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Why this course?

The MSc in Forensic Science is the UK’s longest established forensic science degree course, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016/2017.

You’ll join a global network of Strathclyde forensic science graduates in highly respected positions all over the world.

In addition to preparing you for life as a forensic scientist, you’ll also graduate with a wide range of practical skills, problem solving and investigative thinking relevant to a wide range of careers.

You'll study

  • crime scene investigation
  • legal procedures and the law
  • evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
  • analysis of range of evidence types including footwear marks, trace evidence, and questioned documents

Following a general introduction to forensic science in semester 1, you can choose to specialise in either forensic biology or forensic chemistry. As a forensic biologist you’ll study a range of topics including:

  • body fluid analysis
  • blood pattern interpretation
  • DNA profiling
  • investigation of assaults and sexual offences

If you choose to specialise in forensic chemistry, you’ll develop expertise in:

  • analysis of fires and explosives
  • drugs of abuse
  • alcohol and toxicology

The focal point of the course is our major crime scene exercise, in which you are expected to investigate your own mock outdoor crime scene, collect and analyse the evidence, and present this in Glasgow Sheriff Court in conjunction with students training in Strathclyde Law School.

Project

In semester 3, MSc students undertake a three-month project, culminating in the production of a dissertation.

Students may be given the opportunity to complete their project in an operational forensic science provider either in the UK or overseas (subject to visa requirements). Alternatively, students may complete their project within the Centre for Forensic Science itself, under the supervision of our team of academics.

Examples of institutions that previous Strathclyde students have been placed in to undertake their project include: 

  • Scottish Police Authority, Forensic Services
  • Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST)
  • Forensic Explosives Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • LGC Forensics
  • Cellmark Forensic Services
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Institute of Forensic Research, Krakow, Poland
  • Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, Canada

The MSc in Forensic Science runs for 12 months, commencing in September. 

Facilities

Teaching takes place in the Centre for Forensic Science. It’s a modern purpose-built laboratory for practical forensic training, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for analysis of a wide range of evidence types. This includes a microscopy suite, DNA profiling laboratory, analytical chemistry laboratory, blood pattern analysis room, and a suite for setting up mock crime scenes.

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 science associations in the world.

Our MSc in Forensic Science is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, demonstrating our commitment to meeting their high educational standards for forensic science tuition.

Assessment

Assessment consists of written coursework, practical work assessments, oral presentations and formal written examinations. Practical work is continually assessed and counts towards the award of the degree. The project is assessed through the completion of a dissertation.

The award of MSc is based upon 180 credits.

Careers

Most forensic scientists in Scotland are employed by the Scottish Police Authority.

In the rest of the UK, forensic scientists are employed by individual police forces, private forensic science providers such as LGC Forensics and Cellmark Forensic Services, or government bodies such as the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Outside of the UK, forensic scientists may be employed by police forces, government bodies or private companies.

Forensic scientists can specialise in specific areas such as crime scene examination, DNA analysis, drug analysis, and fire investigation.

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

Where are they now?

Many of our graduates are in work or further study.**

Job titles include:

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Biology Casework Examiner
  • Deputy Laboratory Director
  • DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Case Worker Examiner
  • Forensic DNA Analyst
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant Histopathology
  • Research & Development Chemist

Employers include:

  • Gen-Probe Life Sciences
  • HKSTC
  • Key Forensic Services Ltd
  • Lancaster Labs
  • LGC Forensics
  • Life Technologies
  • National Institute Of Criminalistics And Criminology
  • NHS
  • Seychelles Forensic Science Lab
  • University of Strathclyde

*information is intended only as a guide.

**Based on the results of the National Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (2010/11 and 2011/12).


Visit the Forensic Science MSc page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

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