Forensic Science MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Cambridge

January 2018, September 2018

Full-time - January start, 15 months. September start, 12 months.

Part-time - January start, 33 months. September start, 28 months.

Teaching times

Semester 1: Monday 9:00 - 17:00 (part-time).
Semester 2: Thursday 16:00 - 18:00 and Friday 9:00 - 18:00 (part-time).

Overview

Expand your knowledge in all areas of forensic science, from gathering evidence at the crime scene itself, right through to the courtroom. Develop your skills and knowledge on our accredited course, as you collect and analyse evidence, equipping you to become a confident and effective practitioner.

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Full description

Careers

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Our course is enhanced by our excellent working relationships with most of the major employers in the forensic science industry, including the police and fire services.

This focus on theory and good laboratory practice, analytical measurement and research and management skills, together with our industry contacts will make you an attractive candidate for employment. It’ll open up career opportunities in specialist forensic science laboratories in the chemical, biological, environmental, pharmaceutical and law enforcement industries.

You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Forensic Science PhD.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Evidence Collection and Management
    From crime scene through to the laboratory, you’ll discuss in depth the examination, analysis and interpretation of a range of criminalistics evidence. You’ll gain the theoretical and practical skills necessary for examining crime scenes and collecting the evidence. The basis of all forensic science is material collected and placed into context at the crime scene. Evidence incorrectly collected, packaged, stored or managed is compromised. Therefore, evidence recovery will be covered in depth, as well as related examination and analytical methods. As a result of this module you will prepare a witness statement and defend this in a moot court.
  • Mastering Forensic Evidence
    Discover how to identify the evidential value of diverse types of evidence, develop your awareness of the compositional variability of common evidence types, and how to identify and implement the most appropriate analytical methodologies. There will be an emphasis on the numerical evaluation of evidence using appropriate statistical methodologies, including Bayesian statistics and the use of the likelihood ratio. Microscopy is the most important tool in the armoury of the forensic scientist. Conventional visible light microscopy is now widely supplemented by a wide range of advanced techniques such as polarised light microscopy, comparison microscopy and phase-contrast microscopy (the latter being widely applied for the determination of refractive index and the identification of cellular material). In addition, the high spatial resolution of microscopes is now routinely applied to the 'front end' of advanced analytical devices such as infrared and Raman spectrometers. Evidential types to be considered will be hair, fibres, glass, paint, cosmetics, documents, fire debris.
  • Mastering Forensic Analysis
    This module is broadly divided into three categories: forensic genetics; forensic toxicology and chemical criminalistics. Forensic genetics involves the analysis of biological materials within a forensic science context. The presence of body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions) in a case scenario is paramount in identifying what events took place at a crime scene. Their subsequent analyses through DNA profiling usually become part of most serious crime (murder, rape and assault) investigations. This module examines in depth the analysis of DNA and the challenges faced in forensic investigations. Emerging technologies including next generation sequencing (NGS), lab-on-a-chip, RNA profiling, DNA methylation are also covered. Forensic toxicology combines the specialist areas of analytical chemistry and pathology. In general, a forensic toxicologist detects and identifies foreign chemicals (toxins) in the body. In order to interpret toxicological findings accurately, it is essential that the toxicologist also has an understanding of the pharmacology of the substance in question and the pathological effects it has upon the body. The main analytical techniques covered are GC-MS and HPLC.
  • Specialised Topics in Forensic Science
    This module provides an opportunity to customise your Masters course to include subject areas not otherwise covered on the course. You may well have personal expertise or other professional interest that you wish to research. You’ll be required to originate, design and execute the topic with minimal involvement of staff. However, at the beginning of the module, you’ll be required to meet regularly with the module leader to ensure the topic selected and the work proposed is acceptable. This initial contact is the design phase. The work may include laboratory or other practical work provided that such work does not require formal ethical approval and can be conducted with minimal training and supervision (consistent with health, safety and COSHH requirements).
  • Research Methods
    Gain support and foundations in the research skills needed for your Masters level dissertation. You’ll investigate research activities including project management, research project design and analyses, ethical considerations and dissertation preparation.
  • Research Project
    In this module you'll undertake a substantial research project in the fields of animal behaviour and wildlife conservation. This is an independent module in which you will work with a subject-specialist supervisor. Whilst many suggestions may be offered, the topic of your research is up to you as long as it aligns with the expertise of your supervisor. You'll present the results of your research in a dissertation prepared to the highest scientific and professional standards.

Assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to enable both you and the university to check your progress during your studies and then to ensure that you meet the required standards when you complete the course. Although they vary, our assessment strategies are all carefully designed to challenge you so that you expand your critical and analytical thinking as well as your problem-solving skills. The assessments will enable you to demonstrate that you can synthesise existing knowledge and accumulate new knowledge, and will evidence the development of your professional practice.  Some examples of assessment include laboratory reports, court reports (including witness statements), oral presentations, mock court, exams, and essays.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Specialist facilities

Our facilities include a wide range of advanced microscopy instruments – SEM with EDS, a full range of organic analysis (GC, HPLC and ion chromatography). FT-IR and Raman Spectrometers, gene sequencing and other DNA analytical equipment. A comprehensive collection of specialist forensic equipment includes GRIM, VSC and MSP and we also have a dedicated crime scene facility with video equipment.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)

£8,100

International students, 2017/18 (per year)

£12,400

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)

£4,050

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£8,100

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£4,050

International students, 2018/19 (per year)

£13,100

International students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£6,550

Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support
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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online