Full-time: 1 year
£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
- separation science/chromatography
- 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)
- Fluorescence microscopy
- 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:
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.
You will study a range of modules such as:
- Professional Forensic Scientist
- Separation Sciences
- Advanced Bioanalytical Techniques
- Advanced Crime Scene and Evidence Analysis
- Spectroscopy and Structural Analysis
- Research Methods and Data Interpretation
- Research Project
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.
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.
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.
2023/24 Fees (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.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
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.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
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
- pharmaceutical analysis
- clinical and forensic toxicology
- food safety and environmental analysis
- doctoral research
- teaching and lecturing.
In addition, this MSc will help you build transferable skills that are valued in all industries, such as:
- project management
- research skills and methods
- quality control
- method development and validation
- data analysis
- problem solving, and
- critical thinking.
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.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
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.