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Masters Degrees (Wildlife Forensic)

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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 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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This online learning programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to conservation management. Read more

Programme description

This online learning programme provides an interdisciplinary approach to conservation management.

It draws together expertise from within the University of Edinburgh's Global Health Academy and partner global associates, to deliver first class teaching and research in the field of Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health.

You will assess all aspects of ecosystems, aiming to conserve and maintain their sustainability in both the developing and developed world.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Academies.

Online learning

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered using innovative online learning. It involves a mixed teaching approach that includes independent study and reflection, as well as online discussion and group project work.

Year 1: certificate
You study the following areas:

Evolution and Biodiversity
Ecosystem Health and Sustainability
Ecosystems and Governance
Conservation Ethics

Year 2: diploma
You choose six elective courses from the following:

Climate Change, Policy and Practice
Communication and Public Engagement of Conservation
Conservation Genetics
Environmental Law
Ex-situ Wildlife Management
Extreme and Fragile Ecosystems
An introduction to transboundary diseases
Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
Invasive Non-Native Species
Land Use and Food Security
Managing Ecosystems for Human Health and Wellbeing
The Marine Environment
The Modern Zoo
The Use of Artificial Reproduction Technologies in Threatened Species
Water and Sanitation
Wildlife Crime and Forensic Investigation
Wildlife, animal Health and environment
Wildlife Tourism
Zoonotic Disease

Elective courses are subject to minimum student numbers and timetabling restrictions.

Year 3: masters
You complete your own choice of dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to help you find work in environmental, intergovernmental, national and international agencies, as well as lobby groups, NGOs and other research groups.

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