This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive insight of the field of firearms, ammunition and ballistic investigations.

At a glance

  • Start dateSeptember
  • DurationMSc: 11 months full-time, up to 3 years part-time. PgDip: Up to 11 months full-time, up to 2 years part-time
  • DeliveryBy written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and viva voce.
  • QualificationMSc, MSc by Research, PgDip
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

The course offers students a wide range of different experiences with unique facilities available to no other university in the UK. 

The MSc in Forensic Ballistics course usually has around 10-15 students per year. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds, usually with a science or forensic science first degree. Many students come from abroad, especially Europe, Africa and North America. 

Why this course?

The MSc Forensic Ballistics course is part of the MSc Forensic Programme which is formally accredited by The Chartered Society for Forensic Sciences.

The course is highly practical and hands-on, aiming to produce a clear understanding of how firearms and ammunition function, the science of ballistics, the role of the forensic firearms examiner and how the forensic evidence produced in gun crime can be used to help resolve issues in relation to criminal and civil law.

The course consists of a one-week period of introductory studies followed by academic instruction in modular form. Most modules are of five days duration, interspersed with weeks devoted to private study. Students are required to take eight core modules and choose three elective modules based on their particular background, future requirements or interests. This is followed by a four-month research project and either a thesis or literature review and paper.

Informed by Industry

Made up of serving Forensic Practitioners from different disciplines.

Accreditation

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences logo

The Forensic Modular Masters Programme at Cranfield Forensic Institute is accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Course details

Students are required to take nine core modules and choose three elective modules based on their particular background, future requirements, or interests. This is followed by a four-month research project and thesis.

Individual project

The individual project takes four months from April to July. The student selects from a range of titles, or may propose their own topic. Most are practically or experimentally based using Cranfield’s unique facilities.

Assessment

By written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and viva voce.

Core modules

Analytical Techniques

Module Leader
  • Dr David Lane
Syllabus
    • Laboratory accreditation and standard operating procedures
    • Specimen collection and sample preparation
    • Mass/volume of interaction
    • Materials identification by X-ray diffraction
    • Special techniques used in X-ray diffraction
    • X-ray fluorescence
    • Electron microscopy and micro-analysis
    • Optical microscopy
    • Spectroscopic methods: Infrared and Raman spectroscopy
    • Mass spectrometry
    • Chromatographic and other separation methods: GC, HPLC, CE
    • Hyphenated techniques
    • Isotope ratios and carbon dating
    • DNA profiling.
    • Hardness measurements (micro- and nano-hardness)
    • Radiography.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental principles of a wide range of analytical techniques
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of different analytical techniques and apply them to the identification and characterization of materials
  • Practically apply analytical techniques and interpret their results with appropriate regard to experimental uncertainty
  • Critically assess experimental data and evaluate through comparison to other samples and reference materials
  • Present analytical results in a clear and concise written report.

Courtroom Skills

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Role and legal responsibilities of the forensic expert
    • Civil and criminal procedure rules
    • Excellence in report and statement writing
    • Presentation of evidence in court
    • Preparation for examination-in-chief and cross-examination.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Define the role and responsibilities of the expert witness
  • Construct an effective expert witness report
  • Develop the skills to present oral evidence in court effectively and respond successfully to cross-examination.

Failure Analysis of Components

Module Leader
  • Painter, Dr Jonathan J.D.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to failure analysis
    • Modes of loading and stress distributions
    • Residual stress
    • NDT and tools of failure examinations
    • Metallographic basics and material properties
    • failure modes - distortion, ductile/brittle fracture, fatigue, wear, corrosion, elevated temperature
    • Crack tip stress fields and linear elastic fracture mechanics.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the steps and tools involved in failure investigations and the importance of determining the root cause
  • Critically evaluate potential failure modes of an engineered component and the means of evaluating the loading types, material, environmental and structural properties, which govern the onset of failure
  • Assess the indicative characteristics of a failed component from which can be inferred the source of failure
  • Appraise the principles of both linear elastic fracture mechanics and their application to cracks in brittle materials, and fracture mechanics to crack growth under cyclic loads
  • Report on the conclusions of an engineering failure investigation in a clear and concise report.

Firearms Investigations

Module Leader
  • Shackel, Dr James J.
Syllabus
    • Weapon design and performance
    • Serial number restoration
    • Improvised and converted weapons
    • Preservation and recording of evidence
    • 1968 Firearms Act (as amended)
    • Gun-shot residue investigations
    • Application of bullet and case matching in forensic investigations.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the component parts of small arms
  • Critically assess the techniques employed during gunshot residue and firearms identification casework
  • Appraise how the deactivation, reactivation and conversion of firearms is carried out
  • Appraise the use use of different sections of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended) as applied to Forensic casework
  • Critically assess how firearms investigations are carried out whilst ensuring all evidence is preserved.

Forensic Ballistic Investigations

Module Leader
  • Shackel, Dr James J.
Syllabus
    • Internal ballistics
    • Intermediate ballistics
    • External ballistics
    • Terminal ballistics
    • Wound ballistics
    • Fragmenting munitions
    • Shotgun ballistics
    • Hit probability
    • Weapon failures
    • Statistics.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Investigate and assess the internal, intermediate and external ballistics of projectiles
  • Review the factors that affect the relationship between projectiles and targets
  • Evaluate the factors affecting wound ballistics
  • Critically assess those factors affecting the performance and ballistics of fragmenting munitions and shotguns
  • Appraise the most common types of weapon failures.

Investigation and Evidence Collection

Module Leader
  • Dr Karl Harrison
Syllabus
    • Construction of the forensic strategy
    • Evidence selection and collection
    • Scene photography
    • Digital photography
    • Sample integrity and contamination issues
    • Assessment of evidence
    • Packaging and transportation
    • Scene reporting
    • Handling intelligence – assessment and communication.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Analyse and evaluate various different strategies of major scene investigation to consider the various effects of different approaches
  • List and define the range of evidence collection and investigation techniques available to the crime scene investigator
  • Describe and evaluate the relative merits of the range of systematic crime scene procedures vital to successful investigations
  • Evaluate which of these procedures are appropriate to a particular crime scene and apply these procedures appropriately during a crime scene exercise
  • Generate a crime scene report which objectively critiques the methodologies used and draws justified conclusions appropriate for the evidence
  • Transfer theoretical and practical knowledge of evidence identification, recording and retrieval into the various roles of forensic specialists.

Reasoning for Forensic Science

Module Leader
  • Rogers, Professor Keith K.D.
Syllabus
    • Experimental design
    • Interpretation and assessment
    • Effective framing and rebutting of arguments
    • Problem solving
    • Evidential types
    • Use of relevant statistics for design and interpretation
    • Courtroom statistics.

    The syllabus will follow the general course of a generic investigative process from the appropriate framing of a question to the critical interpretation of data and information. The appropriate use of data in well constructed arguments will be considered in order to distinguish between fact, opinion and speculation. Intellectual rigour will be challenged, and the ability to identify weakness in argument will be developed. Data will be examined for reliability and reproducibility with a focus on the distinct features of forensically related data. Appropriate use of descriptive and hypothesis testing statistics will be practised and the ‘prosecutor’s fallacy’ explored. Bayes’ Theorem will be considered and rehearsed through case studies

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Recognise the fundamental features of effective experimental design
  • Explain how confidence may be secured through effective reliability and reproducibility assessments
  • Frame and defend an effective argument concerning quantitative information
  • Understand the minimum requirements for presenting scientific evidence in court
  • Distinguish between evidential types used in court and research environments
  • Apply appropriate statistics to forensic evidence for analysis and interpretation
  • Explain the statistical processes to the layman
  • Apply Bayes’ Theorem to forensic evidence.

Introduction to Firearms Investigations and Forensic Ballistics

Module Leader
  • Shackel, Dr James J.
Syllabus
    • Introduction into weapon functioning and performance
    • Introduction into ammunition construction and materials
    • Introduction into bullet/case matching.
    • Provide an overview of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended)
    • Introduction to internal and external ballistics
    • Introduction to gunshot residue analysis.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Assess and evaluate how small arms work and operate
  • Appraise the science behind bullet/case matching
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the construction of small arms ammunition
  • Assess the use of different sections of the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended)
  • Compare and contrast the science underpinning internal and external ballistics
  • Evaluate the science behind gunshot residue analysis.

Materials Engineering and Processing

Module Leader
  • Painter, Dr Jonathan J.D.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to materials families; metals, ceramics, polymers and composites
    • Atomic/crystal structures, defects and dislocations
    • Principles of metallography
    • Phase diagrams and transformations
    • Mechanical properties of materials
    • Material processing, common faults and the resulting modes of failure
    • Fabrication methods, common faults and the resulting modes of failure.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a diligent student will be able to:

  • Assess and differentiate the macro and micro material structures of the various material families
  • Evaluate the material properties and how they are affected by the material microstructures
  • Evaluate how the chemical composition, microstructure and processing influences the properties of steels and non-ferrous metals
  • Formulate likely causes of failure in a manufactured component.

Elective

Fakes and Forgeries

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Introduction to the art world
    • Collectors, auction houses and museums
    • Object and material types
    • Stone, ceramic, glass, metal, pigment, organics
    • Scientific versus stylistic analysis
    • Special considerations of sampling
    • Quasi non-destructive and non-destructive techniques
    • Relative and absolute dating
    • Provenancing.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the basic functioning of the art market
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the legal roles of various players and the part that science can play
  • Critically assess the various scientific and non-scientific techniques
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how sampling strategies are applied and which techniques are of most use
  • Be able to apply their knowledge to specific investigation of art objects to successfully come to a reasoned and balanced conclusion.

Fires, Explosions and their Investigation

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Fire initiation
    • Spontaneous ignition and thermal explosion
    • Fire spread in gases
    • Dust explosions
    • Pool fires
    • Anaerobic fires
    • Fire spread in solids
    • Anatomy of a fire
    • Effects of fire on the human
    • Condensed explosives
    • Forensic examination of fires and explosions
    • Consideration of case studies.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental principles of fire science theory and fire modelling and demonstrate a critical awareness of the limitations of current theories and modelling processes
  • Identify the various physical and mechanical processes and mechanisms leading to the initiation of fire and of explosion
  • Analyse the principles involved in the spread of fire and the development of vapour, dust and condensed explosions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the forensic techniques used in the examination of suspicious fire and explosive incidents.

Forensic Archaeology: Recovering Buried Remains

Module Leader
  • Dr Karl Harrison
Syllabus
    • The development of Forensic Archaeology in both UK and international contexts
    • The science and study of deception
    • Search and location
    • Grave digging practical
    • Principles of geophysics
    • Police search techniques
    • Cadaver dog use
    • Principles of surveying
    • Stratigraphy and recording
    • Scatter scenes
    • Scavenger behaviour
    • Running a forensic excavation
    • Recording and planning.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate and critically assess the development of forensic archaeology and its current application on UK and international crime scenes
  • Understand key concepts in forensic taphonomy and consider how these may effect the nature and response of human remains
  • Identify the main techniques used in the location of buried objects and evaluate their usefulness in different terrains and against different target types
  • Discriminate between different features that appear on geophysical surveys and deduce their likely archaeological causes
  • Recognise the importance of stratigraphy and be able to use simple archaeological recording techniques to accurately describe that stratigraphy and interpret how it might have been caused
  • Recognise the practical aspects of setting up a forensic excavation and their implications.

Forensic Investigation of Explosives and Explosive Devices

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Survey of methods used for the detection and analysis of explosives
    • Sniffer and bulk detectors for explosives
    • Types of improvised explosive device and their investigation
    • Sampling of bulk and trace explosives for forensic analysis
    • Infrared and Raman spectroscopy
    • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • Mass spectrometry techniques including Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry
    • Chromatographic methods and detectors in explosives analysis
    • Thin layer chromatography
    • Gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
    • Reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography
    • Ion chromatography and size exclusion chromatography
    • Capillary electrophoresis and other separation methods.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the methods available for the detection and analysis of explosives
  • Distinguish between the types of improvised explosive device and assess the methods used to identify and investigate them
  • Interpret the infrared, proton nuclear magnetic resonance and electron ionisation mass spectra of important explosive compounds
  • Evaluate the techniques available for the analysis of trace explosives
  • Compare the relative importance of gas chromatography and reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography, and their associated detection systems, in explosives analysis
  • Decide on a procedure for identifying an explosive compound and prepare a witness statement on its identification.

Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology: Osteology

Module Leader
  • Marquez-Grant, Dr Nicholas N.
Syllabus
    • History of forensic anthropology
    • The place of forensic anthropology in a criminal investigation
    • Types of information that forensic anthropology reveals and an assessment of its reliability
    • Determining human from non-human bones
    • Identifying minimum number of individuals
    • Basic human skeletal anatomy
    • Determination of age and sex of an individual from juvenile and adult skeletal remains
    • Determination of stature from whole and fragmentary remains
    • Assessment of ethnic ancestry
    • Basic dentition
    • The limitations of skeletal analysis.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Explain the role of biological anthropology in forensic science
  • Recognise, name and accurately describe any human bone
  • Distinguish human bones from the most common animal bones
  • From a (nearly) complete skeleton, distinguish between sexes and determine approximate age, stature and ethnic ancestry
  • Combine a series of different bone identifications and draw conclusions as to possible identities of an individual
  • Appraise and defend the possibilities and limitations of the techniques.

Mass Fatality Incidents

Module Leader
  • Marquez-Grant, Dr Nicholas N.
Syllabus
    • Types of mass fatality incident and their implications
    • Natural disasters
    • Man made disasters
    • Acts of terrorism, crime and war
    • Management of a mass fatality incident
    • Roles and responsibilities on the site
    • Techniques for victim identification
    • Humanitarian Assistance and management of the bereaved
    • Ethical and social concerns
    • Role and responsibility of the media.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Categorise the different types of mass fatality incidents and confront the different problems and procedures associated with each
  • Describe the UK mass disaster management systems in both national and international incidents and distinguish the responsibilities of the key roles
  • Recognise the requirements of the bereaved, and recognise good practice for humanitarian assistance and management
  • Critically assess current methods of disaster victim identification and mortuary practice
  • Accurately complete and reconcile Interpol standardized Ante-Mortem and Post-Mortem forms.

Radiographic Investigations in Forensic Science

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Physics of X-ray production and utilisation
    • Radiographic equipment and complimentary imagining modalities - computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound
    • Analogue and digital image recording media
    • Radiation protection and legislation
    • Medical imaging techniques and their application in the forensic examination of human subjects; ballistic trauma, narcotics trafficking, abuse, assault, homicide, unexplained sudden death, human identification
    • Virtopsy ® and the virtual post-mortem
    • Radiographic techniques applied to art work and counterfeit objects
    • Industrial radiographic techniques for engineering components including weapons, missiles and improvised explosive devices.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Explain the fundamental principles of a wide range of imaging techniques
  • Identify current ionising radiations regulations and interpret them so as to be able to apply appropriate radiation protection measures when employing radiographic imaging techniques
  • List and critically assess the advantages and disadvantages of different imaging techniques and their use in the individualization of human remains and characterisation of trauma and/or disease states
  • List and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of imaging techniques and their use in the identification and characterisation of components and component failure
  • Practically apply appropriate imaging techniques for defined situations and interpret the results.

Trace Evidence

Module Leader
  • Dr David Lane
Syllabus
    • Trace evidence concepts, direct and indirect transfer, retention time, transfer diagrams
    • Fibre and hair construction
    • Fibre and hair microscopy for identification and comparison
    • Glass construction and forensic examination
    • Paint characterisation
    • Soil analysis
    • Blood spatter
    • Finger prints
    • Marks as evidence.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Investigate a wide range of physical evidence using the concept of ‘trace’ evidence
  • Project manage a systematic trace evidence search using appropriate detection and collection techniques to recover trace evidence of different types
  • Justify the categorisation of trace evidence by identifying and measuring their most important features using appropriate analytical techniques
  • Assess the number and distributions of different types of trace evidence and use
  • Appraise different categories of trace evidence and synthesise a model for how trace evidence transfer has occurred
  • Present a case for physical contact between two (or more) objects or persons using a transfer diagram
  • Report on a trace evidence investigation in a clear and concise manner.

Hazardous Forensics

Module Leader
  • Healy, Dr Matthew M.J.F.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to hazardous threats
    • Recognising a CBRN Incident
    • Recognising hazardous scenes
    • Management of a CBRN and hazardous scenes
    • CBRN contamination and evidence challenges
    • Attribution and CBRN investigation report types
    • Analytical techniques for CBRN and hazardous materials.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Define the types of hazard that might be presented by a forensic scene or by the weapon used
  • Discriminate between a range of systematic options for managing CBRN and hazardous scenes
  • Evaluate the value of evidence and its admissibility due to possible contamination
  • Prepare a crime scene report for a CBRN scene which objectively critiques the methodologies used and draws justified conclusions appropriate for the evidence
  • Appraise the evidence and procedures specific to the use of a hazardous material and understand the challenges presented.

Forensic Exploitation and Intelligence

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Role of communication and information sharing
    • FORINT in long term policing strategy
    • Exploitation and military intelligence
    • Pattern analysis, GIS and mathematics in forensic intelligence
    • Technical exploitation
    • Forensic exploitation
    • Planning and direction of forensic intelligence
    • Collection, processing, production, management and dissemination of FORINT
    • Forms of output and report from FORINT.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Distinguish evidential types for use in court and for intelligence purposes
  • Evaluate the levels and range of forensic exploitation techniques
  • Manage and prioritise the exploitation of forensic intelligence derived from people, places and vehicles
  • Critically assess how forensic intelligence interfaces with other intelligence sources
  • Establish and maintain a FORINT exploitation policy within the frameworks of forensic best practice and the recognised intelligence cycle.

Digital Crime and Investigation

Module Leader
  • Dr Sarah Morris
Syllabus
    • Background and introduction to digital forensic science
    • Investigation of digital crime
    • Planning and executing a search and seizure operation in the context of a digital crime based investigation
    • Introduction to the tools and techniques used to examine digital evidence
    • Reports and statements
    • Relevant UK and European law.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to: 

  • Evaluate the impact of key concepts in digital forensic science and related legislation on the forensic workflow
  • Create an effective search and seizure plan for a digital investigation
  • Conduct a simple digital forensic examination
  • Construct an appropriate report in respect of a digital crime investigation and examination
  • Apply knowledge to act as a source of assistance and information in relation to digital evidence and crime.

Environmental Forensic Science

Module Leader
  • Temple, Mrs Tracey T.J.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to environmental forensic science
    • Forensic palynology and botany
    • Forensic entomology
    • Forensic limnology (diatoms)
    • Forensic sedimentology, soil profiling and soil analysis
    • Taphonomic processes of decay
    • Environmental law, policy and compliance
    • Detection, prevention and prosecution of crimes against the environment
    • Detection and prevention of wildlife crime
    • Case studies in environmental crime.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Assess the value of environmental evidence in the investigation of crime
  • Identify environmental legislation and examine its application to examples of environmental pollution
  • Sample and analyse entomological evidence to give an estimation of post-mortem interval
  • Analyse soil, pollen and diatom evidence for provenance
  • Evaluate the use of soil, pollen and geological databases
  • Demonstrate how analytical sciences can be used in the detection and investigation of crimes against the environment
  • Identify pollutant linkage by using environmental forensic techniques.

Approach to Failure Investigation and Analysis

Module Leader
  • Painter, Dr Jonathan J.D.
Syllabus
    • Importance of defining the goal(s) and planning a failure investigation
    • Requirements for leading a failure investigation and the importance of determining the root cause
    • Root cause analysis techniques
    • Failure investigation pitfalls
    • Steps involved in failure analysis
    • Cleaning and preservation of samples
    • NDT and the common tools used in failure examinations
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a diligent student will be able to:

  • Explain the steps involved in failure investigations and the importance of determining the root cause
  • Construct a systematic approach to problem solving
  • Evaluate the tools used in failure analysis and their limitations

Fees and Funding

Home EU Students Fees

MSc Full-time £9,000^
MSc Part-time £9,000*^
PgDip Full-time £7,200
PgDip Part-time £7,200*

  • Overseas Fees

    MSc Full-time £17,500^
    MSc Part-time £17,500*^
    PgDip Full-time £14,000
    PgDip Part-time £14,000*
    • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration). 
    • ^ Most fees paid personally by the student or their families are eligible for a departmental bursary.

    Fee notes:

    • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
    • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
    • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
    • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees

    Funding Opportunities

    Departmental bursary

    Most fees paid personally by the student or their families are eligible for a departmental bursary. This is often in the order of £1,500 for UK/EU students or £3,500 for overseas students. Details will be sent in the offer letter.

    Please contact forensicmsc@cranfield.ac.uk for more information on funding.

    Additional funding information is available here.

    Entry requirements

    A first or second class Honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as a science, archaeology, anthropology, engineering, forensic science, materials, or the professional equivalent. Students with other degrees who can show a knowledge of and interest in the scientific elements of the subject will also be considered.


    English Language

    If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

    IELTS  Overall score – 7.0
    TOEFL
    - (Internet-based Test)    (Total score = 100)
    Pearson PTE Academic
    – Overall score - 68
    Cambridge English Scale
    - 190
    Cambridge English: Advanced
    – Grade A or B
    Cambridge English: Proficiency
    – Grade A or B

    In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

    We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

    Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.



    Security clearance for Shrivenham

    Some Cranfield University courses are delivered at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham which is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site. All applicants to courses that are wholly or partially delivered at Shrivenham must complete the BPSS (HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard V4 April 2014) prior to registration on the course or must already hold a security clearance to this level or higher.

    Your application and BPSS clearance application will be shared during the application process with the MOD who have ultimate discretion over whether to admit applicants to the Shrivenham site. This information will be returned by the MOD to Cranfield University after checks are completed and no copies will be retained by the MOD.

    BPSS checks may involve confirmation of the following:

    • Identity (e.g. Photo ID)
    • Nationality and Immigration Status
    • Employment/Academic History (covering the past 3 years)
    • Criminal record (unspent convictions only)

    Additionally, applicants are required to give a reasonable account of any significant periods (6 months or more in the past 3 years) of time spent abroad.

    This may be revised from time to time dependent on national security requirements. For more details, please consult the BPSS Guidance.

    It will take additional time to process your BPSS clearance application once you have completed your course application.

    Inability to access the Shrivenham site as a result of failure to meet security clearance requirements will result in a withdrawal of offer, or, if already registered, a termination of registration.


    Your career

    Prepares you to practice as a professional expert witness in forensic ballistics, within forensic laboratories, police departments, government bodies and non-governmental organisations. It is also a necessary introduction that could lead into conducting research at PhD level in the subject.

    Hats

    I completed a three-month internship at the Home Office. It's exciting to think my research will be put to practical use and potentially save lives.

    Alex Mabbott, Graduate Consultant

    Applying

    Applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

    Apply Now