Forensic Science

Study options

Award

MSc

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
22 Months
Start date:
23 September 2024

Outstanding Research Impact

87% of our research impact is recognised as “very considerable” or “outstanding" (Research Excellence Framework 2021)

Immersive Learning Environments

A focus on immersive simulated environments and teaching allow you to get hands-on and hone your skills in a way that you would expect as a researcher or practitioner in the world of forensic science.

Staffordshire EDGE Programme

Our unique Staffordshire EDGE programme boosts your employability prospects. This is an extra award which is designed to support you with your career journey. It will help you to understand who you are right now, get clarity on where you want to go and who you want to become and how you're going to get there.

Over the course of your study, you will undertake modules that introduce you to the contemporary issues in forensic science - considering where we are as a field now and where we are going in the next few years. This will give you the chance to consider where you fit within the world of forensic science. Alongside this you will undertake study in chemistry, biology, marks and traces, as well as statistical analysis - all of which provide the core structure of your Masters programme. As well as this you will undertake an extended research project in our facilities in partnership with our academic and technical staff. This will develop over the course of the year as you broaden your understanding of analytical forensic methods.

Our MSc in Forensic Science (and associated awards) aims to give you an overview of current approaches in forensics. This award does not focus on one singular aspect of the Forensic field but a broader approach to what would be required as an investigator or laboratory scientist.

This programme suits students who have come from a single science background looking to obtain a broader skillset, or those who currently work in the field who are seeking new direction in a research focused role. 

Our MSc in Forensic Science (and associated awards) aims to give you an overview of current approaches in forensics. This award does not focus on one singular aspect of the Forensic field but a broader approach to what would be required as an investigator or laboratory scientist.

This programme suits students who have come from a single science background looking to obtain a broader skillset, or those who currently work in the field who are seeking new direction in a research focused role. 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Forensic Science

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Forensic Science

Course content

Over the course of your study, you will undertake modules that introduce you to the contemporary issues in forensic science - considering where we are as a field now and where we are going in the next few years. This will give you the chance to consider where you fit within the world of forensic science. Alongside this you will undertake study in chemistry, biology, marks and traces, as well as statistical analysis - all of which provide the core structure of your Masters programme.

As well as this you will undertake an extended research project in our facilities in partnership with our academic and technical staff. This will develop during your time on campus as you broaden your understanding of analytical forensic methods.

Over the course of your first 12 months of study, you will undertake modules that give you the chance to consider where you fit within the world of forensic science. Youu will study chemistry, biology, marks and traces, as well as statistical analysis - all of which provide the core structure of your Masters programme.

In your second year of study we will introduce you to the contemporary issues in forensic science - considering where we are as a field now and where we are going in the next few years. This will support your growth and fuel ideas for your extended research project. This will involve you working in our facilities in partnership with our academic and technical staff. This will develop over the course of the year as you broaden your understanding of analytical forensic methods.

Professional body accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences provides an accreditation system for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in forensic science and related topics. Accreditation is given provided the course content meets with the Society's component standards which provide a quality endorsement of the course.

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. 

Professional body accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences provides an accreditation system for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in forensic science and related topics. Accreditation is given provided the course content meets with the Society's component standards which provide a quality endorsement of the course.

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. 

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Contemporary Issues In Forensic Science 20 credits
Forensic Biology 20 credits
Forensic Chemistry 20 credits
Independent Research Project 60 credits
Methods Of Crime Detection 20 credits
Practical Support 20 credits
Statistical Approaches To Forensics 20 credits

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Forensic Biology 20 credits
Forensic Chemistry 20 credits
Methods Of Crime Detection 20 credits
Practical Support 20 credits
Statistical Approaches To Forensics 20 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Contemporary Issues In Forensic Science 20 credits
Independent Research Project 60 credits

Entry requirements

Level 6 undergraduate degree qualification at 2:2 or equivalent (Prior qualification must be in a relevant numerate discipline)

If students do not have the required qualification but have professional experience, we would encourage you to apply as we consider all applications on their individual merit.  Similarly, if you are unsure whether your degree would be appropriate, please contact our enquiries team who will be able to assist you.

Level 6 undergraduate degree qualification at 2:2 or equivalent (Prior qualification must be in a relevant numerate discipline)

If students do not have the required qualification but have professional experience, we would encourage you to apply as we consider all applications on their individual merit.  Similarly, if you are unsure whether your degree would be appropriate, please contact our enquiries team who will be able to assist you.

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability Blog

Blog

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IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each component)

IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each component)

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

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Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Careers

Someone with an MSc in Forensic Science has a range of specialist technical skills that are of benefit to employers as well as an analytical mindset and acute problem-solving abilities. Graduates can work for the police, government agencies, forensic laboratories, or private companies across a number of areas. Or continue onto doctoral study in our supportive research community.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught using a range of interactive face to face lectures , tutorials and workshops alongside practical activities within our laboratory facilities. You will be encouraged to spend more time on campus meeting with peers and staff and expected to participate in active discussions and debates around advances in forensic science as you develop your understanding of the field.

You will be taught using a range of interactive face to face lectures , tutorials and workshops alongside practical activities within our laboratory facilities. You will be encouraged to spend more time on campus meeting with peers and staff and expected to participate in active discussions and debates around advances in forensic science as you develop your understanding of the field.

Assessment

Assessment is by a series of practical and coursework assignments. The coursework takes a number of forms including essays, reports, analysis of evidence, role play and practical exercises. 

Assessment is by a series of practical and coursework assignments. The coursework takes a number of forms including essays, reports, analysis of evidence, role play and practical exercises. 

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments. Each module normally includes practice or 'formative' assessments for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. As a practical subject you will also receive continuous verbal feedback and demonstrations within the laboratory environment to support your understanding of the underlying theories.

There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module and the grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission or 25 working days for larger assignments.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments. Each module normally includes practice or 'formative' assessments for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. As a practical subject you will also receive continuous verbal feedback and demonstrations within the laboratory environment to support your understanding of the underlying theories.

There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module and the grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission or 25 working days for larger assignments.

Independent learning

There is an expectation within each module that you will continue working outside of class, this is the underpinnings of a successful career in forensic science. Independent does not necessarily mean alone and we hope that within your studies you will make use of peer-support, academic skills teams and additional academic support time with your lecturers. In addition to this we will provide formative activities to support your learning and further enriching study opportunities as and when they are available

There is an expectation within each module that you will continue working outside of class, this is the underpinnings of a successful career in forensic science. Independent does not necessarily mean alone and we hope that within your studies you will make use of peer-support, academic skills teams and additional academic support time with your lecturers. In addition to this we will provide formative activities to support your learning and further enriching study opportunities as and when they are available

Staff

You will be taught be dedicated and research active lecturers, whose expertise and knowledge closely match the content of the course. 

Dr Kirsty Squires

Associate Professor

Kirsty is an Associate Professor of Bioarchaeology and primarily teaches in the areas of human osteology and statistical methods. Her research focuses on the analysis of cremated human bone from archaeological and forensic contexts

Kirsty's profile

Dr Abdulrahman Oleiwi

Senior Lecturer

Abdulrahman is a lecturer in forensic genetics and forensic biology. He joined Staffordshire University in 2019 within the school of Law, Policing and Forensics and lectures at all levels on Forensic Biology and DNA Profiling.

Abdulrahman's profile

Dr Claire Gwinnett

Professor

I am a Professor in Forensic and Environmental Science. I specialise in forensic fibres analysis, mircoplastics and plastic pollution, hair analysis, paint analysis and glass analysis.

Claire's profile

Dr Alison Davidson

Technical Specialist-Analytical Chemistr

I work in the University’s Analytical Methods Laboratory maintaining a wide range of analytical instrumentation, facilitating the teaching of analytical chemistry and working with researchers.

Alison's profile

Dr Sarah Fieldhouse

Associate Professor

I am a Senior Lecturer and I specialise in fingerprints and their use as forensic evidence.

Sarah's profile

Dr Neil Lamont

Senior Lecturer

Neil's expertise is in analytical chemistry developed in the area of environmental science. He is module leader for Basic Chemical Concepts, Vehicle Collision Investigation and Environmental Forensics and is a member of the Royal Society of Chem…

Neil's profile

Dean Northfield

Senior Lecturer

Dean worked for West Yorkshire Police as a VIPER Officer (2 Years) then an Imaging Officer (6 years). He progressed to Senior Imaging Officer, before finishing his time at West Yorkshire Police in the Forensic Multimedia Unit

Dean's profile

Dr Duncan Parker

Course Director

Duncan Parker joined the university in 2017 as a lecturer in Chemistry, teaching on the Forensic Science degrees. He is now Course Leader for Forensic Science and Course Director for Forensic Science and Investigation.

Duncan's profile

Michelle Hogg

Lecturer

Michelle Hogg, is a forensic biology expert of 14 years, working on 2,400 criminal cases including testifying in court. Now at Staffordshire University, she shares her practical expertise in the classroom for a realistic approach to learning.

Mia Abbott

Lecturer

Dr Jodie Dunnett

Senior Lecturer

I have been a lecturer in Forensic Science at Staffordshire University since 2007 although I have been involved with research and teaching in this area since 2003. I am actively involved in forensic science research my area of expertise is foren…

David Flatman-Fairs

Senior Lecturer

David has been a lecturer at Staffordshire University since 2002, and is now Course Leader for Forensic Investigation. His expertise are in Chemical Analysis, Criminalistic Methods and Crime Scene Processing.

David's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,900 per course £16,750 per course

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £8,865 per course

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software
  • The use of all specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.
  • PPE, including lab coat, provided for duration of course.
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software
  • The use of all specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.
  • PPE, including lab coat, provided for duration of course.
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Text books are available from the library, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Travel costs
  • Printing
  • Any optional field trips
  • Text books are available from the library, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Travel costs
  • Printing
  • Any optional field trips
Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Our students

Throughout the BSc Policing and Criminal Investigation course I was offered extensive support in my preparation for employment covering curriculum vitae skills, potential career opportunities and current vacancies. The Personal Development Portfolio modules covered these in detail and allowed me to develop my personal skills such as communication and leadership through opportunities as a student mentor and course / faculty representative. On completion of my BSc course, I was offered a position on the MSc Forensic Science course which provided me with a broad range of detailed knowledge and research skills that I could take with me into my employment with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. 

Gary Pickup

Policing and Criminal Investigation and MSc Forensic Science graduate 

I found that having an MSc degree from Staffordshire University gave me a massive advantage when it came to applying for jobs, and the distance learning part was great for me as I live in America

Kaylene Folkes

DNA Forensic Scientist, Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory

Visiting the campus during an open day made me very excited to start this course at Staffordshire University. The different facilities available for forensics, such as the crime scene house, the mock court room and the new laboratories, fully convinced me to start my next challenge at Staffordshire University.

Support was available every time you needed it. The ease of requesting and receiving this support was great. Even when you didn’t ask for support, a hand is reached out to you which you can grab whenever you need to.

Erine Coolkens

MSc. Forensic Science

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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