Forensic Bioscience

Forensic Bioscience MSc

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,500
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: n/a
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type

MSc

PgDip

School

Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

This Masters-level Forensic Bioscience course from Liverpool John Moores University is ideal for forensic science practitioners and science graduates. You will have access to state-of-the-art learning facilities plus a research-informed curriculum.

  • Suitable for Forensic Science practitioners and science graduates, this course is informed by research and industry links
  • Enjoy access to state-of-the-art laboratories, crime scene facilities and a moot room
  • Learn from forensic anthropologists, biologists, crime scene and fire investigation specialists and leading in-house academics
  • Benefit from a local, national or international work placement
  • Develop transferrable skills in legal matters and research methods and specialise in your chosen area
  • Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
     

Increase your knowledge, understanding and practical skills for a variety of careers linked to forensics.

The realism sets the tone for the level of student engagement and the practicality gives them an experience of learning that will be of great benefit in their real world work upon graduation.

External adviser

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 expert-led Masters programme focuses on the biological aspect of forensics.

Forensic bioscience involves the understanding and application of many diverse techniques and this programme aims to enhance your depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding and practical skills via a stimulating and challenging curriculum. Key topics include decomposition, entomology, microbiology, histology and DNA analysis. You will also study forensic medicine and issues such as post mortem interval determination and identification.
The course attracts graduates from disciplines including biology, zoology, biochemistry and forensic science as well as those working in DNA Analysis, forensic biology, anthropology and the environmental sector. Indeed, anyone interested in the molecular and biological aspects of forensics will appreciate this programme.

Taught by leading experts in the field, you will explore emerging and specialist disciplines as well as extending your understanding of current and biological techniques and practice.
Developing analytical, critical and problem solving skills, you will become a creative problem solver. You will also enhance your independent research skills, going on to enjoy excellent career development opportunities in forensic and analytical biosciences.

Programme outline and structure

Forensic Bioscience 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.

During this course you will:

  • explore the criminal justice system as a setting in which a forensic scientist might work (this relates to British and international law) 
  • discover how to apply appropriate techniques following the analysis and evaluation of complex forensic cases
  • learn to critically evaluate current crime scene techniques

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

You will study at the Byrom Street site in the University’s City Campus. With an ongoing £12 million investment in laboratory facilities here and state-of-the-art research facilities in the newly developed Life Sciences building, you’ll enjoy a first class study environment.
The Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semesters, is located just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.
Legal aspects of the course are taught in the Moot Room in the multi-million pound Redmonds building on Brownlow Hill.

What you will study on this degree

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

  • Forensic Bioscience
    Combines theory and practical work in post mortem interval determination, entomology, microbiology and pathology.
  • 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.
  • Taphonomy and Trauma Analysis
    Examines decomposition processes and trauma analysis. 
  • Dissertation
    The Dissertation research themes are led by staff and PhD students. Students are encouraged to present their research at conferences.

The following options are typically offered:

  • 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.

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 courses@ljmu.ac.uk if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

With approximately two days a week in timetabled sessions, the focus of this course is 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 Canvas resource.

Most modules have a combination of coursework tasks to provide a balanced schedule of activities throughout the year.

With regular lectures from professional practitioners, 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

The programme has been praised by external bodies for its "modules designed around national standards" and the "realistic environments created to facilitate learning and assessment".

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.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.


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.

IELTS

6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Pearson

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

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Yes


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

Financial support

Tuition fees

All 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 in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU's Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

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

Networking opportunities with your fellow students are also extensive, meaning that useful contacts can be made during your studies.

Numerous career paths are available including forensic practice, working in biology-based industries, the NHS, trading standards and teaching and lecturing in schools, colleges and universities. Further possibilities include roles working with diagnostic products, proficiency testing, quality assurance, reference standards and genomics.

Alternatively, you may choose to further your research career, concentrating on specific areas of forensic science, such as DNA analysis or entomology.

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 www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.

Scholarships

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: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international

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

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because 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. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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