|Full time||1 year||September 2016|
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.
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.
Find out more about the teaching on this course by watching a video of James Barker, reader in analytical science:
Exams, laboratory reports, assignments, case studies, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical research project.
This course is accredited by the The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences for the component standards in Interpretation, Evaluation and Presentation of Evidence; Laboratory Analysis; and Crime Scene Investigation.
When you graduate you are eligible to apply to be an Associate Member (AFSSoc post-nominals) of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Having completed appropriate continuing professional development in a forensic science workplace, you can also become a Professional Member (MFSSoc) or Accredited Forensic Practitioner. Find out more from The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences website.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.
This module introduces you to the duties of the forensic scientist, the scene of crime officer and other specialists at a crime scene. It covers the principles of:
A mock trial will also help you develop the practical skills of expert witness testimony and report writing.
This module introduces students to the principles and theory of separation science and its application in the laboratory including solvent extraction, high performance liquid chromatography, gas/liquid chromatography, centrifugation, gel and capillary electrophoresis and hyphenated techniques.
This module introduces the main spectroscopic techniques used in industry, e.g. UV/Vis, FTIR, Mass Spectrometry, NMR, AES, AAS and X -Ray methods and later progresses to the more advanced designs and applications, eg MS/MS, FTMS, TOF, sector and quadrupole mass analysers, 2D NMR, LCMS, MALDI, Atomic Fluorescence and ICPMS/AES.
This module introduces students to the analytical and forensic techniques encountered in trace and contact evidence analysis. The module focuses on four areas of forensic casework; drugs of abuse, fibre analysis, fire investigation and ballistics.
This module involves a research- or industry-based in-depth research project. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, utilising analytical and laboratory skills.
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.