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

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

This course provides an understanding of the principles and practical applications of some of the main analytical techniques found in a Forensic laboratory.

Our objective is to develop an understanding of a wide range of techniques, including microscopy and X-ray and chemical techniques; to examine their practical application and the interpretation of their results; to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques and their use in the identification and characterisation of materials.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£3,850 Concessions available

Course structure

This two week course covers the theoretical background of a range of analytical techniques through lectures, workshops, and directed study, and includes 3 days of laboratory practical sessions and demonstration.

What you will learn

The practical approach followed in this course equips you to plan your own materials-based investigations and to evaluate the work of others. The capabilities and limitations of the different methods are discussed and while forensic examples are used to illustrate the techniques they can be equally well applied to other aspects of material science.

Core content

  • Laboratory accreditation and standard operating procedures
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
  • X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
  • Electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-analysis
  • Optical microscopy
  • Spectroscopic methods: Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy.
  • Mass spectrometry (including ICP-MS)
  • Chromatographic and other separation methods: e.g. GC, GC-MS HPLC
  • DNA analysis and forensic genomics
  • Isotope analysis and carbon dating
  • Radiography
  • Hyperspectral imaging
  • Proteomics
  • 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 20 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

    • A graduate who is new to the field of forensic analysis
    • A graduate employed in materials science, failure analysis or quality assurance
    • Requires appropriate degree or experience.


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


    • Sponsored by company £3,850.00
    • Individual £1,925.00
    • Alumni £963.00

    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

    Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.