data Analyst, Civil Service
  • Rehabilitation Adviser, Frimley Park Hospital (NHS)
  • PhD in Security Science, UCL

Employability

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.



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This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. Read more

This MSc provides students with a foundation in the analysis of human remains, both in archaeological and modern forensic settings. With a solid grounding in skeletal and dental anatomy, students learn about morphological variation, development, methods for biological profiling, human disease and forensic approaches to trauma and taphonomy.

About this degree

Students will learn procedures for interpretation and analysis of human skeletal remains - considering both archaeological and modern forensic contexts. There is a unique opportunity to analyse recently excavated human remains, utilising methods and techniques learned during the programme. While the focus of this programme is primarily on modern humans, late Pleistocene hominids are also considered.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Dental Anthropology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Methodology and Issues in Bioarchaeology and Palaeoepidemiology
  • Morphology and Palaeopathology of the Human Skeleton
  • Variation and Evolution of the Human Skull

Optional modules

Students choose one optional module from the following list or from the wider range of Master's optional modules available. Please note that some core modules are normally only available to those enrolled for the degree in question. If you wish to take a core module from another degree as an option certain restrictions may apply. Please consult the programme co-ordinator before choosing your optional module.

  • Advanced Forensic Anthropology
  • Archaeologies of the Modern World
  • Archaeology of Early Modern Humans
  • Forensic Geoscience (by arrangement with the Jill Dando Centre for Forensic Sciences)
  • Funerary Archaeology
  • Human Evolution (by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology)
  • Palaeoanthropology (by arrangement with the Department of Anthropology)
  • Zooarchaeology in Practice
  • Other Master's options available at the Institute of Archaeology.

Please note that not all options run every year. 

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical classes. This MSc has strong links with the Forensic Archaeological Science MSc which gives individual programmes an interesting mix of participants and provides many opportunities for discussion. Assessment is through essays, class tests, reports and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology MSc

Careers

Some graduates of the programme go on to PhD studies, while others go on to work in a range of archaeological and non-archaeological roles as osteoarchaeological specialists, members of the police, curators and political researchers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest and most diverse archaeology department in the UK, offering students a range of opportunities.

This particular MSc is unique, offering a combination of bioarchaeological and forensic principles for the study of human remains unlike anything else available in the UK. Students further benefit from access to a large collection of skeletal material for study, including dental and palaeopathology reference collections. Access to sophisticated equipment and techniques (laser scanner, SEM, thin sectioning, CT) is also available.

Some lectures will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons and students have access to their teaching collections and museums, including the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Archaeology

73% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science. Read more

Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science.

The MSc by thesis will take you between 12 and 15 months to complete. You'll carry out in-depth supervised research and write a thesis. During your studies you might also author publications for peer-reviewed journals.

To do an MSc by thesis you'll need an Honours degree or postgraduate diploma in an appropriate field, with an average grade of B+ or higher in your subject area.

Available subjects

Workload

If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.



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Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science. Read more

Get a degree that's recognised worldwide and contribute to knowledge in your field. A Master of Science (MSc) will develop your technical, laboratory and academic writing skills to prepare you for a career in science.

The MSc will take you between two and two and half years of full-time study or up to four years part time. In the first year of your MSc you'll take several courses related to your specialist subject area. Next, you'll carry out in-depth supervised research for 12–15 months and write a thesis. During your studies you might also author publications for peer-reviewed journals.

To do an MSc you'll need a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field, with an average grade of B+ or higher in your subject area. You may also be able to qualify for entry if you have appropriate work or other experience.

Range of Master's programmes

Choose to complete this Master's programme or one of the specialist science Master's programmes. Most specialist programmes are 180 points and don't require a thesis.

If you have already done a BSc(Hons) you can apply to go directly into the 120-point MSc by thesis.

Available subjects

Workload

If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.



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