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Forensic Science

A welcome message  from Dr Barbara Daniel, Programme Director, Reader in Forensic Education, Forensic Science MSc/MRes. 

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Congratulations on receiving an offer to study the Forensic Science MSc at King’s. A fast-paced, challenging and rewarding year lies ahead.

Find out more about the course at our offer holder reception on Thursday 4 July, held at Waterloo campus from 17:00 to 19:00. Book your place  here.

Delivered by leading researchers in the forensic field, this is the longest running, fully accredited (including accreditation for Crime Scene Investigation from the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences) programme of its type in England.

You will gain knowledge and understanding of the forensic process and of the analytical techniques used in crime investigation, and you'll have the opportunity to work on research projects in forensic laboratories and providers around the world, as well as in our UKAS accredited laboratories at DNA analysis at King’s and the Drug Control Centre

Here we've brought together information you'll need in the run up to starting your degree.

I look forward to meeting you in person soon,

Best wishes,

Dr Barbara Daniel
Programme Director
Reader in Forensic Education
Forensic MSc/MRes

 

Introduction to the Forensic Science MSc/MRes at King's - video

In this video, you'll hear from Dr Denise Syndercombe-Court and one of our graduates talking about the unique features of the Forensic Science MSc course.

Welcome to the School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences

As a postgraduate Forensic Science student you will be studying in the Department of Analytical, Environmental & Forensic Sciences, based in the school of Population Health & Environmental Sciences. Learn more about the School and the Department on our webpages.

State of the art facilities

Research underpins our teaching, with staff contributing to research within the Analytical & Environmental Science Division. As a result, our students are exposed to cutting edge technology and methodology at the forefront of research and development, with facilities including our world-renowned Drug Control Centre.

Drug Control Centre

The Drug Control Centre has an international reputation for its work in anti-doping control. Staff at the centre analyse samples collected from athletes competing in major sporting events and training worldwide, and also carry out research into the metabolism and detection of substances in the human body.

The success of drug testing in the recent Olympic Games has served to enhance the reputation of the DCC on the world stage. Future endeavours include the forthcoming Commonwealth Games and the provision of expert help and advice to the team responsible for drug testing at the next Olympics. The Centre specialises in developing novel and previously difficult assays to assist end users from different areas. Having the Forensic DNA testing laboratory working alongside the DCC is facilitating multidisciplinary research including genotyping and drug metabolism affecting detection of drug misuse.

The Centre was the first human sports drug-testing laboratory established outside of an Olympic Games when it was set up in 1978 with the support of the Sports Council (and now the UK Anti-Doping Agency). Working with GlaxoSmithKline, we carried out all of the drugs testing for the London 2012 Olympics. We were also in Russia, carrying out the drug testing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and acted as consultants ahead of Rio 2016.

DNA analysis at King’s

The high standing of the King’s unit in the forensic community has led to worldwide recognition and involvement in increasingly high profile and intricate cases.  Academically the unit is one of the main forensic laboratories in Europe researching new approaches in DNA technology for criminal justice.  This unique unit has over 30 years of experience in relationship testing, and over 20 years’ experience in complex forensic casework, including current and cold cases placing them at the forefront of educational opportunities for students seeking the best in forensic teaching and cutting-edge research.  It is this fully integrated approach – high level research, accredited casework laboratory and a passion for teaching forensic science that has earned King’s a worldwide reputation in this area. 

Research projects

Examples of UK and international research projects offered to our students, including prize winning projects

  •  “The effects of storing fingerprints on lifters on obtaining a DNA profile”  Institut de Police Scientifique, Quartier UNIL-Sorge, Bâtiment Batochime, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

  • “Titanium Dioxide as an Enhancement Method for Blood on Dark Surfaces” Cellmark Forensic Services

  • “Operational validation of the ParaDNA® Screening System for the detection of DNA in forensically relevant samples” LGC Forensics

  • “Enhancement of friction ridge detail on brass ammunition casings using cold patination fluid” Metropolitan Police Service, Evidence Recovery Unit

  • “Determining the authenticity of athlete urine in doping control by DNA analysis” DNA analysis at Kings’, King’s College London, Department of Forensic and Analytical Science

  • “Determining the age of blowfly eggs” Natural History Museum/Met Police

  • “Implications of UGT2B17 and UGT2B7 genotype on reliability of urinary testosterone to epitestosterone ratio as evidence of testosterone administration in sport” Drug Control Centre, King’s College London, School of Biomedical Science

  • “Analysis of false positives in saliva testing” ESR, New Zealand

  •  “Assessment of commercially available STR megaplexes”Toronto Centre of Forensic Science, Canada

  • “The Investigation and Evaluation of Stationary Phases for High Performance Reversed-Phase Liquid Chromatography of Nitroaromatic, Nitramine, Nitroaliphatic and Nitrate Ester-based Organic Explosives” Forensic Explosives Laboratory, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

  •  “Analysis of contents of drug amnesty bins from South Wales and purity of 4-methylmethcathinone” Tictac 5 Communications Ltd. St. George’s, University of London

  •  “Differentiating identical twins using next generation sequencing and methylation” DNA analysis at Kings’, King’s College London, Department of Forensic and Analytical Science

Members of King’s Forensics have links with:

Metropolitan Police

City of London Police

WADA (World anti-doping Agency)

IOC (International Olympic Committee)

UKAD (United Kingdom Anti-Doping)

EuroforGen FP7- European Forensic Institutions

Pan-European Sewage Epidemiology Research Group (with EMCDDA)

ACROSS (Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science)

ISSC Irish Separation Science Cluster

Analytical instrument providers (KTN)

Illumina

Forensic Science Special Interest Group (For Sci SIG)

London – Safer Streets initiative

UEA  + other UK universities

Home Office

HMPO

Inside Justice

Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (Council members)

British Academy of Forensic Sciences (Council members)

ISFG (International Society for Forensic Genetics)

Forensic Providers (DNA analysis at King’s, LGC, Cellmark, Forensic Resources, Bericon, SLS Forensics etc.)

ESWG (English Speaking Working Group)

Natural History Museum

Royal Society of Biology  

Meet your student ambassador - Jerry

Hello, I am Jerry from Hong Kong and I am currently doing a Master's course in Forensic Science. Coming from a chemistry background where I obtained my BSc degree at the University of Surrey, I had the opportunity to undertake a professional training year in which I was able to appreciate the effects of applying scientific knowledge and laboratory practices in a working environment and have reinforced my passion in forensic science. Thus, this is the reason why I chose to do Forensic Science at King’s. Doing this Master's course at King’s allow myself to further develop my knowledge and interest in this particular field, and King’s College London is one of the very few universities that run a MSc forensic science course.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me on lsm-asking@kcl.ac.uk

Hope to hear from you soon!

Join us on Facebook

Join our class of 2019 postgraduate offer holder Facebook group. Chat with our student ambassador, like Jerry and meet other Forensic Sciences offer holders.

What others say about us

'The Msc Forensic Science course is undoubtedly the leading course for forensic science in the UK. It has an international student intake that are of a high standard and, importantly, highly motivated to do well on the course as they want to work professionally as forensic scientists. The course is taught by a small but expert group of staff who are supplemented by an impressive range of external experts who work professionally as forensic scientists. Given this background, the performance of the students this year is exactly what might be expected from an able self-motivated group.' 

Dr Martyn G Boutelle, Imperial College London (External Examiner)

What our students say

Nadiya Ahammed- DNA Technical Analyst, LGC Forensics

It was a great privilege to be accepted into the oldest Forensic Science Masters programme in the UK, and the course not only lived up to my expectations but exceeded them. We had access to world-class facilities and scientists of academic excellence and I was very excited to be given the opportunity to conduct my research project with the Metropolitan Police. The course provided us with a great depth and breadth of forensic knowledge as well as access to the Drug Control Centre, an internationally-recognised institution in itself.

Studying on this course, combined with the support and commitment of the academic staff, has allowed me to pursue my dream career in forensics. I now work at LGC Forensics, the largest private provider of forensic science in the world, in a job which I love that makes great use of the skills and knowledge I gained on the Programme.

Tracey Alexander  - Currently Director of Forensic Services, City of London Police

Tracy Alexander graduated from King's College London with an MSc in Forensic Science:  a council member of the British Academy of Forensic Scientists, a member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and a board member of Inside Justice. She has worked in forensic science for over 20 years, spending 17 years within the Directorate of Forensic Services at New Scotland Yard as Crime Scene Manager for the Homicide Command and latterly as Head of Forensic Intelligence. As case review specialist at LGC Forensics she headed the cold case investigation unit working on many high profile cases. Tracy is currently is Director of Forensic Services at City of London Police and continues to be a Visiting Lecturer at Kings College London and University College London.

Jamie Miller - Laboratory Team Leader

I left a full-time job specifically to attend the Forensic Science MSc course at KCL. This was for two main reasons. Firstly, the course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and so I knew it would be excellent quality and highly regarded by potential employers. Secondly, the contacts that KCL has both in the UK and around the world would provide me with the opportunity to do a 14 week industry placement working with cutting edge forensic technology. I wasn’t disappointed on either count, and was able to move into a job in Forensic Science straight after finishing the course. As an added bonus, I got to live in London for a year with the whole world at my doorstep and had a fantastic time living in such an eclectic city.

Joana Moreira - Currently Supervisor Anatomical Pathology (Histopathology & Morgue), Sidra Medical & Research Center, Doha, Qatar

My main responsibilities at the moment are supervising the Histopathology and Mortuary sections (within the Anatomical Pathology Department) at Sidra Medical and Research Center (http://www.sidra.org/) in preparation for opening. Our main focuses at the moment are: the AP Module of Cerner Millennium; Procurement of Consumables and Reagents; Procurement of Equipment; Establishment of Policies and Procedures…to name a few.

Juliet Dukes - Current post: Senior Scientific Officer - (Tertiary Education), Research Animals Dept of the Science Group of the RSPCA

I'm working with RSPCA Education to promote teaching of the humane treatment of all animals in Universities and Colleges throughout the UK. I'm developing free educational resources in both ethics and animal welfare for use by both tutors and students, to encourage them to challenge the use of animals (ethically & scientifically) in all aspects of human-animal interactions. Although I am based in the Research Animals Department, my remit extends to companion animals, farm animals & wildlife.

I hold very fond memories of my time at Kings (although it now seems a lifetime ago!), and I've been fortunate to stay in contact with my then supervisor Bryan Turner, who recently came along to lecture my students when I was still at Kingston University with Mariko Kudo, another Alumnus. 

Dr Elizabeth Gilchrist -  Former Research Associate at King's, now Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry, University College Cork.  

 As a Research Associate at King’s I was involved in the development of a fluorescence-based method for locating latent fingermarks after submitting my PhD thesis in the analysis of low-order explosives using ion chromatography technologies.​  I have recently joined the Department of Chemistry at University College Cork as a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher.

Katherine Bache - DNA Intelligence Analyst, Research and Development, Metroplitan Police

I studied the MSc Forensic Science Course from 2008-2009.  I found the course challenging but I really enjoyed the mix of theory and practicals and the external visitors really motivated me to pursue a career in forensic science.  The course provided a thorough insight into both forensic chemistry and biology and a number of my peers have progressed successfully into both disciplines.  The practicals were really well organised and they were always conducted with real life scenarios in mind. During my subsequent job interview and associated practical competency tests, I successfully drew on the theory and practical experience I received during the MSc course.

The highlight of the MSc course for me was the world renowned focus on research and development and being offered a place to complete my MSc project in conjunction with LGC Forensics.  As a result of this, at the end of the course I was offered a contract position to work in the Specialised DNA department and was subsequently employed permanently by the Scene of Crime DNA Team.  In 2012, I joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a DNA Intelligence Analyst and am enjoying the responsibility and challenges associated with this role. 

Careers

Our MSc/MRes graduates have embarked on PhD programmes within our dynamic research group at King’s Forensics.  Recent Post Doctoral Researchers have won prizes and presented at international meetings.

Most of our students go on to work in the forensic science sector with forensic service providers within the UK, European and International field being the major employers. Others have taken employment with the Metropolitan Police or crime scene departments of other police forces.

Our students also find employment in the forensic providers with whom we have affiliations, often following on from successful research projects.

Many of our Canadian graduates now work for the RCMP or the Toronto Centre for Forensic Sciences. Some of our students go on to do a PhD either at King's College London or other universities across the country 

More on studying at King's

Visit the postgraduate offer holders website, for information about accommodation, admissions faqs, funding, and life at King's.

 


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