Forensic and Analytical Science

Study Scotland’s only MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science programme and nurture your professional development for a promising career in a wide range of forensic professions.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

5 years (full-time)

Award Title

MSci

UCAS Code

F410 (To apply for our MSci programme, you need to apply for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Science. Eligibility for progression onto MSci will be determined during study.)

Why study Abertay's MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science?

Our MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science is the only programme of its kind in Scotland.

It’s designed to give you an extra edge in the competitive job market by enhancing the knowledge and skills that are part of our BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences programme. You’ll deep-dive into core forensic science subjects, further supported by the study of law and embedded statistics.

The MSci course content goes beyond day-to-day competence in the laboratory - you’ll learn advanced, research-led theory and put this into practice through professional placements, research projects and laboratory work in our state-of-the-art laboratories and bespoke crime-house facilities on campus.

On completion of the MSci programme, you’ll be a well-rounded graduate with a strong track record of professional and personal development. You’ll have the option to pursue a range of roles, such as forensic scientist (either as part of the civil service or the private sector), analytical scientist in industry, further study, or other science and managerial roles that utilise your transferrable skills.

You’ll graduate with a Masters level qualification and the prerequisites for Registered Scientist recognition by the Science Council.

Classed as an ‘integrated undergraduate Master of Science programme’, this year of study is eligible for SAAS funding (subject to individual student circumstances).

Hear it from the professionals

“Abertay has a really good reputation for combining many of the practical skills with academia. There are other universities that go so heavy on the academic side that they actually miss the practical – it’s about getting the right combination. The practical element is absolutely essential – you’ve got to be able to put what you learn into practice and see the holistic picture. You can’t see yourself in isolation.”

Angela Wilson, Former Deputy Chief Constable of Tayside Police.

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Entry Requirements

Eligibility to study this course is dependent on academic performance throughout Years 3 and 4 of our BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences programme.

For the MSci applicants must have passed grades of 120 credits in both year 3 and year 4, maintaining an annual GPA of at least C+ (2.5) as well as a successful interview and offer of a placement.

To apply for our MSci programme, you need to apply for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences. Eligibility for progression onto MSci will be determined during study.

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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Key Modules

Contemporary Topics (SCN501)

This module will take an in-depth look at current research in two main areas relevant to their chosen MSci degree pathway. This will involve a detailed examination of the theory, literature and where appropriate, laboratory work. Each area will be independently delivered and assessed with equal weighting of 50% per area.

Master of Science Placement Based Learning (SCN502)

The Industrial/ Research placement forms a fundamental part of the students’ education and training for the MSci programme. It is important to take into account not only the students general behaviour and attitude on the placement but also their ability to act independently and as part of a team. This module is designed to both complement and extend the academic course and allows the students to accept responsibility for their own personal and professional development, learning & training according to the Abertay attributes.

MSci Project (SCN503)

During the Industrial/ Research placement students will be expected to manage and complete a substantive research project with minimal direct supervision. It is designed to allow the students to accept responsibility for their own personal and professional development, learning & training.

Science Future and Society (SCN504)

Through a series of seminars and one-to-one tuition provided by academics and company representatives, students will be supported in their development of an original research proposal. This proposal will build on their previous scientific research and literature review (SCN501 and SCN503). The research proposal will be orally defended at a mock grant panel comprised of academics and students.

How the Course Works

You can transfer to the MSci route at the end of stage 3 of the BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences programme if you’re eligible (based on GPA at stage 3). To remain on the MSci route, you need to successfully complete the stage 4 modules.

The MSci year can only be entered on successful completion of years one to four of Abertay’s BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences programme (please see entry requirements for specific details about progression criteria.)

The award title for successful completion of this degree is ‘MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science’. 

Please visit our BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences programme page for more information about Year 1 and 2 entry requirements, which would lead to the MSci progression option.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an MSc and an MSci?

An MSc is a postgraduate Master of Science programme, whereas an MSci is an undergraduate Master of Science programme. When studying an MSci, you’ll begin by learning BSc level content before progressing to MSc level content in your final year. For this reason, the MSci is referred to as an ‘integrated undergraduate Master of Science programme’. 

An MSci is typically more vocational in style, which means you’ll learn in a ‘hands-on’ manner through either internal or external work placements, research projects and laboratory work in your final year.

Can I study the MSci year if I’ve graduated with a BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences from another University?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to accept students who wish to study the MSci year only. This is a condition of the programme’s accreditation from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.    

Can I study BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Technology or BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science at Abertay and then complete the MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science?

Only students who study BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences at Abertay are eligible to apply for our MSci in Forensic and Analytical Science.

BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science students are eligible to apply for our MSci in Biomedical Science programme.

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Technology students are currently not eligible to apply for either of our MSci programmes. This may be subject to change in the future.

Will the programme fees be covered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)?

Yes. This is because the MSci is classed as an ‘undergraduate’ Masters of Science. This is subject to individual student circumstances so please check with SAAS directly.

Learning and Assessment 

On studying this programme, you’ll:

  • Gain advanced knowledge and understanding in the fields of forensic sciences, crime scene investigation, forensic biology, forensic chemistry, and supporting topics
  • Have the opportunity to develop skills as researchers in a structured placement (industry or academia)
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of leading research in the field of forensic and analytical sciences
  • Develop the ability to produce and defend an innovative research proposal that has impact
  • Develop confident communication skills
  • Develop a culture of personal responsibility for professional and personal development

Your final award will be graded based on the GPA achieved throughout years four and five (50% each).

Accreditation

CSFS Logo

This programme is professionally accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSoFS), which means you’re eligible to apply for associate membership upon graduating. This programme is taught by practitioners who’ve come directly from the industry, as well as forensic researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields.

On completion of the programme, you’ll graduate with a Masters level qualification and the prerequisites for Registered Scientist recognition by the Science Council.

Our Facilities

When you study with us, you're in good hands. Our £3.5m facilities are exceptional. We have equipment that you'll find readily available in industry laboratories, which means your transition from student to worker will therefore be much less of a challenge - and you can get hands-on straightaway. 

Science laboratory

Teaching Area with Two Brand New Labs

Our facilities are perfect for carrying out experiments and gaining practical skills in biomedical science. They feature two new labs designed specifically for teaching our biomedical and forensic science students. Both labs are equipped with state-of-the-art features, including controllable and fixed cameras, independent monitors, and 15 IT display screens, which are use to display teaching material, experiments and video clips.

Science laboratory - group of people working with microscopes

Learning and Social Area

This multi-purpose area includes an 84-inch screen, lockable mobile phone charging stations, and a kitchen to prepare or store refreshments. A corridor links round all of the labs, and incorporates contemporary seating and 62 lockers. 

Science laboratory - lecturer sanding talking - students sitting listening

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year. Fees are normally funded through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for eligible students.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Additional Costs

Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost is around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Additional Costs

Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost is around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

International Students

£13,800

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Additional Costs

Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost is around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for five years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

 

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for five years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

 

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Careers

Graduates can go into careers such as forensic scientists, either as part of the civil service or the private sector, and related areas such as scenes of crime investigation or police officer. A number of our graduates have successfully obtained these highly competitive jobs.

A hand can be seen using a cotton swab to take a sample from a blood stained knife

Choose Your Path

The course also provides you with the skills and abilities to pursue alternative, interesting and fulfilling career paths. For example:

  • Developing diagnostics in the biotechnology industries
  • Quality assurance
  • Problem solving in public utilities
  • Developing protocols and procedures in the armed forces or government agencies

You may also wish to pursue a career in teaching – many of our graduates have trained as science teachers. Alternatively, you may want to undertake higher research at MSc/PhD level.

The transferable skills gained during this degree can also be used in a range of other careers, such as management/business, law, accountancy and disciplines unrelated to science.

Close up of finger print analysis

Industry Links

We enjoy excellent relationships with a number of forensic laboratories.

Throughout the programme, you’ll hear guest lectures from representatives of organisations like the Scottish Police Authority, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), James Hutton Institute, and Forensic Access.

Male working on computing equipment

Get inspired

Meet some of our Forensic Science graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

A picture of Karim Abu Nour Dettori on graduation day

Karim Abu Nour Dettori

Kasim is a Graduate Product Development Scientist at Vascutek where he manufactures grafts for people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases.

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Mel Smith

Mel helps doctors to find donors for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme in Singapore

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Simon Patterson

Working for the largest motorcycle publication in the world means travelling all over to cover MotoGP racing

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Programme Leader

Dr Peter Maskell

Dr Peter Maskell

School of Applied Sciences | Senior Lecturer

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