A new Forensic Science Masters, which is open to graduates from forensic science and other science degrees. Uniquely, it combines specialist forensic science content with broader analytical science, enabling you to pursue a range of careers afterwards.
£7,830 for the full course or £870 per 20 credits* (2023/24)
£14,900 for the full course (2023/24)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
If you are a Forensic Science graduate, this Masters will deepen your specialist forensics knowledge, advance your broader laboratory analysis skills, and enable you to undertake research in an area of your choice
If you are a graduate from another science discipline (such as chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences or another analytical science), this Masters will enable you to learn specialist forensic science skills and techniques, at the same time as building on your expertise in laboratory analysis and research
You will have access to a range of specialist facilities, including our Forensic Training Facility, forensic laboratories, specialist imaging suite, insectary, forensic anthropology suite, photography suite, vehicles, clandestine burial site, courtroom, and ballistics laboratory
Our highly-acclaimed teaching team have a wealth of industry and research experience, both in the UK and internationally.
A new kind of Forensic Science MSc
This brand-new Masters has been specifically designed to appeal to both graduates of forensic science, and graduates of other analytical science degrees. It enables you to: advance your scientific analysis skills and apply these to a forensic science context, develop your own specialisms (such as in entomology, fire analysis or drug analysis), and pursue your own research interests.
You will learn to use your scientific knowledge in practical ways, working closely with our expert lecturers to undertake research and gain insight into industry.
This Masters covers a broad range of subjects relating to the application, interpretation and validation of laboratory based analytical techniques. For instance, we will cover areas such as:
advanced professional and employability skills for forensic scientists
advanced bioanalytical techniques, such as biological presumptives / screening, ELISA/EIA, PCR, capillary electrophoresis, advanced microscopy
advanced analysis of crime scenes and evidence, which may include fire, entomology, blood pattern, DVI/anthropology, drugs and more
spectroscopy and structural analysis
research methods and data interpretation.
You will also undertake an Independent Research Project in a specialism of your choice, supported by an academic supervisor. The aim is to develop high-quality, original research that could be published. This will enable you to deepen your knowledge in a particular area of forensic science, and gain vital research experience if you're intending to move on to a PhD or further research after the programme.
Our bespoke Forensic Training Facility includes several crime scenes. There are domestic crime scenes — including a bedroom, lounge, garage and office — and there are also commercial crime scenes, such as a pharmacy or pub. The Facility also features a blood pattern analysis room used for both teaching and research, as well as state-of-the-art digital surveillance, including panoramic CCTV and equipment for two-way audio recording, so you can get live feedback during your investigations.
Other forensic science facilities include:
an osteology lab for skeletal study
ninhydrin and cyanoacrylate fuming chambers for fingerprint development
a wet forensic lab
a darkroom for specialised light searching
an entomology lab and insectary for insect investigation
a clandestine burial site
a ballistics laboratory
replica courtroom for presenting evidence
two crime scene cars, and
forensic imaging facilities.
This is an applied science MSc that teaches you to be highly analytical, so we have dedicated forensic, biological and chemical laboratories featuring a range of modern instrumentation. Our analytical equipment includes:
Gas chromatography — mass spectrometry (GC-MS), including automated head space (HS) and solid phase microextraction (SPME) samplers
Gas chromatography — flame ionisation detection (GC-FID)
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultra-violet (UV) and diode array detection (DAD)
Liquid chromatography — mass spectrometry (LC-MS)
Ion chromatography (IC)
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
Scanning electron microscopy with X-ray diffraction (SEM-XRD)
Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), including graphite furnace AAS (GF-AAS)
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), including attenuated total reflectance stage (ATR-FTIR)
Ultra-violet/visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis)
Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for DNA analysis
Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)
Capillary electrophoresis (CE).
Expert teaching. Inspiring research.
Our staff are supportive, approachable and passionate about their subjects. We have a great balance of expertise: some of the team are leading researchers, while others have significant experience in the forensic science industry — both in the UK and internationally.
Our research staff are conducting important studies into fields such as entomology, forensic photography, anthropology, taphonomy, drug analysis, and fire investigations.
Take a look at Sanita Nezirovic, lecturer in Forensic Science, discussing her involvement, as an anthropologist, in profiling a Bronze Age skeleton recently discovered in Northumbria:
Strong industry links
Our Forensic Science team have developed strong links with local industry providers, such as:
EMSOU-FS (East Midlands Special Operations Unit — Forensic Science)
We will use these links to find exciting, real world research projects for you to work on, so you can keep up with current issues and raise your profile in the industry at the same time. You will have other networking opportunities too, such as at the University's Biomedical and Forensic Science Employability Conference.
Postgraduate Open Event
Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
How you will learn
During this Masters programme, you will learn in a variety of ways, including through crime scene training, lectures, workshops, practical laboratory sessions and court room role-play.
Your assessments may include formal witness statements and expert testimony, essays, laboratory reports, timed assessments, presentations and a dissertation.
Who will teach you
Dr Samantha Drake Programme leader
Based in the discipline of Biomedical and Forensic Science, Samantha teaches chemistry across most programmes within the College of Life and Natural Sciences. A passionate educator, Samantha is the Learning and Teaching Lead for the discipline. Her scientific research focuses on the application of analytical chemistry to real world challenges.
Applicants should have a 2:2 or above in BSc Hons Forensic Science or related subjects (such as Analytical Sciences, Biomedical Forensics, Chemistry, Biology, Pharmaceutical Analysis or Pharmacy).
If English is not your first language, you will also need IELTS 6.5 with 6.0 in each skills area.
Fees and funding
2023/24 (August 2023 - July 2024)
£7,830 for the full course or £870 per 20 credits*
£14,900 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
MA or MSc
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Having an MSc in Forensic Science will give you a competitive edge in the jobs market over those with just undergraduate degrees. On this MSc for instance, you will be able to develop your specialism and build up more practical laboratory experience. You will also have postgraduate-level research experience, which the industry now recognises as important, following publication of guidance and legislation such as The Forensics Review (2019) and the Forensic Science Regulator Act (2021).Both these documents stress the need for continuing research, innovation and development in forensic science, to ensure greater effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System.
This MSc ensures you develop essential technical skills and knowledge that can be applied in many professional contexts. Of course, it will give you the specialist skills required to work in the forensic science industry, in areas such as crime scene investigation or analysis of evidence. However, it will also enable you to pursue other career paths within the analytical sciences, such as in:
chemical and biomedical sciences
clinical and forensic toxicology
food safety and environmental analysis
teaching and lecturing.
In addition, this MSc will help you build transferable skills that are valued in all industries, such as:
research skills and methods
method development and validation
problem solving, and
All in all, you will emerge from this programme as a well-rounded, highly-employable graduate.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.