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Crime and Forensic Science - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

Forensic science is a dynamic discipline that is crucial to the investigation of crime, the collection of evidence and intelligence, and in securing justice. This multidisciplinary MSc programme offers students a unique opportunity to gain forensic science skills and methods within a holistic crime science framework.

Degree information

Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of crime and forensic science, together with the key conceptual and philosophical frameworks in this field. They will gain practical skills in crime scene investigation, experimental design and implementation, statistical analysis, data analysis and modelling, and will be able to evaluate the weight and applicability of forensic evidence for investigative and court purposes.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). An exit-only Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core modules
-Quantitative Methods
-Designing and Doing Research
-Understanding and Interpreting Forensic Evidence
-Foundations of Security and Crime Science
-Judicial Decision Making and Expert Evidence

Optional modules - students choose three of the following optional modules:
-Case Assessment and Interpretation for Forensic Scientists
-Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
-Information Security Management
-Forensic Archaeology
-Forensic Osteology
-Forensic Geoscience
-Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
-Judgment and Decision Making
-Practices of Crime Scene Investigation and Expert Testimony
-Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises and statistical and computer classes. Assessment is through coursework, examination and the dissertation.


Graduates of this programme will gain the skills necessary for a career in crime investigation, forensic science provision, consultancy, policymaking, and with public sector employers such as police forces, Home Office, and Ministry of Defence. They will also have gained the research tools necessary for a PhD or further doctoral research.

Graduates from this programme gain a solid understanding of the key principles of crime and forensic science, along with the ability to analyse problems and use appropriate scientific and professional skills to solve them. They can evaluate forensic evidence and their CSI training (developed and delivered with input from London-based police forces) gives them the edge over other applicants for crime scene investigation roles, if this is what they decide to do. They have the opportunity to learn specialist techniques in areas such as forensic archaeology and forensic geoscience, and are given a thorough grounding in academic research methods.

Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scs/degree-programmes/postgraduate/graduate-profiles

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MSc will train graduates to think strategically and critically about crime and forensic science, equipping them with transferable skills suitable for a wide range of careers.

The UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI) brings together academics from across the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to share their professional experience.

Visit the Crime and Forensic Science - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Nadine Smit

"I think the overall strength of forensic science at UCL is the many connections that exist (and are needed) with other academic departments and organisations such as the Metropolitan Police."

(Student Profile)

Rachel McElhone

"UCL is a prestigious university and the programme content was unlike any other Master's available, for example the CSI module with the Metropolitan Police. The Master's gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in both areas of crime and forensic science. Due to it often being applied to real-life scenarios in industry, I could demonstrate an awareness of forensics and the policing industry in interviews, despite having little experience in such jobs."


14 Departmental bursary scholarships - 14 Awards

The UCL Department of Security and Crime Science and the UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences are offering up to 14 bursary scholarships that will be worth between 25% to 100% of the course fee for students applying for one of our MSc courses: MSc in Crime Science
MSc in Crime & Forensic Science
MSc in Countering Organised Crime & Terrorism

Value of Scholarship(s)



These scholarships are for students who pay UK-level fees for the following courses in the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science and the UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences : MSc in Crime Science
MSc in Crime & Forensic Science
MSc in Countering Organised Crime & Terrorism

Application Procedure

Please see our departmental website for up to date details of the scholarship and how to apply:http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scs/pg-taught/NOTE: DEADLINE IS APRIL 30TH EACH YEAR

Further Information



Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines will generally include science subjects, for example chemistry, biology, physics, engineering or computer science; psychology, archaeology or geography. Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or with a forensic science provider).

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