Forensic Science and Molecular Biology MSci

Forensic Science and Molecular Biology MSci

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences




Under- graduate



Foundation Entry Route

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study this degree.

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  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years, Part-time: Eight years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    FC47; Short form: MSci/FSMB

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this course?

As a forerunner in the country for forensic science, you’ll learn from former practicing forensic scientists and CSIs as well as academics who are leaders in their field. On this integrated masters course, you’ll get the level of training associated with a BSc degree but with integrated masters level modules, given you a depth of knowledge that will significantly improve your employability. You’ll study forensic investigation, forensic biology, forensic chemistry and forensic anthropology, ultimately specialising in forensic biology with an emphasis on the generation, interpretation and application of DNA evidence. Completion of the programmes will leave you well placed for specialist employment in areas of forensic sciences, crime scene investigation, molecular biology or biotechnology. 


Entry Requirements 2017/18

112 points at A2 including Biology or Chemistry or applied Sciences; General Studies accepted
OCFBED (See Attached): Distinction, Merit, Merit
Pass Access to Higher Education: 112 UCAS Points with 15 level 3 Credits at Distinction in Chemistry or Biology.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 28 points including HL5 Biology or Chemistry
GCSE: Grade C at Maths and English

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

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Course at a Glance

Year 1 and 2

Compulsory modules

  • Crime Scene Science
  • Skills for Forensic Scientists
  • Introduction to Osteology and Anthropology
  • Biology for Forensic Scientists
  • Chemistry for Forensic Scientists

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Biology
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Bones Bodies and Burials
  • Elective

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Practice
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Law for Forensic Scientists

Optional modules

  • Death Science
  • Forensic Anthropology

Year 3 and 4

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation
  • Application of Forensic Science
  • Forensic Genetics
  • Advances in Forensic Chemistry
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Toxicology

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods
  • Forensic Genetics I
  • Forensic Genetics II
  • Research Project (triple module)

Further Information

Forensic science at UCLan is outstanding amongst other UK programmes by merit of its breadth and depth, the expertise of staff, and its facilities. The course covers forensic investigation, forensic biology, forensic chemistry and forensic anthropology. In addition to fitting you for a wide range of forensic careers, the course has a strong emphasis on transferable, employable skills, and it is expected that graduates will be well prepared for careers in a number of areas. 

There are three core topics that run throughout the course, and others which are options during the first and second years: 

Forensic investigation involves the management and analysis of crime scenes, the collection of forensic evidence and its analysis by means of methods such as fingerprinting, footwear impressions, document analysis, tool marks, forensic photography, glass fragment analysis, trace evidence, body fluids, hair and fibre analysis and ballistics. 

Forensic biology includes topics such as the identification of body fluids, forensic medicine, forensic entomology and DNA profiling, the identification and analysis of molecular genetic variation which can be used to match body fluids such as blood, semen or saliva to individuals, or to carry out paternity analysis. 

Forensic chemistry examines a variety of compounds from narcotics to paints and accelerants, using chemical and physical methods to characterise and match trace samples.

Forensic anthropology is an option in years one and two and involves the study of the skeletal remains in order to determine a profile of a deceased individual as well as aspects of decomposition and burial. In year four you will specialise in molecular biology and its application in forensic science with six masters level modules focusing on the generation, interpretation and application of DNA evidence and carrying out a novel research project in an area of your choice.


I like the way biological processes and theory were made relevant to forensic science.



Our school is vibrant, friendly, diverse and busy, and houses a wealth of staff experience. We were the first UK department to have a dedicated crime scene simulation house and now have three properties representing different scenarios. We have an extensive skeletal collection, comprised from both teaching specimens and archaeological material; and our final year students always organise one of the best graduation balls in the University!

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

Apply Now

You can apply through UCAS to start in September 2017 until 30th June

Contact Us

+44(0)1772 892400

Fees 2017/18

Full-time: £9,250 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540 per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Learning Environment and Assessment

The school houses a wealth of staff experience, from those who have worked at the very highest level as forensic practitioners before coming into higher education, to academics who are involved in the cutting edge research that underpins and helps advance forensic analysis. Factual knowledge and the development of associated skills are achieved through a variety of lectures, practical work (both laboratory based and at simulated crime scenes), tutorials, workshops, group work and independent study. 

You will have access extensive anthropological collections; to simulated crime scenes at our dedicated crime scene houses, vehicle examination facility and blood spatter analysis room. In addition we have a criminalistics laboratory containing all the modern instrumentation found within a commercial forensic science laboratory and state of the art analytical facilities based within the J.B. Firth building. A key part to the School's teaching and assessment strategy is to ensure that you get hands-on experience of using the full range of analytical instrumentation and are competent and confident in using them.

Modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end-of-module examinations. The types of assessments vary and may be in the form of multiple-choice, short answer questions, essays, practical reports or tests, problem solving exercises, oral presentations, critical reviews and research in the form of a final year dissertation.

Note: Those who do not achieve an average percentage mark of ≥ 60% at end of year two will not normally be allowed to continue with the MSci and will be transferred to BSc(Hons) Forensic Science.


State-of-the-art facilities include:


Guest speakers are brought in to talk about other areas including law, ballistics and DNA, and alumni will talk to you about their career path and how to get on.

Our strong links with the local constabularies and hospital laboratories mean you’ll get the chance to undertake invaluable hands-on work experience.

Our courses are an excellent basis for employment in this competitive sector. Our graduates are at work in all sorts of forensic science settings - as crime scene investigators, police officers, scientific support personnel and intelligence analysts, at home and overseas.

National Student Survey 2015

Students who completed the 2015 National Student Survey (NSS) and studied Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry related courses at UCLan were very satisfied with their experience, 100% of students thought that the course is intellectually stimulating, whilst 97% of students said staff are good at explaining things.

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