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Forensic Science (MSc)

Course Description

A dead body is found in a harbour. The body is completely packed in black industrial foil, bound together with tape and weighed down with pavement tiles secured by steel cables and chains. The police decide to transport the remains undisturbed to the forensic institute.
Careful photography and recovery of the binding material is followed by unpacking of the foil. A series of investigations follow: an autopsy by the pathologist, blood analysis by toxicologists, examination of microtraces under the fingernails, examination of the tape for fingerprints and determination of DNA samples, fibres and chemical composition of traces. Later the body is identified by the tattoo on the victim's ankle, which matches the description of that on a missing person. Ultimately, a physical match between the victim's broken artificial nail and a piece of it found at the suspected crime scene turns out to be a valuable clue.

Forensic Science is a complex and diverse field. An ever increasing amount of information can be obtained from an ever smaller amount of material. Scientific research yields new developments all the time, generating more advanced methods. Researchers must, therefore, be able to combine forensic expertise with sophisticated technologies in a multidisciplinary environment. The Research Master's programme in Forensic Science brings together a range of disciplines. Students acquire forensic knowledge and scientific expertise that builds on knowledge gained during the Bachelor's programme.

The University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Master's programme in Forensic Science, offered by the Faculty of Science, is unique in the Netherlands. The programme distinguishes itself from most international Master's programmes in Forensic Science in that it builds on a range of general science backgrounds, not on a specific forensic science Bachelor's programme. The goal of the programme is to train good scientists, armed with forensic knowledge and skills.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the Research Master's programme in Forensic Science must hold one of the following: 1. a Bachelor of Science degree from a Dutch university 2. a Bachelor of Science degree or its equivalent from a foreign university, 3. a Bachelor of Applied Science degree (higher vocational education/Dutch hbo degree).Specific entry requirements apply for each group of applicants.

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