UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences


Join pioneering forensic science research in our PhD programme

We’re all about our research and our PhD students are the thriving community at the heart of it all. Read on if you have a research idea & want to make discoveries that advance the forensic sciences.

Our research groups

Our research is broad in its scope but uncompromising in its quality. We’re the only academic team focusing on the interpretation of forensic science. We’re getting better and better at finding greater amounts and ever smaller trace evidence, but what does it mean when we find it in a particular place at a particular time? It’s this idea of interpretation that underlies all our research.

Trace Evidence Dynamics looks at how different trace evidence behaves within different environments over space and time, while Interpretation of Evidence focuses on understanding how forensic evidence can be most useful in real life investigations and casework.

Find out more about our research in Trace Evidence Dynamics and Interpretation of evidence

Next steps

To keep our research community thriving and dynamic we’re looking for people who have a great research idea that can be developed, are ready to rub shoulders with a diverse and interdisciplinary research community, and are enthused by the idea of always learning, innovating and changing. If that’s you, please begin your application below, having already discussed your proposal with a potential supervisor.

Learn more about appying for a PhD.

Our students

Our PhD students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, culturally and academically. They mostly have some robust traditional science, and all have at least an upper second-class undergraduate degree and probably more. The research currently being done by the current cohorts is cutting edge, interdisciplinary and incredibly varied.

Some are investigating how DNA transfers and persists on different things and people over time. Others are investigating how new technologies like 3D imaging and printing can be applied in forensic contexts or how microscopic algae, present in all water bodies, can help to determine provenance.

While others are looking at cognitive issues all along the forensic science process from crime scene to the courtroom. Or how we can build frameworks that help to break down a highly complex set of factors and human decision making into a simple story a jury can understand.

So don’t worry if you’re not an analytical chemist, forensic science is much bigger and better when we draw on disciplines from across the sciences, social sciences and humanities

Find out more about our research