Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

MSc, 27 months, by distance learning

This is for you if... you want to study forensic science at an advanced level.

Course Description

On this part-time, distance learning course you will learn how to evaluate and interpret different forms of forensic evidence and how to consider its relevance to police investigations. You will study the scientific principles and practical application of the many and varied techniques used to forensically examine different evidence types.

You will learn how to select the most appropriate techniques for different evidence types, how to interpret the results and how to apply critical analysis to determine what that means in terms of evidential value.

The skills and knowledge you will gain on this course will enable you to confidently argue the reasoning behind the interpretation and evaluation of forensic evidence and to demonstrate in a court of law that you are credible as an expert witness.

This course is offered in association with the University of Florida and the University of Canberra.

Diplomas and Certificates

If you complete all of the modules and a dissertation you will be awarded an MSc. However it is also possible to compete only the modules, without a dissertation, and receive a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), or to complete just the first year modules and receive a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert). These are 'exit awards' which means that you cannot apply for them directly; you must apply for the MSc.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Key Facts
Start date
September each year
Department
Chemistry
Contact
Forensic Science Team
+44 (0)116 252 2612
sep-dl@le.ac.uk

Join us for a live online chat

Department of Chemistry website

Why Leicester?

The University of Leicester was the birthplace of genetic fingerprinting, discovered here in 1985 by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys.

This MSc draws heavily on Leicester’s world-wide reputation for innovation in forensic science in areas such as DNA profiling, fingerprint enhancement and forensic engineering. World renowned academics at the University contribute to the course.

The University of Leicester is part of the Global Forensics Network, which means that as part of your course you can take selected modules on the forensic science Masters courses at the universities of Florida and Canberra.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

The first year will equip you with the basics of understanding how forensic science is used to solve crime and how to analyse critically its use.

Modules

  • Crime Scene Examination
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
  • Evidential Value and Interpretation
  • Research Methods

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

In your second year you can focus your degree, if you want to, around specialist themes that may be of particular interest to you or your sponsor.

Option modules

Choose four to six option modules from:

Physical Evidence modules

  • Fingerprint corrosion of metal
  • Arson investigation
  • Forensic engineering
  • Toxicology of chemical weapons (F)
  • Blood distribution and spatter (F)
  • Environmental forensics (C)

Biological Evidence modules

  • Biological evidence and serology (F)
  • Forensic toxicology (F)
  • Biological evidence and serology (F)

Human Remains modules

  • Introduction to forensic archaeology
  • Introduction to forensic anthropology
  • Forensic entomology (F)
  • Forensic genetics (F)

Management modules

  • Crime scene management
  • Intelligence gathering and data mining

Modules marked F or C are taught by the University of Florida or the University of Canberra.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Dissertation

Dissertation

After completing your modules, you will complete a dissertation of approximately 15,000-20,000 words, which may be related to work-based issues you are facing.

Your dissertation topic will be chosen from a number of broad fields and should reflect an area of particular interest to you.

Your dissertation supervisor will offer regular virtual supervisory sessions, either by phone or online.

 

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Additional Information

Key Dates

Start date: 26 September 2016
Application deadline for September 2016: 19 September 2016

Teaching and Assessment

All of your learning materials will be delivered to you electronically via the University’s virtual learning environment Blackboard (you will need regular access to a Broadband connection).

There is no need to visit the University of Leicester. There will be some specific opportunities for you to visit the campus for feedback and advice if you wish – but these are not mandatory.(Please note that the cost of any visit to Leicester is not included in the course fee. You will be responsible for your own accommodation, travel and day-to-day expenses.)

Each module comprises a range of different elements designed to make the learning experience enjoyable and easy for you to tailor to your own style. Podcasts that ‘set the scene’ for a particular topic will be reinforced by voice-over PowerPoint presentations. There are self-study activities and each module also has at least one discussion group activity, when you can exchange ideas with other students and comment on each other’s views. Generally, you will need to spend about 15 hours per week studying.

Each Leicester module will be assessed by two written assignments, and you will also be assessed on your participation in facilitated Blackboard discussion groups. In addition, each module includes at least two multiple choice quizzes which are not assessed but will let you check that you have understood the work as the module progresses. There are no exams on this course.

Florida and Canberra modules use continuous assessment.

Entry Requirements

2:1 degree (or equivalent) and/or extensive and relevant work experience.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • This is the total course fee. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in September 2016

    • UK/EU fee: £10,070

    This is the total fee for the course, including all study materials, tutor support and exams.

    This fee does not include any visits to the University campus. If you come to Leicester, some meals and refreshments will be provided but you will otherwise be responsible for your own accommodation, travel and day-to-day expenses.

    Find out more about how to pay.

    University of Leicester Graduate Scholarship: If you graduate from an undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester in 2016 you may be eligible for a 50% discount on your tuition fee. 

    Did you know you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000, subject to eligibility?

     

  • This is the total course fee. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in September 2016

    • International (non-EU) fee: £10,070

    This is the total fee for the course, including all study materials, tutor support and exams.

    This fee does not include any visits to the University campus. If you come to Leicester, some meals and refreshments will be provided but you will otherwise be responsible for your own accommodation, travel and day-to-day expenses.

    Find out more about how to pay.

Career Opportunities

A postgraduate qualification is an investment in your future. Like you, we are keen that your investment pays off. There is no doubt that studying for a postgraduate qualification can help your career prospects – you will gain the deeper knowledge and high end skills and that will set you apart. Studying with us gives a clear signal to employers. It demonstrates that you have the spark, ambition and commitment to take your career to the next level. Your employer will also benefit directly from your newly acquired understanding and capabilities.

This course will equip you with the ability to evaluate and interpret different forms of forensic evidence and to consider its relevance to police investigations. You will also acquire an understanding of the many and varied techniques used to forensically examine different evidence types and how to sequence multiple techniques. The breadth of modules will enable you to acquire this skill and knowledge in a wide range of disciplines. Such skill and knowledge is an essential part of being able to demonstrate to a court of law that you are credible as an expert witness and able, therefore, to give opinion to a jury.

We will offer guidance in skills evaluation at the start of the course, which may help when considering whether a specialist route is right for you. You will receive further guidance as you enter your dissertation.

A postgraduate qualification is an investment in your future. There is no doubt that studying for a postgraduate qualification can help your career prospects – you will gain the deeper knowledge and high end skills and that will set you apart. Studying with us gives a clear signal to employers. It demonstrates that you have the spark, ambition and commitment to take your career to the next level. Your employer will also benefit directly from your newly acquired understanding and capabilities.

 
Careers

Our Career Development Service is here to support you – by email, phone or skype – with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience and more. From registration to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Forensic Science and Criminal Justice MSc 27 months by distance learning September each year

Not currently available; contact admissions.

Course
Forensic Science and Criminal Justice
Qualification
MSc
Duration
27 months by distance learning
Start Dates
September each year
Availability

Not currently available; contact admissions.

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