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Postgraduate study
 
  • UK students: apply now to start in September or January. Apply now
  • International students: due to high volumes, applications received after 1 October 2021 cannot be considered for January 2022 entry. Applicants from countries on the UK Government differential evidence list may continue to apply for January 2022 until 30 November 2021. All students are welcome to apply for September 2022 entry using the apply links below.
 

Course overview

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

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.This two-year master’s degree with advanced practice enhances your qualification by adding to the one-year master’s programme a vocational or research based internship. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge. A research internship provides you with the opportunity to develop your analytical, team-working, research and academic skills by working alongside a research team in an academic setting. We guarantee a research internship, but cannot guarantee a vocational internship. We will, however, provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own vocational internship position should you prefer this type of internship. Watch a short video and hear what Matthew Grima, a former student, says about this course.

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.

 
 

Course details

For the MSc with advanced practice, you complete 120 credits of taught modules, a 60-credit master’s research project and 60 credits of advanced practice.

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Analytical Techniques

You get an in-depth knowledge of the theory and principles of a range of analytical techniques used when undertaking detailed analyses of biological and chemical materials. You focus on core techniques using chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy. You study the selection and application of appropriate analytical techniques, in order to formulate strategies to investigate scientific problems.

You study a series of laboratory sessions supported by lectures and tutorials. You are assessed by two laboratory reports (100%).

Advanced Practice in Sciences

This module provides you with the opportunity to either undertake a vocational internship with an outside organisation or undertake an academic research internship within the University, for a maximum of 12 weeks as part of your course. You have the opportunity to enhance your transferrable and analytical skills and develop your experience to strengthen your CV. We can guarantee you a research internship. We can’t guarantee a vocational internship, but we can provide practical support and advice on how to find and secure vocational internship positions. You develop educationally and experience the wider benefits of study here, due to the extended course duration.

Forensic Biology

You examine, interpret and evaluate complex biological evidence within casework-related scenarios. Types of evidence include hair and fibres, body fluids, blood pattern analysis and DNA. You also consider the use of microbial, anthropological and odonatological evidence in a forensic context.
Your knowledge, understanding and skills are developed by lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and self-directed study. You are assessed by an in-course assessment of examination notes and evidential interpretation (30%) and an end assessment (70%).

Forensic Chemistry

You explore theoretical and practical organic and inorganic chemistry relating to forensic science. You focus on key evidence types at scenes of crime or recovered from an individual. You also examine principal types of chemical evidence including particulate evidence (paint, glass, soil), marks evidence (footwear marks, tool marks) and drugs of abuse within the context of an investigation.

You attend lectures, practical and tutorial sessions. You are assessed by a court presentation (30%) and examination (70%).

Forensic Investigative Strategy

You develop an understanding of the principles associated with 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. You also get an understanding of the methodologies used for processing and examination of physical evidence.

Your lectures are supported by a series of practical sessions which include evidence recovery at a mock crime scene and the initial forensic examination of recovered items. You are assessed by a presentation (30%) and a report (70%).

Legal Issues and Evidence Reporting

Forensic evidence of all types plays a major role in the detection of crime and the successful investigation of other types of incident such as road traffic collisions and natural disasters. You explore the legal and procedural contexts in which forensic science operates, providing you with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge for the gathering, examination and presentation of evidence in a range of situations.

You attend a series of keynote lectures, seminars and a practical session in the University’s replica courtroom. You may have an opportunity to visit a local coroner’s office and/or court. You are assessed by a portfolio (30%) and evidence in the form of a written statement and verbal presentation in a simulated courtroom situation (70%).

Research Methods and Proposal

You develop a proposal for your research project, which contains an explanation targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. You consider the impacts of the proposed work both in the form of academic beneficiaries, economic, environmental and societal impacts. Your project costs are estimated on a full economic costing model. You also include a targeted CV.

You attend a short lecture series at the start of the academic year that will provide an introduction and advice. You are allocated a project area and supervisor and you produce a research proposal for the project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor and receive feedback on your progress. You acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee.

You are assessed by the successful acquisition of ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submission of a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

Research Project

This module will provide an appropriate environment for an in-depth investigation of a subject relevant to the programme chosen and the continued development of cognitive, professional and transferable skills. It aims to unify your understanding and awareness of engineering or science as developed in the programme, with individual and independent research and analysis on a selected topic within the discipline. It also aims to expose you to the management of a significant project and to enable you to apply research methods relevant to your specific field and related discipline. It further aims to allow you to investigate problems which involve the consideration of relevant legal, social, ethical, environmental and other professional issues.

You will be expected to develop and practice a professional approach to the presentation, delivery and appraisal of your written and oral presentations.?

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn through a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, projects and assignments. You are also expected to participate in self-directed study, to review lecture notes, prepare assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time.

How you are assessed

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

 
 

Entry requirements

You are 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

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Employment opportunities exist in the fields of forensic science and forensic investigation with forensic science providers and law enforcement agencies. Other roles include scientific investigation where it’s important to be apply forensic science in a legal or regulatory context.

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

Work placement

On this programme you complete one semester of advanced practice as an intern, as well as a research project related to professional practice. This, along with involving practitioners and academics in delivering these courses, ensures that your learning is relevant to the requirements of the criminal justice system

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

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

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Useful information

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Full-time

2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,335 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£7,500 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 20 months, including a summer break; January enrolment: 2 years, including two summer breaks
  • Start date: September or January
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UK students

Email: shlsadmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 335008


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Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


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