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MSc Forensic Science

1 year 2 years School of Chemistry Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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The MSc Forensic Science programme is currently being revised to reflect advancements in this area. Exciting new modules will be added to the existing programme, offering students the chance to develop the full range of skills they need.


This scientifically rigorous Master’s programme is designed to provide extensive training in the latest techniques being employed in forensic science laboratories around the world.

At Lincoln, you will be taught by experienced academics and practitioners with specialist expertise in analytical and organic chemistry, pharmacy, entomology, anthropology and molecular biology. You will be encouraged to engage in the interdisciplinary research culture at the University of Lincoln and to work alongside academics who are striving to advance forensic science techniques.

Teaching incorporates forensic principles, operating within the context of legal considerations, the role of the expert witness and presentation of evidence. You will have the opportunity to learn about the processes involved in providing impartial evidence in criminal investigations, from crime scenes to laboratory and, finally, to the courtroom.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research in the School is organised around six main themes, although collaboration and cross-disciplinary research between these groups occurs at all levels:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Materials
  • Organic Synthesis.

How You Study

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Students on this course should typically expect 350 hours of contact time over the duration of the programme. The amount of contact time will vary depending on the various module option choices chosen.

Postgraduate study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to at least spend two - three hours in independent study.

The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, laboratory practicals, research and one-to-one learning.

How You Are Assessed

The grading system for modules and award will follow the standard regulations for postgraduate taught degrees. The pass mark for modules is 50% or above and the distinction mark is 70% or above.

The module mark will be awarded based on different assessment methods: coursework, examinations, presentations, practical sessions or work contributions to the module. Details will be provided a module handbook given to students at the beginning of the academic year.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:1 honours degree in a science subject.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Dr Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez


Master's Level

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (Option)

In this module students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the fate of toxins within the human body and the analysis of biological specimens that builds upon the knowledge gained from modules previously studied.

Laboratory work will be based upon case work and the development of new methods providing a realistic experience of the role of the forensic toxicologist in legal cases. Use of external practitioners, laboratory visits and specialist equipment aim to further add to this experience and strengthen the opportunity for employment in this highly competitive field.

Laboratory problems will be less directed and aim to further develop skills in teamwork and independent learning. Students are also expected to develop skills in interpretation of results and presentation in court, as expected for a professional forensic toxicologist within the present legal system. New method development will be backed up by consideration of research developments across all aspects of the field

Analytical Data Analysis (Core)

This module aims to develop students' knowledge of the value of statistical data in analytical science and how this data can be used to design experiments alongside extracting meaning from data acquired from analytical experiments. The module will also provide knowledge of statistical software and how to best utilise it to achieve reliable and meaningful results and their presentation in a wide range of professional contexts.

Atomic and Molecular Methods of Analysis (Option)

This module aims to provide specialist knowledge in the principles of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, instrumental fundamentals, design of experiments and sample preparation. Including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

The specialist knowledge is reinforced by the ‘hands-on’ practical component and will include use of the research instrumentation for collecting and analysing data, troubleshooting and method development/enhancement. The practical sessions will also involve following written experimental protocols, working in a small groups, and working to deadlines.

Bioanalytical Methods and Sensor Technologies (Option)

This inter-disciplinary module introduces the biology, physics and chemistry behind some the most common and emerging sensors used in analytical science and their mode of action. The special challenges of bioanalytical methods provides a modern context for specific sensor development and case studies will be presented from forensic, pharmaceutical and healthcare contexts for development of sensors.

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods (Option)

This module provides specialist knowledge in the principles of separation science and hyphenated methods of analysis, principally mass spectrometry. The programme introduces instrumental fundamentals, design of experiments, sample preparation and derivatisation. Including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

Specialist knowledge is reinforced by the ‘hands-on’ practical component and includes use of the research instrumentation for collecting and analysing data, troubleshooting, method development/enhancement. The practical sessions involve following written experimental protocols, working in a small group, and working to deadlines.

Crime Scene to Court (Core)

In this module students can develop their understanding of the role and responsibilities of the crime scene manager and crime scene co-ordinator in the investigation of complex crime scenes, including engagement with key specialists and agencies. Within this context, students can develop a critical understanding of, and apply, a holistic approach to crime scene processing and forensic strategy formulation. Students have the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and improve on future performance by analysing their experiences and using reflective learning techniques. The module also covers best practice in presenting evidence in documentary, visual and oral forms including mock-courts.

Current Approaches in Forensic Bioscience (Option)

This module will explore and analyse four key themes where methods in the biosciences are applied to forensic questions or where forensic approaches are applied to bioscience.

Fire and Explosions (Option)

Students have the opportunity to develop knowledge in the physics and chemistry of fire and explosions, which is then used to understand and interpret fire and explosion scenes. Case studies, fieldwork and laboratory work will provide the contexts for the knowledge delivered in lectures and workshops. Laboratory skills can be further developed from modules covered earlier in the course and emphasis will be placed on students working on professionally focused group and individual problems.

The professional and research literature will be a major information source that will inform module content and provide the context of the role of forensic scientists in fire and explosion investigation within the framework of the present legal system.

Method Development and Validation (Core)

This module comprises two main components:
The first will provide fundamental knowledge concerning strategies for Sampling, Data analysis, Reporting, Quality assurance and Quality control, Numerical and IT skills, and Safety in relation to analytical science.
The second will provide the general introductory principles and a theoretical understanding of a range of instrumental analytical techniques and their applications. The module aims to provide the background knowledge needed for an understanding of the various principles discussed in greater detail in other modules

Research Project (Core)

This module provides students with opportunity to apply chemical knowledge & laboratory skills to an extended practical research study. This is designed to further develop professional skills including the use of online literature/chemical data searching; the ability to critically review relevant published literature & written/oral presentation of research activities.


The course will use specialist instrumentation in anthropology, molecular biology, toxicology, forensic and analytical chemistry, organic chemistry and the teaching facilities in the Science Building and the Joseph Banks Laboratories.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to prepare students for a career in forensic science. The specialist skills and technical knowledge that students have the opportunity to acquire may be transferable to roles in laboratory research, law enforcement, customs and excise and investigatory agencies in the private sector. This programme can be excellent preparation for advanced study at doctoral level.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation and general living costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

  2017/18 Entry*
Home/EU £7,300
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £13,800
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £77 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Find out if you are eligible.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.