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.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years; five years with industrial placement, Part-time: Eight years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:


  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Forensic Science at UCLan is ranked 1st in the North West and 11th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide 2021.
  • Our research active staff have strong links with constabularies, criminal investigation agencies and hospital laboratories.
  • Our graduates regularly visit to talk about their work, career paths and how to succeed in the workplace.
  • Benefit from state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for the analysis of crime scene evidence and analytical chemistry. Our Analytical Unit is equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation, such as electron microscopes, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance machines, Raman and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass-Spectrometers.

Course Overview

Year 1 and 2

Compulsory modules

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

Optional modules

  • Introduction to Biology
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Elective

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Forensic Practice
  • Introduction to Forensic Genetics
  • Forensic Chemistry

Plus one option from:

  • Environmental Forensics
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • The Science and Management of Death

Year 3 and 4

Compulsory modules

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

Compulsory modules

  • Research Methods
  • Separation Science and Mass Spectrometry
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Research Project

Optional for sandwich award:

  •  Industrial Placement Year

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

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

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points including Biology, Chemistry or Applied Science. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
Pass Access Course: 106-112 UCAS Points with 15 Level 3 Credits in Chemistry or Biology.
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including HL Biology or Chemistry
GCSE: English and Maths Grade C/4

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

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

Discover More

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

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

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 logo

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 gives students access to an operational environment.

Find out more

"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."


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!

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

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.

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The complete university guide top 10 logo - forensic scienceUCLAN IS UK’S BIGGEST RISER IN NEW LEAGUE TABLE

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is the UK’s biggest riser in the first league table of the year. Forensic science was ranked in the UK’s top 10 and top in the North West.

Read more.

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This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the third and fourth years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team & UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first three years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

Forensic Laboratory

Crime Scene Houses

Professional Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

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.

Great Facilities

State-of-the-art facilities including :

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.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course 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.