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. The course offers students a wide range of different experiences with unique facilities available to no other university in the UK and is part of the Forensic MSc Programme which has been formally accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. 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. 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.

Course structure

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 thesis.

Example modules


  • Analytical Techniques,
  • Courtroom Skills,
  • Investigation and Evidence Collection,
  • Reasoning for Forensic Science,
  • Research Project.


  • Introductory Studies,
  • Failure Mechanisms of Materials,
  • Fakes and Forgeries,
  • Firearms Investigations,
  • Fires, Explosions and their Investigation,
  • Forensic Archaeology: Mass Grave Excavation,
  • Forensic Archaeology: Recovering Buried Remains,
  • Forensic Ballistic Investigations,
  • Forensic Investigation of Explosives and Explosive Devices,
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology: Osteology,
  • Further Forensic Anthropology: Identification,
  • Forensic Computing Foundations,
  • Introduction to Firearms Investigations and Forensic Ballistics,
  • Mass Fatality Incidents,
  • Practical Archaeological Excavation,
  • Radiographic Investigations in Forensic Science,
  • Trace Evidence,
  • Forensic Exploitation and Intelligence,
  • Digital Crime and Investigation,
  • Hazardous Forensics,
  • Materials Engineering and Processing,
  • Approach to Failure Investigation and Analysis,
  • Cyber Security and Information Assurance,
  • Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Capability,
  • Environmental Forensic Science.

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

Future 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.

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.

Important information

Decisions are currently being made regarding whether this course (and/or some of its modules) will be taught at Shrivenham or Cranfield in the 2019-2020 academic year and beyond. The information on this page was correct at the date shown below, but any changes will be sent to those who have already enquired or applied as soon as further details are available.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated March 25, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 2019
11 - 36 months
20,500 GBP
Overseas - Home/EU: £12,000
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