Forensic Science (Forensic Entomology) 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)

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 Entomology. Forensic Entomology involves the use of entomological evidence to address questions of interest to a court of law; most famously, the question of the time-since-death or post mortem interval estimation. 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 a variety of forensic science disciplines through the forensic biology and forensic chemistry modules. 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 subject specific modules underpinning the principles relating to forensic entomology. These modules will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the most recent technological developments and applications in forensic entomology. This course is comprised of two thirds taught component and 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 any science related subject 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.

Forensic Casework Practice

This module will use simulated case data in the relevant subject speciality. The students will be expected to identify and critically evaluate the most up to date forensic literature in order to interpret, write-up and report the case in a mock court room exercise as an expert witness.

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 entomology, in the forensic sciences in general, and extend your interest and knowledge in all areas of the subject. The taught part of the course consists of six modules in the forensic sciences. The research project requires 50 days laboratory work and takes place during the summer.

Considerable emphasis is placed on independent learning. You will be taught through tutorials, lectures, 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, laboratory skills and written examinations. The research project is assessed by written report and oral presentation.

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

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

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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