Masters degrees in Forensic & Archaeological Sciences study the principles behind the investigation and recovery of material human evidence. They provide expertise required by a range of practical fields, including historical archaeology and modern policing.
Subjects within this discipline draw on a similar toolkit, but can have very different applications.
A Masters in Archaeological Science will tend to focus on the methods used to analyse and preserve materials of historical and cultural interest. A Masters in Forensic Science will use scientific techniques to recover evidence from more recent crime scenes. Areas of overlap include forensic archaeology, which uses archaeological techniques to analyse older criminal evidence.
Qualifications in this discipline have a range of obvious professional applications in practical fields and in theoretical research.
A Masters in Archaeological Science can lead to an exciting career investigating physical sites and supporting excavations. Alternatively, you may be based within a laboratory or museum (or a laboratory within a museum!) analysing collections to gain new insight into important artefacts.
A Masters in Forensic Science will prepare you for work law enforcement and criminal justice systems. You may work directly in support of a police force, assisting with the investigation of crime scenes. Or you may help develop new techniques and technologies to assist with solving or preventing future crimes.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
MSc Forensic Anthropology is designed to enable graduate students to develop skills in a variety of areas, which concern the processing, analysis and identification of human remains. This postgraduate course provides intensive training in developmental anatomy and osteology, forensic anthropology methods and theory, forensic taphonomy in theory and practice, crime scene investigation and the law, research methods and expert witness and presentation skills. The course has a focus on both domestic forensic anthropology work (e.g. UK and US) and forensic anthropology in the context of international humanitarian work and international criminal investigation.
UCLan’s postgraduate Forensic Anthropology course is the only forensic anthropology/osteology MSc in the UK to be based within a dedicated forensics department with state-of-the-art Crime Scene Investigation practical labs as well as excellent resources in Forensic Biology and Chemistry.
We have a dedicated MSc Forensic Anthropology laboratory and radiography facilities with the full range of teaching casts as well as an extensive collection of experimentally induced projectile, blunt and sharp force trauma. We have an archaeological skeletal collection consisting of some 120 individuals from two sites, one late Medieval and one Victorian. UCLan’s TRACES facility for decomposition and taphonomic experimentation is located nearby and many students choose to conduct MSc dissertation research projects as part of the long term research agenda into estimating time since death. Staff members teaching the course are also active in research and consultancy.
Assessment is based on a combination of coursework and examination and includes an MSc dissertation project. Students are encouraged to present their research findings at international meetings.
Graduating from this course, you will be well placed to undertake further research at the doctoral level, take up jobs in forensic anthropology laboratories, or to participate in human remains excavations.