Forensic science is a dynamic discipline that is crucial to the investigation of crime, the collection of evidence and intelligence, and in securing justice. This multidisciplinary MSc programme offers students a unique opportunity to gain forensic science skills and methods within a holistic crime science framework.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £11,800 (FT)
- £24,610 (FT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant disciplines will generally include science subjects, for example chemistry, biology, physics, engineering or computer science; psychology, archaeology or geography. Alternatively candidates may qualify for entry if they can offer five or more years of relevant professional experience (for example in the police service, or with a forensic science provider).
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
Students will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of crime and forensic science, together with the key conceptual and philosophical frameworks in this field. They will gain practical skills in crime scene investigation, experimental design and implementation, statistical analysis, data analysis and modelling, and will be able to evaluate the weight and applicability of forensic evidence for investigative and court purposes.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
An exit-only Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.
- Quantitative Methods
- Designing and Doing Research
- Understanding and Interpreting Forensic Evidence
- Foundations of Security and Crime Science
- Law and Expert Evidence
Students choose three of the following optional modules:
- Case Assessment and Interpretation for Forensic Scientists
- Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
- Information Security Management
- Forensic Anthropology
- Forensic Osteology
- Forensic Geoscience
- Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Practices of Crime Scene Investigation and Expert Testimony
- Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- Advanced Forensic Anthropology
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical exercises and statistical and computer classes. Assessment is through coursework, examination and the dissertation.
UCL Security and Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places on one of our MSc programmes. Further information is available on the departmental website.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme will gain the skills necessary for a career in crime investigation, forensic science provision, consultancy, policymaking, and with public sector employers such as police forces, Home Office, and Ministry of Defence. They will also have gained the research tools necessary for a PhD or further doctoral research.
Graduates from this programme gain a solid understanding of the key principles of crime and forensic science, along with the ability to analyse problems and use appropriate scientific and professional skills to solve them. They can evaluate forensic evidence and their CSI training (developed and delivered with input from London-based police forces) gives them the edge over other applicants for crime scene investigation roles, if this is what they decide to do. They have the opportunity to learn specialist techniques in areas such as forensic archaeology and forensic geoscience, and are given a thorough grounding in academic research methods.
Each year we ask our graduates to tell us about their experience of the programme and their career after leaving UCL and we include some real-life graduate profiles on our website.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This MSc will train graduates to think strategically and critically about crime and forensic science, equipping them with transferable skills suitable for a wide range of careers.
The UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI) brings together academics from across the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to share their professional experience.
Department: Security & Crime Science
Student / staff numbers
› 12 staff
› 120 taught students
› 62 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Security & Crime Science
74% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"UCL is a real multi-faculty university, which makes it an amazingly interesting and stimulating place to be. My work has greatly benefited from meeting and working with top researchers in other disciplines such as neuroscience, crime science, computer science and psychology."
Professor Cheryl Thomas
Professor of Judicial Studies
"I think the overall strength of forensic science at UCL is the many connections that exist (and are needed) with other academic departments and organisations such as the Metropolitan Police."
Nadine SmitCrime and Forensic Science MSc
"I am currently in the process of writing my dissertation with support from Foster + Freeman, a forensic science technology company, who have lent me their equipment. UCL has allowed me to carry out a project that I would not have been able to elsewhere."
Thomas HamiltonCrime and Forensic Science MSc
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students from a range of different disciplines, as mentioned above, who wish to develop the skills necessary for a career or further doctoral research in this field.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- what particularly attracts you to this particular programme
- why you want to study this subject in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL, rather than elsewhere
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
- if you are aware and comfortable with the fact that the programme includes courses on statistics and quantitative analysis, as well as a general emphasis on the scientific method and empirical research
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.