Forensic and Analytical Science MSc

2019-20 (also available for 2018-19 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2019-20 and 2017-18)

2018-19 (also available for 2017-18)

This course is specially designed to appeal to scientists wishing to specialise in analytical techniques.

Start date

17 September 2018

Duration

1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)

20

About the course

This course provides postgraduate education in Forensic and Analytical Sciences. Forensic Science involves the use of scientific techniques and principles to address questions of interest to a court of law. This course provides you with an overview of forensic science in general, following the crime scene to court model. This includes a series of crime scene exercises in our crime scene facilities, covering strategies for crime scene examination and an exploration of techniques associated with crime scene examination. You will also receive a comprehensive overview of most of the forensic science disciplines through the forensic biology and forensic chemistry module. You will also explore quality, which is an increasingly fundamental issue within forensic science industry; as well as the presentation of evidence and preparations for defending your evidence in a court of law.

In addition, you will then study modules underpinning the analytical sciences, which is a major source of employment for scientists, reflected in our high graduate employment rate. These modules will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the most recent technological developments and applications in Analytical Sciences. Instrumental techniques used in the analysis of organic compounds, metals, solids, etc. are all covered. Possible sources of error in experimental and instrumental analysis are discussed, thus allowing the correct interpretation of experimentally-derived scientific data. This course is comprised of two thirds taught componentand one third research project component.

Placements


There may be the opportunity for some students to carry out their research project in an industrial setting. Placements are normally a minimum of eight weeks in the period between June and September.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree in science or equivalent is required.

Course Detail

Crime Scene Science Awareness

An overview of Search and Recovery of evidence at the crime scene, Handling Exhibits, Collection of Evidence, Crime Scene Management, Quality, Continuity, Storage of Evidence, Finger Marks, Finger Marks Development, Footwear Marks, Documents, Handwriting and Signatures, E-forensics, Photography and CCTV.

Forensic Biology Awareness

An overview of various forensic biology disciplines; including, DNA profiling, Body Fluids, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Fibres Evidence, Anthropology, Osteology, Odontology, Botany, Entomology and Pathology

Forensic Chemistry Awareness

An overview of various forensic chemistry disciplines; including Toxicology, Abuse of Harmful Substances, Drug testing, Explosives, Arson, Firearms Chemistry, Firearms, Glass, Paint.

Quality and Presentation of Evidence

Quality control and assurance, An introduction to case assessment and interpretation, Note taking (Crime Scene Reports and Forensic Examination Notes), Report Writing and Production of Expert Witness Statements, Giving oral Evidence and the Role of Forensic Sciences in the courts.

Practical skills for Analysts

Extended experiments to develop, compare and assess methods for analytical problems carried out in small groups with joint report and oral presentations.

Advanced Separation Techniques

This module introduces the theoretical basis and current and future developments in analytical separation techniques. Areas covered range from solid phase extraction; theory of chromatography; gas chromatography (GC); high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); capillary electrophoresis (CE), asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) and sedimentation velocity in the analytical ultracentrifuge (SV-AUC). Tutorials are provided to support the lectures. Assessment is by an in-class test (50 %) and a major assignment consisting of an essay and presentation (50 %).

Project

This module will give you research experience in methods of experimental design and either to develop new analytical methods or to solve a novel analytical problem. The research project is carried out over a 50 day period working in the laboratory. Part-time student may carry out their project at their place of employment. You will become familiar with the current analytical literature and gain skills in being able to select and review relevant papers on a particular topic. It will test your ability to handle and interpret analytical data. You will also further develop communication skills in report writing (50% of assessment), poster and oral presentations (10% of assessment each). Further feedback will be provided by regular meetings with your project supervisor on a day-to-day basis (30% of assessment).

Advanced Forensic skills

The module aims to provide students with a more in-depth knowledge in two forensic disciplines: core and an elective. The core will be based on the student's MSc course and the elective from one other area. Typical topics covered could include: • Anthropology: and interpretation of skeletal evidence • Biology: DNA profiling and body fluid examination, • Toxicology: drugs and metabolites and the use of techniques such as GC and HPLC, • Entomology: insect recovery, identification and PMI estimation. Other electives may also be offered but the University reserves the right not to run an elective if insufficient students choose it. The module includes a statistics section initially covering basic methods (mean, standard deviations, probability theory, etc.) before moving on to more applied statistical methods including the analyses of variances, and assessing significance. In addition this module will cover various skills required of a good forensic scientist and practitioner, including literature searching, critical analysis of published works and presentation skills.

The course is designed to train you in the scientific methodology relating to forensic and analytical sciences and extend your interest and knowledge in all areas of the subject. The taught part of the course consists of four modules in the forensic sciences and four modules in the analytical sciences. The research project requires 50 days laboratory work and takes place during the summer, sometimes through an industrial placement (subject to availability).

Considerable emphasis is placed on independent learning. You will be taught through lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical laboratory classes. Additional learning materials are provided on the University's VLE. There is an Academic Skills Tutor within the School of Applied Sciences who can help with report writing, revision and examination technique, numeracy skills, etc. Modules are assessed by assignments, problem solving exercises, assessment of laboratory skills and written examinations. The research project is assessed by written report and oral presentations.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks - unless the submission was made toward the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feed back on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only University where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching excellence

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remains up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry.

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

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

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