This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

Electives may not run if there is limited student uptake. However, alternatives will be offered.


This short course, which will be taught at MSc standard, will provide an understanding of the principles of forensic and scientific investigations into art objects.

At a glance

Course structure

This course is delivered by specialists from the Cranfield Forensic Institute in addition to acknowledged experts from establishments overseas.

What you will learn

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

  • Evaluate the basic functioning of the art market
  • Construct a critical stance regarding the legal roles of various players and the part that science can play
  • Critically assess the various scientific and non-scientific techniques
  • Design sampling strategies and propose techniques which are of most use
  • Create and manage a specific investigation of art objects to successfully formulate a reasoned and balanced conclusion.

Core content

  • Introduction to the art world
  • Collectors, auction houses and museums
  • Legal aspects of antiquities and antiques
  • Object and material types (stone, ceramic, glass, metal, pigment, organics)
  • Scientific versus stylistic analysis
  • Special considerations of sampling
  • Quasi-non destructive and no-destructive techniques
  • Relative and absolute dating
  • Provenancing.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This course will be taught at Masters standard as it is one of the modules that comprise the postgraduate Forensic Modular Masters Programme. Registering for this Short Course for Credit and successfully passing the associated assessment will gain you 10 Cranfield credits. These could then be used to apply for a transfer towards a PgCert/PgDip or MSc in the Forensic Programme should you wish to complete one of these courses within 5 years.


Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

This course is suitable for those who work within the art world who require an understanding of the principles of forensic and scientific investigations into art objects.


The course is a module of the Forensic Modular Masters Programme, which is accredited by  The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.


Sponsored by company £1540.00

Individual £770.00

Alumni £385.00

Accommodation options and prices

This course is non-residential. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information about our on campus accommodation can be found here.  Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Situated close to Milton Keynes and Bedford, the Cranfield campus is situated in Wharley End, very close to Cranfield village, and is about 10 minutes from the M1 motorway.  There is rail and road access to most major airports as well as coach and train stations. Cranfield campus also has its own airport for private executive business travel.

Download a visitor guide including map, directions and health and safety information.

Campus address

College Road
MK43 0AL


How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.