This MSc is highly practical and hands-on. It is designed to give an understanding of the cutting-edge research and latest forensic methodologies and is intended to enable graduates to resolve issues in relation to civil and criminal law.

At a glance

  • Start dateOctober
  • DurationMSc: 11 months full-time, up to three years part-time. PgDip/PgCert: Up to 11 months full-time, up to two years part-time
  • DeliveryBy written and practical examinations, continuous assessment, project presentation and viva voce.
  • QualificationMSc, MSc by Research, PgDip, PgCert
  • 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.

Places on the MSc Forensic Investigation course are competitive. 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 Investigation course is part of the Forensic MSc Programme which has been formally accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

The course is highly practical and hands-on, aiming to produce forensic experts capable of giving expert witness testimonies in a courtroom situation and elsewhere.

Students are able to choose from a wide range of subject areas, providing a highly flexible course where learners are able to tailor their MSc to their interests.

The course consists of a short 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 four core modules and choose seven 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

The Forensic Investigation course has been devised by academics with operational experience in forensic science and police investigation. Its graduates are highly successful at progressing into forensically-based careers.

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 four compulsory modules and then choose seven elective modules based on their particular background, future requirements or interest. 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.

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2017–2018. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2018 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Analytical Techniques

Aim

    To provide an understanding of the principles and practical applications of the major analytical techniques used in materials based investigations.

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

Aim
    The module will provide an understanding of the role and responsibilities of expert witnesses in domestic and international criminal and civil cases and how they can present their evidence to the court effectively. You will also apply knowledge gained in previous modules to strengthen arguments presented in expert witness reports
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.

Investigation and Evidence Collection

Aim
    The module provides an understanding of the core responsibilities of evidence recording and collection at the crime scene, both in general and specifically related to operational constraints of a UK investigative context. You will also understand the operation of forensic and police investigators within the context of a major investigation.
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

Aim

    The module will provide understanding and experience of the disciplines underpinning critical evaluation of quantitative information applied within the Forensic Sciences.

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.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Failure Mechanisms of Materials

Aim

    This module will introduce the steps involved in failure investigations, examine modes of failure in engineering components and deduce the causes of failure from examination of failed engineered components.

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.

Fakes and Forgeries

Aim

    The module will provide an understanding of the principles of forensic and scientific investigations into art objects.

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.

Firearms Investigations

Aim

    The module will provide an understanding of the principles of firearms design, forensic investigations involving firearms and the classification of firearms against the 1968 Firearms Act (as amended).

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.

Fires, Explosions and their Investigation

Aim

    The module will provide an understanding of the science and mechanism of fire initiation, spreading, the explosion process in condensed and gaseous systems and will give you an appreciation of the techniques used in the forensic investigation of fires and explosions.

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: Mass Grave Excavation

Aim

    The module will introduce the principles of mass grave investigations; from finding and assessing sites, setting up and carrying out mass grave excavations to analysing and interpreting graves, victims and associated evidence

Syllabus

    Day 1         Classroom based teaching

    Day 2         Site assessment and setup

    Day 3-6       Site excavation

    Day 7          Site closure and exercise debrief.

    • Basic principles and structure of mass grave investigations
    • Methodology of mass grave excavations
    • Operational and logistical challenges in mass grave investigations
    • Recovery of surface evidence at mass grave/mass killing sites
    • Recovery of human remains in a mass grave context
    • Recovery of buried evidence associated with human remains.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Adapt their methodologies to a single or mass grave environment
  • Understand the role of the forensic archaeologist and anthropologist within a forensic and criminal investigation team in a mass fatality investigation framework
  • Recover surface and buried evidence as well as human remains as part of a wider forensic investigation
  • Interpret non-material, forensic archaeological evidence in mass grave structures, such as tool marks
  • Interpret the site history in order to reconstruct the series of events that lead to the existence of the grave and the positioning of the victims and evidence.

Forensic Archaeology: Recovering Buried Remains

Aim

    The module will introduce the role of the forensic archaeologist within the context of major crime investigation, specifically in the UK. The course will describe and discuss all aspects of this role, including project design, wide area search techniques, grave location techniques, excavation, evidence recognition and handling, grave and scatter scene interpretation and the production of specialist reports for court.

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 Ballistic Investigations

Aim

    This module will provide an understanding of the principles of internal, intermediate, external, terminal and wound ballistics and how they are used in forensic investigations.

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.

Forensic Investigation of Explosives and Explosive Devices

Aim

    The aim of this module is to educate forensic scientists, police, military and relevant supporting disciplines in the process of investigating an explosive device, scene of explosion or suspected production facility or hide. Students work up from scene processing and evidence recovery, through to selection of analytic techniques, production of witness statements and court hearings.

Syllabus
    • Explosive crime scenes
    • Field detection of explosives
    • X-Ray and XRD methods of bulk detection
    • Infrared and Raman spectroscopy of explosives
    • The Forensic Explosive Laboratory
    • NMR spectroscopy of explosives
    • Mass Spectrometry of explosives
    • Chromatography of explosives
    • Sampling techniques
    • Evidence for explosive cases – a CPS perspective
    • Improvised Explosive Devices
    • IEDs and Bomb scene management
    • Investigation of pre-blast scenes/labs
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
  • Analyse an explosive crime scene.

Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology: Osteology

Aim

    This module will provide a broad introduction to the subject, focusing on the role of the forensic anthropologist, human skeletal anatomy and the basic biological profile from human skeletal remains.

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 forensic anthropology
  • Learn about the human skeleton
  • Recognise, name and accurately describe the bones of the human skeleton
  • Distinguish human from non-human bones
  • Estimate the sex, age-at-death, stature and ancestry of a skeleton
  • Learn about some of the factors influencing decomposition.

Further Forensic Anthropology: Identification

Aim
    To provide an understanding of how skeletal remains are positively identified. The course reviews the basic biological profile (age-at-death, sex, stature, ancestry) but adds further unique identifying features such as pathology and trauma. The course also provides information on cutting-edge research and the latest methodologies.
Syllabus
    • The role of the forensic pathologist, odontologist and anthropologist in victim identification
    • Review of the human skeletal anatomy and biological profile
    • Latest techniques to identify bone
    • Fire victims and cremated bone
    • Dental pathology
    • Overview of paleopathology, infectious lesions, joint disease, metabolic and neoplastic disease
    • Ante-mortem vs peri-mortem vs post-mortem trauma
    • The use of imaging in forensic anthropology
    • Radiocarbon dating, DNA and chemical analysis of bone
    • Identifying sharp, blunt and gunshot trauma
    • Mock spotter test
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Understand the evidence that leads to a positive identification and the role of forensic anthropology in assisting in that identification
  • Understand the role of the forensic pathologist and forensic odontologist
  • Learn about recent advances in the field and new techniques to help in identification
  • Learn about pathological conditions that can be observed on bones and teeth and how to identify these
  • Be aware of differences between ante-mortem, peri-mortem and post-mortem trauma.

Introduction to Firearms Investigations and Forensic Ballistics

Aim

    The module shall provide an introduction to the principles of forensic investigations involving firearms and forensic investigations of projectile ballistics

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.

Mass Fatality Incidents

Aim

    To introduce the issues facing forensic and management personnel after a mass fatality incident, and the procedures and protocols in place to help the return to normality.

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.

Practical Archaeological Excavation

Aim

    The module provides practical experience of a real archaeological excavation.

Syllabus
    • Planning an excavation
    • Logistical practical and health and safety issues
    • Practical excavation skills
    • Man management and organisation skills
    • Drawing, planning and recording an excavation
    • Small finds
    • The care of human remains
    • Press, the public and other partners.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain how an excavation is planned and run
  • Transfer theoretical knowledge of excavation techniques into practical use
  • Recover safely and record rigorously material uncovered in the excavation
  • Critically assess the most important features of an excavation and determine appropriate techniques
  • Communicate results to other persons both archaeological experts and lay member of the public.

Radiographic Investigations in Forensic Science

Aim

    The module will provide an understanding of the principles and practical applications of radiographic imaging techniques used in forensic science.

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

Aim

    The module will provide an understanding of the trace physical evidence and its associated forensic examination.

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.

Forensic Exploitation and Intelligence

Aim

    To provide an understanding of the principles and practical applications of the major forensic analytical techniques used in Forensic Intelligence(FORINT) and exploitation.

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

Aim

    The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in the investigation of digital crime. These include the investigation of crime,
    the seizure of digital evidence, the examination of seized devices, the construction of reports and knowledge of relevant law.

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.

Hazardous Forensics

Aim

    To present the fundamentals of CBRN threats and hazardous investigations and assess techniques for analysing them and ensuring a safe methodical investigation.

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.

Materials Engineering and Processing

Aim

    The module provides an understanding of the structure and properties of materials, to understand how the processing and fabrication methods affect them, and to familiarise the student with the common faults that can arise during production.

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.

Approach to Failure Investigation and Analysis

Aim

    The module will introduce the process of failure investigations, and the importance of defining the objective(s) and planning the investigation, and the steps and common tools involved in failure analysis.

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

Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Capability

Aim
    The aim of the C-IED Capability course is to educate industry, military and civilian MoD C-IED staff in the Counter IED/Threat systems with emphasis on supporting capabilities and technology.
Syllabus
    • Describe and explain the C-IED approach in accordance with JDP 3-65(AJP-3.15(A))
    • Understand the development of IED threats based on historical perspective and how these have been countered. Included in this are Adversary Tactics Techniques and Procedures and the philosophies and principles underpinning IEDD
    • Technologies involved in C-IED across Detect, Neutralise, Mitigate and Exploit. Includes roles of ISTAR and ECM
    • How to advise senior and specialist staff on C-IED
    • The importance of ‘Understand’ and information management to maintain effectiveness
    • Application of influence activities to C-IED
    • Analysing adversary IED systems and identifying points of influence and effect.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Discuss the C-IED approach in accordance with Joint Doctrine Publication 3-65 (AJP-3.15(A))
  • Evaluate the benefit of C-IED activities (Predict, Pursue, Prevent, Detect, Neutralise and Mitigate and Exploit) with respect to Prepare the Force, Attack the Network and Defeat the Device
  • Explain the technologies involved in C-IED
  • Formulate a situation report to inform the ‘Understand’ function
  • Explain the meaning of Influence Activity
  • Plan the use of Airborne assets for ISTAR and ECM in support of C-IED
  • Analyse the development of IED threats
  • Recommend a strategy to counter an adversary’s IED/Threat systems.

Fees and Funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (24 July 2018).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

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MSc Full-time £10,000 *
MSc Part-time £10,000 **
PgDip Full-time £8,000 *
PgDip Part-time £8,000 **
PgCert Full-time £4,400 *
PgCert Part-time £4,400 **
  • * Most fees paid personally by the student or their families are eligible for a departmental bursary.
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation. 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 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self-funded applicants a non-refundable £500 deposit is payable on offer acceptance and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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.
MSc Full-time £20,000 *
MSc Part-time £20,000 **
PgDip Full-time £16,200 *
PgDip Part-time £16,200 **
PgCert Full-time £8,100 *
PgCert Part-time £8,100 **
  • * Most fees paid personally by the student or their families are eligible for a departmental bursary.
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation. 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 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self-funded applicants a non-refundable £500 deposit is payable on offer acceptance and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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

To help students find and secure appropriate funding, we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)
Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England
A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship
The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)
The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries
Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans
Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Most fees paid personally by the student or their families are eligible for a departmental bursary. This is often in the order of £1,000 for UK/EU students or £3,000 for overseas students. Details will be sent in the offer letter.

Please contact studentfunding@cranfield.ac.uk for more information of funding.




Entry requirements

A first or second class Honours degree or equivalent in archaeology, forensic science or scientific discipline, 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:

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.

Please visit our security clearance page for further information.



Your career

The Forensic Investigation course offers career opportunities across a broad range of applications. Past students have gone on to work in forensic laboratories, government bodies and police forces.

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