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Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation - MSc/PGDip

Forensic Archaeology is the specialist application of archaeological techniques to the search and recovery of evidential material from crime scenes, often but not always related to buried human remains.

This course is taught by staff with extensive crime scene experience who regularly work on a range of operations and are at the forefront of the professional development of the discipline.

The course will:

  • Provide you with advanced practical, analytical and interpretative skills in forensic archaeology
  • Provide training in discipline skills to enable graduates to pursue careers in Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Prepare students for careers in non-cognate fields through emphasis on team working and application of a wide knowledge base to problem solving

This course combines approaches from different disciplines to provide students with a comprehensive forensic skill set.

It is essential that forensic archaeologists are able to appreciate their role within a wider police investigation and have a detailed understanding of crime scene management procedures.

Forensic Archaeology in the United Kingdom is rapidly developing and recognised as a distinct discipline by the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator. Bradford staff have been actively involved in defining skills matrices for use by the Institute for Archaeologists as part of the process of professional regulation.


Top 200 - 2018 QS World University Rankings by subject.

"Learning from tutors who are doing the job you want to do is very inspirational."

Jenny Clifton, MSc Forensic Archaeology & CSI, 2015

What you will study

The taught elements of the programme have a focused structure that covers the key areas within forensic archaeology and is based upon direct case experience by the principal tutors working with UK police forces. There is a strong emphasis on hands-on experience utilising simulated crime scene scenarios.

Students can either chose to undertake a substantial individual research dissertation or students can alternatively take part in a simulated, complex, multi scene investigation that will require high level skills in co- operative working, scene management and information synthesis plus complete substantial research and writing assignments that require advanced level academic writing skills.

Core Modules

Option Modules

Learning and assessment

Due to the specialist nature of the programme all modules are core to the programme, although students can choose between the research dissertation and the non-dissertation route. The teaching strategy makes use of employer engagement by including delivery of elements from police CSIs, and specialists from Forensic Service Providers (Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Archaeology and CSI) in support of LO1. The thematic modules are delivered in a combination of formal lectures, student-led intensive seminars/tutorials and extensive practical instruction. Coursework (simulated crime scene and field documentation, witness statements) is geared towards demonstrating relevant knowledge, understanding and professional skills in principal approaches to the recovery, interpretation and reporting of forensic evidence. Communication skills are tested in both written and oral form in several modules.

Career prospects

Graduates from this programme have gone on to work in law enforcement (both as Police Officers and Scene of Crime/Scientific Support), Forensic Science as well as commercial archaeology with enhanced skill sets.

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Visit the Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation - MSc/PGDip page on the University of Bradford website for more details!





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