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Forensic and Analytical Science MSci

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024

Duration

4 years inc. placement year

About the course

Reasons to study

  1. This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.
  2. Your learning will take place in purpose-built forensic science labs and crime scene facilities.
  3. Open up your career opportunities: in your third year you'll get to experience a placement year in an academic research setting.

Ever watched a crime documentary and found yourself glued to the screen during crime scene investigations? Or perhaps you zone in on the lab investigations, including spot tests for blood stains, and the methods used for determining alcohol and drugs in the blood?

A four-year undergraduate Master’s course with a placement year in research, our Forensic and Analytical Science MSci degree gives you an opportunity to potentially explore these areas of this fascinating subject, while putting theory to the test in the real world. In our specialised labs and crime-scene facilities on our Forensic and Analytical Science MSci degree, you’ll get to grips with tools and processes used in real-life investigations, with simulated scenarios providing on-the-spot challenges to help test your know-how.

Why study Forensic and Analytical Science MSci

Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the course will see you get to grips with the tools and processes used in real-life, forensic investigations, via our specialised labs and crime-scene facilities. Simulated scenarios will also challenge you to apply your know-how on the spot and, in the first year alone, modules are wide ranging, including Analytical Science 1, Analytical Chemistry 1, and Important Forensic Concepts, as well as supporting chemistry modules.

Where this course differs from our BSc(Hons) is that, during the third year of the MSci, you’ll experience a (compulsory) placement year in an academic research setting, working with one of our Forensic and Analytical Science academics. Research topics range from looking at toolmark impressions to the identification of lubricants used in firearms.

The variety of roles in forensic science is vast, too – from forensic toxicologists and DNA analysts, to forensic entomologists, toolmark and impressions, firearms and clothing damage analysts.

Previous graduates have gone on to secure careers in a whole host of analytical science-based areas including forensic science providers, analytical QC laboratories and environmental services. Many graduates from the Forensic and Analytical Science MSci also go on to study for a PhD.*

*Source: University of Huddersfield

Course detail

Important Forensic Concepts

This module will consist of a mix of laboratory based practical, lectures, workshops and computing practical. This will allow for an introduction to basic forensic techniques, the scientific principles underlying them, and the mathematics, statistics and computing tools used to present scientific findings. Techniques used include fingerprint development (chemical and physical), spot tests for blood stains, identification of glass fragments by density, refractive index and x-ray fluorescence, microscopic examination of hairs and fibres and methods for determining alcohol and drugs in the blood. Practical work is supported by lectures in forensic awareness, mathematics and statistics to ensure you are introduced to the principles of scientific analysis and presentation of data in a forensic setting.

Analytical Science 1

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the range of skills required in modern analytical science and illustrate how analytical methodology underpins scientific investigation across the conventional discipline boundaries. The module will build on and develop your prior knowledge of analysis whilst not assuming any particular area of expertise and will also endeavour to improve your numerical, IT and communication skills by illustrating analytical methodology in the context of these key skill areas. This module also aims to develop your ability to obtain and interpret a wide range of spectroscopic data in a systematic and logical fashion. In this way you'll be taught to apply your knowledge to a wide range of new problems and in so doing develop your general problem solving skills. The module will be taught primarily by lectures and tutorials with illustrative practical work to highlight salient points from the lecture material.

Inorganic Chemistry 1

This module introduces you to the chemistry of the elements. Starting with the earliest known chemical events in the universe, this module discusses the elements, their origin, structure and properties before looking at the structure and bonding in and reactions of chemical compounds and encompasses a number of areas of (mostly) main group chemistry including, but not limited to, the constituents of the earth's crust and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

Organic Chemistry 1

This module teaches you to recognise a range of functional groups and to name systematically compounds that contain them. Structure and bonding in organic compounds are discussed, as are the concepts of the octet rule, orbital hybridisation, formal charge, bond polarisation and resonance. The importance of molecular geometry is introduced and the basic principles of molecular conformation and of stereochemistry are covered. In preparation for the chemistry to follow, an integrated treatment of the 'language of chemical change' is presented. The ideas of mechanism and reaction intermediates are met, together with the curly arrow symbolism which chemists use to represent the electron movement inherent in chemical reactions. In the second half of the module, the chemistry of the principal functional groups is considered, using the ideas developed earlier. The lecture programme is reinforced by regular tutorials in which problems are worked. Running parallel to the lecture programme is a continuously assessed practical course that introduces you to the basic techniques of preparative organic chemistry.

Physical Chemistry 1

This module covers four areas of physical chemistry: Units, Conversions and the Properties of ideal and non-ideal Gases, Solution Chemistry of Acids, Bases and Salts, Reaction Kinetics and Catalysis, and Introductory Thermodynamics

Entry requirements

To find out if you’re eligible to start this course in September 2024 and get more information on how to apply, please see our Clearing pages or call our Clearing Helpline on 0333 987 900001484 472777.

If you’re interested in studying this course in September 2025, please view the 2025-26 course information.

Meet our students


In her film, you can watch Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons) student Miranda explore the crime scene facilities at the University of Huddersfield. She also talks about her 'fantastic' placement with West Yorkshire Police. 

Placements


During the MSci degree you will spend year 3 as a student (unsalaried) in a research group usually in a university or a research institute.This is an ideal choice for those who may wish to pursue a PhD upon graduation.We provide guidance and support to help you secure a placement.

During my placement year, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of technicians that taught me the value of teamwork.  My confidence grew massively, and I learnt so many new skills that I will carry with me forever.

None

Orica Taylor-Cameron, Forensic and Analytical Science BSc(Hons), placement with The University of Huddersfield as a Laboratory Technician.

Your career


As a graduate of this course, you may consider a career in crime scene investigation, forensic pathology, toxicology, clothing damage analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, forensic technology or forensic anthropology or forensic podiatry, as well as roles in chemistry and analytical chemistry within sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food and drink manufacturers or health.

Previous graduates from courses in this subject area of Forensic Science have gone on to work in roles such as Analytical Scientist at Minerva Scientific Ltd, Offshore Chemist at Benchmark Animal Health, Scientist at Broughton Nicotine Services and Analytical Scientist at RB (Reckitt Benckiser).**

*85% of graduates from this subject area were in work or further study 15 months after graduation (HESA Graduate Outcomes 20/21, UK Domiciled).

**LinkedIn.

85% % Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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