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Crime and Forensic Science MSc

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£13,130 (FT)
Overseas:
£27,460 (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 Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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).

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.

International students

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).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Crime and Forensic Science.

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 is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Designing and Doing Research
  • Foundations of Security and Crime Science
  • Law and Expert Evidence
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Understanding and Interpreting Forensic Evidence

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Advanced Forensic Anthropology (pre-requisite: Forensic Anthropology)
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Geoscience
  • Topics in Modern Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
  • Horizon Scanning and the Changing Nature of Crime
  • Information Security Management
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Practices of Crime Scene Investigation and Expert Testimony

Please be aware that certain modules will require pre-requisites such as relevant first degree, or specific A-level subjects. In addition, modules run by other departments may not be available every year due to timetable constraints. Please contact us with any queries.

Further module information.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

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

Accessibility

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

Funding

UCL Security & 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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Department of Security and Crime Science Bursary

Note:
Deadline: 30 June 2020
Value:
£2,500 - £10,000 towards fees (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates of this programme will gain the skills necessary for a career in crime investigation, forensic science provision, consultancy, policy-making, 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.

Employability

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.

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

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"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

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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.

If you have graduated within the last 5 years, then we would like you to provide at least one academic reference alongside any workplace references.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 24 September 2020