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Forensic Science and Chemical Analysis

Forensic Science and Chemical Analysis MSci

This course, accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, will give you a significant advantage when it comes to getting a job in this highly competitive field. The course is taught by experienced senior forensic scientists and CSIs as well as academics who are leaders in their field. It is an integrated master’s course, which means you will get all the training associated with a BSc degree with the distinct advantage of master’s level education in the area of analytical chemistry. You will study forensic investigation, processing crime scenes and analysing evidence in the laboratory. You will cover aspects of forensic biology, forensic chemistry and forensic anthropology, ultimately specialising in forensic chemistry with an emphasis on the application of spectroscopic techniques in forensic science.

Study Forensic Science at UCLan

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

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.


Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

Lancashire Forensic Science Academy

Lancashire Constabulary and UCLan School of Forensic and Applied Sciences have joined forces to create the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.

In the first collaboration of its kind, CSIs, forensic science experts, academics and students will work alongside each other in purpose-built facilities to research, investigate and deliver forensic science services in Lancashire.

This ground-breaking partnership enables students to work in an operational policing environment.


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As a foundation for a career, especially an academic one, there is no equal. It will follow you and hold you up where ever you go... As a former student I can attest to how excellent the staff and facilities are at UCLan.

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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 students specialise in chemical analysis and its application in Forensic science with six masters level modules focusing on the application spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of trace evidence and carrying out a novel research project in an area of their choice.

The School of Forensic and Applied Sciences 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!

Key Information

  • Duration:

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

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    MSci

  • UCAS Code:

    FF41; Short form: MSci/FSCA

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Fees 2018/19

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

  • View 2017/18 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

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

Not got the grades?

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

Foundation Entry Route

Courses 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
  • Separation Science and Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Research Project (triple module)

Open Day (Saturday 18 November 2017) - Register Now

Learning Environment

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.

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.

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.


Great Facilities

State-of-the-art facilities including :

Professional Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Our Chemistry department is top in the UK in terms of student satisfaction, ranking first in the Times Good University Guide 2015.


Excellent Opportunities

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.


Check out what we've been up to ...

Ground-breaking Forensic Academy to be launched in Lancashire
Partnership to enable University students to work in an operational policing environment

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Lancashire Constabulary have this week officially entered into a strategic partnership that will enhance forensic science services in Lancashire.

Important Information

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2017 Entry | 2018 Entry

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

* Tuition Fees

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated. Currently the 2018/19 fee level, which is due to increase in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rates has not been announced by the Government.

Entry Requirements

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.