Why choose this course?
This course will enable you to gain a strong background in the theory of analytical and forensic techniques and how to apply them to complex problems such as those encountered at crime scenes. It emphasises the key skills required in this specialised area of science, including good measurement and scientific practice, sample collection and chain of custody, evaluation and interpretation of data, and constructing expert witness reports. Kingston University has its own scene-of-crime house located on site, which is used to recreate crime scenes and enables you to put your investigative skills into practice. The property's garden is used by the forensic team's archaeologist for field investigations. Lecturers on the course have wide experience in the forensics sector and many have worked either as forensic scientists or as expert witnesses. They are also actively engaged in forensic research, and are supported by visiting speakers from leading forensic consultancies.
What you will study
This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences for the component standards in Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence; Laboratory Analysis; and Crime Scene Investigation. You will explore recent trends in forensic science and learn about the latest analytical devices used, such as atomic and molecular spectroscopic and separation techniques and DNA profiling. You will look at the role of the forensic scientist and learn how to, for example, investigate and analyse drugs of abuse, fibres and firearms and conduct fire investigation. There is also the opportunity to present expert evidence at a mock courtroom trial in a magistrates' court, examined by Kingston's own trainee lawyers and/or their law lecturers. In addition, you will have the opportunity to carry out your research project in industry (depending on your results and project availability) or in Kingston University's extensive forensic and analytical laboratories.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).
After you graduate
In the UK, forensic analysts are now mainly employed in independent laboratories. They perform a variety of roles including laboratory technical support, laboratory management, forensic investigations (sampling, chemical analysis and data interpretation) and are expected to present evidence through formal reports or directly in court. Whilst a qualification in Forensic Analysis can allow access to employment opportunities in forensic laboratories, the training required for a forensic analyst is valuable in a wide range of related employment sectors. The MSc Forensic Analysis helps to prepare you for roles such as: scene of crimes officer, forensic scientist, pharmaceutical scientist, quality assurance officer and medicinal and scientific researcher