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Postgraduate study
Forensic Science

Forensic Science MSc

The MSc Forensic Science concentrates on practices, procedures and analytical techniques used within forensic science, and how they are applied in support of the investigation of crime.


Course overview


This course is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.On completing this course you will be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of forensic science and how scientific methods are applied to the investigation of crime. You benefit from our links with practitioners and other professional organisations relevant to the field of forensic science. Key members of staff are former forensic scientists or crime scene scientists with considerable operational experience.

Expect to carry out analytical and practical work in the University’s on-campus forensic facilities including specialist analytical laboratories, crime scene house laboratory and forensic chemistry and biology laboratories.

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Course details

For an MSc award you must successfully complete the 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Research Project

You complete a major hypothesis-driven research project in your discipline, working independently and at a high level. Using discipline-specific laboratory, database or computational research methodologies, you interrogate a hypothesis in a specialised area of research. Your skills in research and knowledge creation are developed. You must demonstrate comprehensive and objective analysis, developing innovative and constructive proposals for the solution to the project topic. Your supervisor(s) and their research team provide support and guidance, but a high degree of autonomy is required. Additional support is provided by technical and learning support staff.

Analytical Techniques in Heritage Crime

Use your interdisciplinary knowledge to investigate national and international heritage sites, evaluating the threat to cultural assets, such as paintings, sculptures and buildings. Appraise current legislation surrounding heritage crime and protection and explore scientific instrumentation to detect, monitor and develop strategies to manage heritage crime. Through case studies, you assess some of the ethical considerations associated with heritage crime. You develop your analysis of scientific literature and problem-solving.

Criminal Justice and the Forensic Practitioner

Forensic practitioners are called upon to do crucial work in evidence recovery, analysis and interpretation in some of society’s most challenging situations (such as crime scenes, custody blocks and mortuaries) and. Getting to a successful outcome in a courtroom means navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system, understanding the components of crimes, knowing the rules of evidence and skilfully delivering written and verbal testimony. This module addresses these questions from the point of view of a potential expert witness. Drawing on UK and international examples, you explore human rights, violent and property crime, and the admissibility of evidence. You prepare and deliver expert evidence in a simulated courtroom setting.

Forensic Biology

Detect, examine, interpret and evaluate biological evidence for forensic investigations. A broad range of biological evidence, including body fluids, hairs, fibres and DNA profiling are explored in forensic context with underpinning research.

Forensic Chemistry

Explore the range of evidence types encountered at crime scenes or recovered from individuals. You examine types of evidence, such as fibres, paint, glass and drugs of abuse. Apply and use analytical instrumentation including statistical analyses from obtained data.

Forensic Investigative Strategy

Develop your understanding of the principles of crime scene science and its relationship with forensic analysis and the legal process. You address key areas in forensic practice such as quality standards, evidence continuity and contamination issues. Gain an understanding of the methodologies for processing and examining physical evidence. You take part in a series of practical sessions, including evidence recovery at a mock crime scene and the initial forensic examination of recovered items.

Human Remains and Identification

This module focuses on the forensic analysis of skeletal remains to assist in the identification of missing and unknown persons. You study elements of skeletal biological profiling, bioarchaeology, and the expert witness skills required for reporting on skeletal evidence.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (through lectures, tutorials, projects, assignments and laboratory work).

You are also expected to spend time on your own (this is called self-study time), to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.

As an example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time.

Industrial experience
On this programme you complete a project related to professional practice. This, along with the involvement of practitioners and academics in the delivery of these courses, ensures that they are relevant to the requirements of the criminal justice system.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by in-course assignments, including a courtroom-based expert witness assessment and end exams.


Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a lower second class (2.2) UK honours degree, or equivalent, in an appropriate science subject. Acceptable subjects include biology, chemistry, biomedical science, biochemistry and forensic science.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

Employment opportunities exist in the field of forensic science and forensic investigation with forensic science providers and law enforcement agencies. Other roles include scientific investigation where the application of science in a legal or regulatory context is important.

This MSc programme has been accredited and commended by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the international professional body for forensic science.

See the career path of one of our graduates

Industrial experience

On each master's degree you complete a project related to professional practice. This, along with the involvement of practitioners and academics in the delivery of these courses, ensures that they are relevant to the requirements of the criminal justice system.

Intermediate awards

Our master's degrees can lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate at Stage 1 (60 credits), a postgraduate diploma at Stage 2 (120 credits) or, on completion of a research project, the MSc.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


Professional accreditation

The Forensic Science Society

This course has been accredited and commended by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences - the international professional body for forensic science.


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break.
  • Attendance: Typically one day a week
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Reena Abd Rashid

    Reena Abd RashidMSc Forensic Science

    Using analytical laboratories and instruments were both great experiences that added so much to the course.

    Meet Reena

    Kayleigh Carr

    Kayleigh CarrMSc Forensic Science

    Kayleigh's time at Teesside has led to a career in forensic science.

    Meet Kayleigh


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts

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