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Our part-time Forensic Science MSc is aimed at students from traditional science subjects, who wish to enhance their career prospects within the analytical sciences industry.

The course builds on scientific knowledge gained at undergraduate level and extends your understanding into specialist areas. You will gain knowledge and scientific skills that are directly applicable to the field of forensic science. This course creates prospects of employment in forensic science laboratories as well as in other analytical science labs.

A high level of practical laboratory experience develops competency and professionalism, together with team working, dexterity, and numeracy. Academic knowledge and intellectual curiosity are promoted throughout, driving engaged students to achieve at their highest level. This part-time Masters course involves a unique combination of forensic chemistry and forensic biology. It covers subjects such as trace evidence, toxicology and DNA analysis.

We will continue to offer our new students a range of mock casework and research projects. This will challenge your investigative and research skills and encourage growth in expertise as a forensic scientist. You will undertake a crime scene assessment; examine, analyse, and interpret evidence; produce a court report, and present an oral testimony in a mock court. You will additionally pursue a three-month research project in a specialist area in forensic science. These will shape you as a forensic scientist and build your confidence as a valuable professional. 

Your research will be supervised by the most appropriate of our inspirational staff, most of whom have extensive experience in practice. They’ve been involved in high profile cases such as the Stephen Lawrence, Joanna Yeates, Suffolk strangler and Jigsaw murder cases.

Our facilities are exceptional and include a dedicated crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which enhances its credibility and currency among potential employers.

 

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
2 or 3 years part-time
1 other options available

Department
Applied Sciences

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

logo and accredited course text Forensic-Science6

Forensic Science / Meet our Students

Hear from our students on their experience of studying Forensic Science, and what some of your learning will look like.

Forensic Science Learning Spaces

Discover NU World / A virtual journey through everything Northumbria has to offer.

Explore our immersive 360 tours, informative subject videos, inspirational student profiles, ground-breaking research, and a range of life at university blogs videos and articles.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a subject related to chemistry or biology. Other subject qualifications, equivalent professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

 *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £9,250

Full EU Fee: £19,750

Full International Fee: £19,750



Scholarships and Discounts

Discover More about Fees, Scholarships and other Funding options for UK, EU and International applicants.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

Laboratory equipment such as lab notebook (hardcover) and a scientific calculator are required and should cost no more than £25. You may be required to print some documents this should be no more than £10 per academic year. If a student chooses to undertake their research project with an external company, there may be travel costs associated with this.

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AP0703 -

Subject Exploration (Core,20 Credits)

This module allows you to explore a topic related to your Masters programme of your own choosing to an advanced level developing a critical appreciation of the methodologies, recent advances and future potential in that field. In doing so, you will develop and refine your research skills including information retrieval, evaluative, analytical, and problem solving skills together with group-based written and oral communication skills.

More information

AP0723 -

Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the core knowledge and skills underpinning forensic science to provide you with a holistic view of forensic disciplines, principles and practices.
You will develop your critical thinking in terms of processes, evidence evaluation, interpretation and application of knowledge in forensic casework.
Example topics included within this module are as follows:

- Key forensic principles
- Forensic evidence types, such as trace evidence, body fluids, drugs & toxicology and DNA
- Case evaluation and assessment
- Evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
- Case reporting and statement writing
- Legal system and expert testimony

More information

AP0726 -

Forensic Genetics (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will discover the biological principles underpinning the scientific and statistical methods used to enable the identification of individuals from biological material recovered following unlawful activity. During the course of this module you will cover all of the major techniques that have been used in forensic genetics, from the original DNA fingerprinting method to contemporary STR profiling. You will also explore emerging technologies such as Next Generation DNA Sequencing and RNA profiling that will provide investigators with an ever increasing array of genetic information to progress a case. The ethical implications of the use of genetic information for criminal investigation and storage of information in DNA databases will also be considered during this course.

More information

AP0700 -

Graduate Science Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills in the use and understanding of relevant literature and in both quantitative and qualitative methods. You will learn how to evaluate and contribute to the scientific literature and to interpret and disseminate scientific information. You will appreciate the desirable properties of research design and be able to select an experimental design appropriate to a given system and create the design matrix. You will learn how to assess the kinds of scientific data and tests of hypotheses and will be able to select, apply, and interpret the output from statistical methods of data analysis, and to evaluate the results of statistical analyses as applied to a given data set. Using contemporary science stories, you will develop scientific communication skills in systematic searching, summary writing and critical analysis of the underpinning primary research.

More information

AP0724 -

Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the core material relating to forensic toxicology and drug analysis and may include the evaluation and application of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse to forensic science, theory of advanced mass spectral analysis, critical evaluation of current issues in forensic science, for example, roadside drug testing and the construction toxicology database construction using Microsoft Access
Throughout the module, the focus is orientated to existing, current and future research practices and draws on research experience from the module team i.e. post-mortem drug redistribution, tolerance, genotoxicity, analysis and interpretation. The module team will be expanded to include guest speakers as appropriate.

More information

AP0725 -

Criminalistics (Core,20 Credits)

Trace evidence such as fibres, glass and paint is often critical in forensic investigations. In this module you will learn the theory that underpins fibres, glass, paint, and firearms as evidence types and learn how that knowledge can be utilised to solve cases. You will learn how to apply your knowledge to determine when and how each evidence type may or may not be approppariate in a given case scenario and in doing so develop a case strategy. Your practical skills will be developed to enable you to search, recover and analyse trace evidence using appropriate techniques. Armed with hard evidence you will then apply your knowledge within the context of the case scenario to evaluate its significance. By the end of this module you will have developed an understanding of the role of a forensic examiner and what value they bring to the forensic aspect of a criminal investigation.

More information

AP0708 -

Applied Sciences Research Project (Core,60 Credits)

This module provides you with a vehicle for developing, refining and applying your research skills in an independent project. Guided by a staff member, you will plan, carry out and report the outcomes of an independent research project to professional standards. You will identify stakeholders in your research and describe the projected impact your research holds for them. In order to prepare you for life as a research professional, assessments emulate authentic professional documentary formats aimed at securing project resources and disseminating your findings to ensure they develop real world impact.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AP0703 -

Subject Exploration (Core,20 Credits)

This module allows you to explore a topic related to your Masters programme of your own choosing to an advanced level developing a critical appreciation of the methodologies, recent advances and future potential in that field. In doing so, you will develop and refine your research skills including information retrieval, evaluative, analytical, and problem solving skills together with group-based written and oral communication skills.

More information

AP0723 -

Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the core knowledge and skills underpinning forensic science to provide you with a holistic view of forensic disciplines, principles and practices.
You will develop your critical thinking in terms of processes, evidence evaluation, interpretation and application of knowledge in forensic casework.
Example topics included within this module are as follows:

- Key forensic principles
- Forensic evidence types, such as trace evidence, body fluids, drugs & toxicology and DNA
- Case evaluation and assessment
- Evidence interpretation and statistical evaluation
- Case reporting and statement writing
- Legal system and expert testimony

More information

AP0726 -

Forensic Genetics (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will discover the biological principles underpinning the scientific and statistical methods used to enable the identification of individuals from biological material recovered following unlawful activity. During the course of this module you will cover all of the major techniques that have been used in forensic genetics, from the original DNA fingerprinting method to contemporary STR profiling. You will also explore emerging technologies such as Next Generation DNA Sequencing and RNA profiling that will provide investigators with an ever increasing array of genetic information to progress a case. The ethical implications of the use of genetic information for criminal investigation and storage of information in DNA databases will also be considered during this course.

More information

AP0700 -

Graduate Science Research Methods (Core,20 Credits)

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills in the use and understanding of relevant literature and in both quantitative and qualitative methods. You will learn how to evaluate and contribute to the scientific literature and to interpret and disseminate scientific information. You will appreciate the desirable properties of research design and be able to select an experimental design appropriate to a given system and create the design matrix. You will learn how to assess the kinds of scientific data and tests of hypotheses and will be able to select, apply, and interpret the output from statistical methods of data analysis, and to evaluate the results of statistical analyses as applied to a given data set. Using contemporary science stories, you will develop scientific communication skills in systematic searching, summary writing and critical analysis of the underpinning primary research.

More information

AP0724 -

Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn the core material relating to forensic toxicology and drug analysis and may include the evaluation and application of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse to forensic science, theory of advanced mass spectral analysis, critical evaluation of current issues in forensic science, for example, roadside drug testing and the construction toxicology database construction using Microsoft Access
Throughout the module, the focus is orientated to existing, current and future research practices and draws on research experience from the module team i.e. post-mortem drug redistribution, tolerance, genotoxicity, analysis and interpretation. The module team will be expanded to include guest speakers as appropriate.

More information

AP0725 -

Criminalistics (Core,20 Credits)

Trace evidence such as fibres, glass and paint is often critical in forensic investigations. In this module you will learn the theory that underpins fibres, glass, paint, and firearms as evidence types and learn how that knowledge can be utilised to solve cases. You will learn how to apply your knowledge to determine when and how each evidence type may or may not be approppariate in a given case scenario and in doing so develop a case strategy. Your practical skills will be developed to enable you to search, recover and analyse trace evidence using appropriate techniques. Armed with hard evidence you will then apply your knowledge within the context of the case scenario to evaluate its significance. By the end of this module you will have developed an understanding of the role of a forensic examiner and what value they bring to the forensic aspect of a criminal investigation.

More information

AP0708 -

Applied Sciences Research Project (Core,60 Credits)

This module provides you with a vehicle for developing, refining and applying your research skills in an independent project. Guided by a staff member, you will plan, carry out and report the outcomes of an independent research project to professional standards. You will identify stakeholders in your research and describe the projected impact your research holds for them. In order to prepare you for life as a research professional, assessments emulate authentic professional documentary formats aimed at securing project resources and disseminating your findings to ensure they develop real world impact.

More information

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

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northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

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If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

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Graduates of the University are entitled to a 20% alumni discount on Masters study at Northumbria (T&C’s apply).

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