Crime and Forensic Science MSc

London, Bloomsbury

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
All applicants: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

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).

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The Crime and Forensic Science MSc provides its students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of crime and forensic science, together with the key conceptual and philosophical frameworks in this field.

Students will gain practical skills in crime scene investigation, experimental design and implementation, statistical analysis, and data analysis and modelling. As graduates, they will be able to evaluate the weight and applicability of forensic evidence for investigative and court purposes.

Who this course is for

The programme is suitable for applicants from a range of different disciplines, as mentioned above, wishing to develop the skills necessary for a career or further doctoral research in this field.

What this course will give you

Our Crime and Forensic Science MSc trains students 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) is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime, bringing together academics from across the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. 

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this programme possess the skills required for a career in crime investigation, forensic science provision, consultancy, policy-making, and with public sector employers such as police forces (UK and overseas) and government departments (UK and overseas).

They will also have gained the research tools necessary to continue on to undertake further doctoral research.


Graduates of this programme should have a solid understanding of the key principles of crime and forensic science, along with the ability to analyse problems and use the appropriate scientific and professional skills to solve them. 

They will be able to evaluate forensic evidence and, thanks to their CSI training (developed and delivered with input from London-based police forces), they will have an advantage compared to other applicants for crime scene investigation roles. They have the opportunity to learn specialist techniques in areas such as forensic archaeology and forensic geoscience, and are also given a thorough grounding in academic research methods. 


Students will have opportunities to network with practitioners and researchers through the CFS seminar series. Seminars run during term time and are designed to expose students to the latest developments in forensic science and to provide opportunities to engage with experts from outside UCL.

Previous speakers include voices from within UK police forces, UK government departments, forensic science providers, researchers from UK and overseas universities.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical exercises.

Modules are assessed through coursework, examination and the dissertation.

Each taught module consists of 150 hours of content, which is a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed study.

A full-time student can expect to have around 15-20 hours of contact time per week during terms one and two, as well as self-directed study and time spent preparing for assessments.


The programme consists of five compulsory modules, three optional modules (eight modules in total) and a research dissertation. Places for optional modules are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Please be aware that certain modules will have prerequisites, such as relevant first degree or specific A-Level subjects. Availability on external modules will be dependent on the home department. External modules may not run every year due to timetable constraints.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Crime and Forensic Science.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL Security & Crime Science is offering a number of scholarships of up to £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.

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

You will need to complete our application, making sure to address the below points in your personal statement.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • what 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 after you graduate from this 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.

If a student has graduated within the last five years, at least one academic reference is required. For the second reference, an academic reference is preferred, but a relevant workplace reference is also acceptable

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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