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).
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.
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.
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.
This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories and their practical application in fire investigation. You will also experience extensive practical experience of the major techniques, methodologies and approaches used in fire investigation. In addition you will develop your skills in critical thinking using a range of academic paradigms by undertaking an extensive research project in the field of fire investigation.
Fire Science and Building Construction
This module will introduce you to the basic science that underpins the investigation of fire scenes. You will be introduced to the chemistry of combustion, including consideration of the effects of ventilation, physical properties of combustible materials and ignition sources. You will look at the ontogeny and progression of combustion events, but also the legal and health and safety aspects underpinning fire science.
Evidence Gathering at Fire Scenes
This module will cover all aspects of the practical steps needed to identify and gather evidence at Fire Scenes. Integral to this module will be an appreciation of issues of continuity and integrity and an awareness of the differences between criminal and other investigations of scenes of fire.
Fire Scene Investigation Practical
You will gain direct practical experience of undertaking a fire scene investigation at the Oldbury facility of the West Midlands Fire Service. This module will expose you to a simulated fire scene, where you will have to carry out the full investigation of documenting and recording the scene, followed by evidence identification and recovery.
Interpretation of Fire Scenes
This module will allow you to utilise the various evidence strands that are present in fire scenes to work out the cause, origin and spread of fires. You will then discuss the effects of fire and products of combustion on the human body, including human behaviour.
Managing Fire Scene Investigations and Report Writing
This module will provide an in-depth analysis of the considerations surrounding the management of the investigations of fire scenes. There will be an overview of personnel involved, their roles and contribution to the investigation. The module will also describe the preparation of written and oral testimony for courts of law. Finally the presentation of the report in oral testimony will be reviewed.
provides you with the necessary skills to undertake a research project in this exciting area. The module will include a project specific literature review, experimental design and project planning, an oral presentation and an introduction to statistics in investigating experimental questions.
The research project in Fire Investigation is an integral part of the course and is intended to develop research skills in persons undertaking careers in forensic mark comparison. As well as applying the scientific approach to research coupled with statistical validation of results from the research methods module, genuine case-based research will be undertaken at the University, in one of the course partners or at a number of alternative providers.
a) The delivery of the course would involve a partnership between one of the leading centres of fire investigation in the UK and the University. Both partners have an established track record in delivering training and education with a vocational aspect in this area.
b) The Oldbury Fire Investigation facility will allow the student a unique hands-on practical experience that is not offered by any other MSc course in the Midlands region.
c) There are opportunities for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to the MSc.
Unfortunately, fires are always going to happen. There will always be a need to investigate these as the consequences of fires are extensive damage to persons and property. The applied nature of this course means that a number of career paths are available to you. These include:
At the end of this course you, the student, will demonstrate: