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Document Analysis - MSc


Course Description

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.

Visit the Document Analysis - MSc page on the University of Central Lancashire website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Honours degree of the level 2.2 or above from a United Kingdom university or its equivalent in an appropriate discipline (forensic science, biology, chemistry, law etc) qualification or experience deemed to be equivalent to any of the above.

Last Updated

02 March 2017

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