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Masters Degrees (Questioned Documents)

We have 5 Masters Degrees (Questioned Documents)

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This course is designed to enable graduate students and forensic practitioners to develop the theoretical knowledge underpinning forensic document examination and provide intensive training and practical experience. Read more
This course is designed to enable graduate students and forensic practitioners to develop the theoretical knowledge underpinning forensic document examination and provide intensive training and practical experience. It covers the analysis of handwriting, signatures, questioned and fraudulent documents and provides training in the use of a range of highly specialised techniques, such as VSC, comparison microscopy, ESDA and Raman Spectroscopy.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

The dedicated laboratory for this course houses an ESDA and a VSC-5000 and this is where MSc students will take a wide range of practical classes, carry out simulated casework and conduct laboratory-based dissertation research projects. Students will also have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation within the Analytical Unit. The Unit houses gas chromatographs with pyrolysis injection capability and FID, MS and EC detectors, ion chromatographs and high performance liquid chromatographs with diode array fluorescence, MS and Differential refractometer detectors. The Unit also houses facilities for Atomic absorption, UV-Visible and Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, NMR spectrometry, Inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy With Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDAX).

Modules will be assessed through theory and practical examinations, and coursework (essays, moot courts, presentations and a dissertation). Students will be required to examine documents and equipment, produce case notes and reports.

Please note that Distance Learning students will be required to attend a two-week residential workshop at UCLan’s Preston campus during Semester 2. More information will be provided about this in Semester 1.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Modules are assessed through theoretical and practical examinations as well as coursework. Assessments include the examination of suspect documents and pieces of equipment from simulated cases and the production of formal case notes and expert reports, as well as essays, mock courtroom trials, group and individual presentations and a dissertation. Upon graduating from this course you will be well placed to gain employment in forensic science laboratories, police investigation teams, fraud departments in major government or private organisations, or to go on to further research in academia.

MSc Document Analysis is designed to enable graduate students and forensic practitioners to understand and develop the theoretical knowledge underpinning all aspects of forensic document examination and to develop skills in a variety of areas, which concern the processing, analysis, identification and interpretation of questioned documents. The course provides intensive training in all areas of forensic document analysis and provides extensive practical training in the areas of the analysis and identification of handwriting, signatures, printing apparatus and fraudulent documents. The course also provides you with training to act as an expert witness and presentation and communication skills.

You will study the principles underpinning the scientific analysis of handwriting and signatures together with the considerations involved when carrying out forensic casework. This course will also provide practical experience in the examination of printing equipment, typewriters, photocopiers and the identification of forged or counterfeit documents. You will be trained in a number of analytical techniques using highly specialised apparatus, such as the use of the video spectral comparator, a comparison microscope, ESDA (Electrostatic Detection Apparatus) and a Raman Spectrometer. In addition, the course will provide you with the opportunity to develop a large number of transferable skills.

Upon graduating from this course you will be well placed to gain employment in forensic science laboratories, police investigation teams and fraud departments in major government or private organisations, or to go on to further research in academia at doctoral level.

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MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a "top-up" of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents.

The MSc course in Fire Investigation requires the student to carry out a major independent research project in fire investigation. The project can be undertaken in the student's own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project.

Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a top-up of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation,, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents..

The MSc course in Crime Scene Investigation require the student to carry out a major independent research project in crime scene investigation. The project can be undertaken in the student s own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project.

Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

Read less
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc. Read more
MSc Top-up This programme allows forensic practitioners who are holders of the Forensic Science Society Diploma to study for an MSc.

From 2010 the Forensic Science Society Diploma was credit rated at 120 credits at postgraduate level. This has allowed the university to offer a top-up of the diploma to masters level on the successful completion of a project in either Crime Scene Investigation, Fire Investigation, Firearm Examination and Questioned Documents.

The MSc course in Firearm Examination requires the student to carry out a major independent research project in crime scene investigation.

The project can be undertaken in the student s own laboratories or at the University. The exact subject of the project is agreed by negotiation with the member of staff who will act as the academic supervisor for the project. Support for the course is provided by Blackboard which gives details of risk assessments and ethical considerations which have to be in place before the commencement of the project.

Accreditation

This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.

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The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science course. It'll allow you to qualify as a court-going forensic scientist, as well as preparing you for many alternative careers that require problem-solving and analysis. Read more

Why this course?

The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science course. It'll allow you to qualify as a court-going forensic scientist, as well as preparing you for many alternative careers that require problem-solving and analysis.

You’ll graduate with relevant practical skills combined with analytical and investigative thinking.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/forensicscience/

You’ll study:

- crime investigation and legal processes
- criminalistics (eg shoe marks)
- forensic chemistry (fires, explosives, glass, paint)
- toxicology and drugs of abuse (cannabis, heroin cocaine etc)
- forensic biology (body fluid analysis, blood pattern interpretation)
- trace evidence and fibre examination
- questioned documents
- interpretation of evidence

You’ll become an effective analyst, develop strong written and verbal communication skills and develop knowledge of:
- common separation techniques (thin layer, HPLC and gas chromatography)
- modern spectroscopic methods (infra-red, ultraviolet-visible and fluorescence)
- DNA profiling
- crime scene investigation


MSc students will undertake a three-month project.

The eight-month Postgraduate Diploma course is similar to the MSc, but does not include the three-month project.

Facilities

Teaching takes place in the Centre for Forensic Science. It’s a modern purpose-built laboratory for practical forensic training, designed and equipped for ultra-clean working for the avoidance of cross contamination.

Teaching staff

Staff are experienced researchers in forensic science who are internationally recognised. The Centre for Forensic Science offers a unique learning experience, combining ‘case-based’ learning with research-led teaching.

- Practitioner Lecture Series
This course offers the unique experience of gaining first-hand accounts of forensics in action through our practitioner and forensic related professionals lecture series.

Well renowned practitioners and professionals providing these lectures include:
- Professor Peter Gill, Professor of Forensic Science, University of Oslo
- PD Dr rer nat Marielle Vennemann, Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Münster
- Dr Cerys Rees, Fellow, CB Analysis and Attribution, DSTL
- Dr John Jenner, Principal Toxicologist, DSTL
- Ciara Holland, Consultant Fire Investigator at BRE (Building Research Establishment Global Ltd)
- Jim Govan a retired Firearm Examiner at the Scottish Policing Authority and Terminal Ballistic Consultant to Deer Commission Scotland (now Scottish Natural Heritage)
- Alan Gall, Former Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander, Strathclyde Police
- Graham Cairns, Former Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander, Strathclyde Police

Accreditation

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 associations in the world.

Its aim is to set high educational standards through the review and accreditation of courses that contain forensic science.

Additional MSc requirements

- IELTS 6.5 is required for all non-English speakers
- entry is competitive and students are selected on the basis of academic ability and previous experience
- final selection decisions are made by the academic selector and successful applicants will be notified
- in the course of forensic examinations, there is a potential for exposure to body fluids from hepatitis sufferers and prospective students should consider hepatitis immunisation (this takes from four to six months to be effective)

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Assessment

Assessment consists of written submission, practical work assessments and oral presentations. Practical work is continually assessed and counts towards the award of the degree.

The award of MSc is based upon 180 credits, while the award of PgDip is based upon 120 credits.

Careers

Most forensic scientists in the UK are employed by the police, government bodies such as Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and private companies who provide forensic science services to the police.

Most of the work is laboratory-based but experienced forensic scientists may have to attend crime scenes and give evidence in court.

How much will I earn?

Starting salaries are around £20,000 a year and can increase to £35,000 with experience. Senior forensic scientists can earn £45,000 or more*

*information is intended only as a guide.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

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