Analytical Forensic Science

Analytical Forensic Science MSc

Course fees (2017/18 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home full time annual tuition fee: £6,200
International full time annual tuition fee: £12,660

More about course fees »

Course type



Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

Enhance your depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and practical skills with this Analytical Forensic Science Masters from Liverpool John Moores University. Prepare for analytical careers in forensics and beyond.

  • Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
  • Study a curriculum informed by research and industry practice
  • Benefit from LJMU’s investment in Analytical Chemistry, accessing cutting edge technology, state-of-the-art laboratories and new crime scene facilities
  • Learn from analytical forensic chemists, molecular biologists, crime scene and fire investigation specialists and leading national experts
  • Develop transferrable legal and research skills
  • Enjoy extensive career opportunities

This programme caters for literally every one of my interests in the field of forensic science.

Prospective student

This programme builds on scientific knowledge and skills developed at first degree level.

Introduction to the School

The multidisciplinary School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences is one of the oldest providers of Pharmacy education in the world and has been delivering industry-relevant courses since 1849.

We guarantee all of our students a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and 24/7 access to extensive resources.
The School offers high quality education and training in areas including Pharmacy, Applied Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Forensic Science and Biochemistry.

We also have an established reputation for supporting postgraduate students returning to education after a break and for delivering professionally-orientated courses that can be studied alongside full time employment.
All of our courses are influenced by the latest research, ensuring that course content is at the forefront of developments in the field. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, some 68% of LJMU’s health-related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.

Why study this course at LJMU?

Unique in the North West, this interdisciplinary programme involves the understanding and application of a range of analytical techniques to forensic problems.

Featured techniques cover both chemical and biomolecular approaches and you will have the opportunity to specialise in your chosen area.
Key programme modules include fire investigation procedures and analysis and trace evidence analysis, both of which require sound analytical chemistry skills.

The course attracts graduates from disciplines including chemistry, biochemistry and molecular and analytical areas such as applied chemistry and pharmaceutical science. Indeed, anyone interested in the analytical aspects of forensics will appreciate this programme.

Programme outline and structure

Analytical Forensic Science is one of four forensic programmes offered by LJMU. All four options share a number of common modules, but each course has its own distinct identity.

Analytical Forensic Science has a heavy practical bias, enabling you to explore current and emerging analytical techniques and practices.
Using state-of-the-art laboratory, crime scene and moot room facilities, you will:

  • explore the criminal justice system as a setting in which a forensic scientist might work
  • be able to apply appropriate techniques following the analysis and evaluation of complex forensic cases
  • learn to critically evaluate current crime scene techniques

You will enjoy a first class learning environment at the city centre Byrom Street site which boasts an ongoing £12 million laboratory investment programme and state-of-the-art research facilities in the newly developed Life Sciences building. Legal aspects of the course are taught in the Moot Room at the multi-million pound Redmonds building on Brownlow Hill.

On joining the course you will be appointed a personal tutor who will offer academic and pastoral support. The School also operates an open door policy, providing access to members of staff when you need them.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

  • Advanced Drug Analysis and Toxicology
    Combines theory and practical work in analytical chemistry techniques, relating to drug analysis including legal highs.
  • Law and Court Room Skills
    Discusses the criminal justice systems under which a forensic scientist may work and examines expert witness testimony. Aspects of regulation and quality assurance are touched upon.
  • Research Methods
    Covers grant application, critical appraisal of leading research and data interpretation and evaluation. This leads naturally into the dissertation.
  • Bioanalytical Techniques
    Examines state-of-the-art biomolecular techniques, including DNA and protein analysis. Commonly used techniques in the forensic field will be critically analysed and performed along with emerging techniques which can form the basis of the dissertation or further postgraduate study.
  • Fire Investigation
    Offers specialist knowledge of fire and explosive analysis both at the crime scene and in terms of analytical techniques.
  • Trace Evidence Analysis
    Teaches you to identify, differentiate and analyse different types of trace evidence using advanced techniques. Microscopy, including SEM (EDX) and atomic force, form the basis of the practical analysis performed, along with other techniques.
  • Dissertation
    The Dissertation research themes are led by staff and PhD students. Students are encouraged to present their research at conferences.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

With approximately two days a week in timetabled learning sessions, this course focuses on self-guided learning.

There is a 50/50 split between theoretical and practical content and you will be taught via a mix of seminars, workshops, case studies, external visits, lectures, practical sessions and e-learning courtesy of the University’s Blackboard online learning resource.
Most modules have a combination of coursework tasks to provide a balanced schedule of activities throughout the year. Regular lectures from professional practitioners ensure that the curriculum is directly informed by the latest developments and entirely relevant to the needs of today’s employers.

Each module has specific learning objectives which are assessed by a mix of formal exams and coursework including:

  • paper analysis
  • scientific reports
  • dissertations
  • court room presentations
  • expert witness statements

Staff research interests

Course tutors are all leading researchers in their field and regularly represent the University at national and international level.

Special areas of expertise within the department include drug analysis, fingerprints, ballistics, DNA and anthropology.

Entry requirements (Home)

  • You will need an Honours degree (minimum 2:2) in a relevant science, including Forensic Science

Application and selection

The MSc Analytical Forensic science will typically enroll 15- 20 students per year. It is expected that demand for places will be high so interviews may be conducted at the discretion of the Programme Manager.


As well as equivalent entry qualifications, international students must demonstrate their proficiency in English communication, for example via IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please contact LJMU's International Teamfor more information and advice.

Will I be interviewed?

It is expected that demand for places will be high and applicants will be selected on merit; in some instances interviews may be conducted.


6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.

Sources of funding

Postgraduate loans for students from England, Wales and the EU

Postgraduate Masters loans are available for those studying in the 2017/18 academic year. The new government loans, of up to £10,280, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses. To be eligible part time courses need to be studied at 50% intensity. Personal Eligibility is based on your age, your residency and if you have studied at Masters level previously.

Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to:-

Postgraduate Loans for students from Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish government is also introducing a loan for students commencing postgraduate study from September 2017 onwards. Unlike the loan for students from England and Wales this scheme offers a loan for tuition fees only with no funding available from the NI government for living costs. The loan for tuition fees will be paid direct to LJMU.

The maximum loan for those starting in 2017 is £5,500 per course. Please note this means in some instances the loan will not cover your tuition fees in full and you will need to make alternative arrangements to pay the balance as well as source funding for your living costs.

LJMU Alumni Award

Alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).

Postgraduate International Scholarships

LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.

English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Earn While You Learn

Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

LJMU’s Vacancy websitecan help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.

Employer sponsorship

Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

Support for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

Council tax exemption

All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

Graduate employment

The department has an impressive range of national and international industry contacts and works closely with local police forces.

The course also offers extensive peer networking opportunities, enabling you to make useful contacts during your studies.

As a graduate, you will be able to work in forensic practice or be employed in pharmaceutical and other analytical industries. The range of both analytical chemistry and molecular biology jobs is broad and includes roles working with diagnostic products, proficiency testing, quality assurance, reference standards and genomics, alongside employment in forensics. You will be able to undertake further study at PhD level, seek employment in the health, environmental and trading standards sectors or teach in schools, colleges or universities.

You may, alternatively, choose to work in research, specialising in specific areas of forensic science such as drug analysis and toxicology.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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