This course is designed for those with a first degree in either forensic science or another science subject (ideally chemistry or biology but other degrees are also acceptable) who want to further their knowledge and experience of forensic science.
The full-time distance learning MSc should be completed in 18 months including your dissertation. There is a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus at the end of Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study. These workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.
The MSc dissertation completes your study. This is a independent research project which will usually be undertaken, at least in part, in our state of the art specialist facilities.
This course builds upon your previous experience in the biological, chemical or forensic or other appropriate sciences to develop your ability to analyse evidence in a myriad of forms. The emphasis is on accuracy, accountability and thoroughness, with the ultimate aim of providing results and interpretation for use by a court of law. The theory is delivered using Blackboard, an online virtual learning environment. This provides the flexibility of studying at your own pace and from any location in the world. Whilst using Blackboard, you will interact with other students on the course through online discussion groups and receive excellent support from tutors via e-mail or phone.
The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma courses are, respectively, the first third and first two thirds of the MSc course. At Postgraduate Certificate level, the emphasis is on the crime scene, specifically the collection, packaging and analysis of evidence such as fingermarks, footwear marks, documents, hairs, fibres and glass. Those continuing on to the Postgraduate Diploma will then change the emphasis of their studies to the chemical and biological analysis of evidence in forensic laboratories. During the Diploma, you will learn about a host of techniques, from the interpretation of blood spatter evidence to the analysis of illicit drugs, and from DNA profiling to the analysis of fire accelerants and drugs. The Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma stages of study each end in a two-week long residential practical programme, held at our Stoke-on-Trent campus. These summer workshops enable you to put your learning into practice and gain valuable experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene house and mock courtroom facilities.
MSc students continue their studies beyond the Postgraduate Diploma stage, allowing specialisation in an aspect of forensic science. To complete the MSc, you will undertake a independent research project in an area either suggested by yourself or by choosing a title from a list of topics. In this work, the emphasis is on initiative and originality in the analysis and interpretation of results. The experimental part will usually be undertaken at our Stoke-on-Trent campus but, by agreement, could be based at the learner’s place of work or at a local institute.
This award is accredited by the Forensic Science Society.