For further details about teaching from September 2020 please visit your course or department page in the Offer Holder hub.

KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Forensic Science

Apply now

The Forensic Science programme has a reputation as being the best of its type in the country. It will provide you with advanced knowledge of the forensic processes and analytical techniques (particularly chemistry and biology) used in crime investigation. It is run by King’s Forensics staff whose research is at the cutting edge of innovation and advancement in the field.



Key benefits

  • Study programme fully accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

  • A well-established and highly respected forensic science course with contributions from leading forensic scientists both internal and external.

  • Strategic alliance with the Metropolitan Police Forensic Services Directorate and research partners with Eurofins forming the Met/Eurofins/KCL managed forensic service provision (2017). 

  • Links with over 25 forensic laboratories and institutions worldwide provide research placement opportunities for students’ projects.

  • Exposure to cutting-edge technology and methodology at the forefront of forensic science research and development.

  • Flexible study pathway with the opportunity to extend your project to a 28-week project to gain an extra 60 credits and the MRes qualification.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration MSc: 1 year. MRes: 15 months FT 30 months PT.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90 UK 240/ECTS 120

Programme accreditations Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences

Course intake 35 FT.

Course leaders Dr David Ballard

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department Department of Forensic and Analytical Science School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences



Explore campuses

Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Course detail


Accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, our Forensic Sciences course is the longest-running programme of its type in England, having been first established in 1985.

You will benefit from an advanced and flexible study programme devised and delivered by internationally leading researchers, and recognised forensic providers including our accredited DNA analysis and Drug Control Centre testing laboratories. We also collaborate closely with the Forensic Directorates of the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police in both teaching and research.

The course is made up of two 15 credit modules and three 30 credit modules followed by a 60 or 120 credit research module. You will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MRes qualification, you will study an extended research module that carries a further 120 credits to complete the course.


Further literature

Course format and assessment


For flexibility, a significant proportion of the course will be delivered by narrated PowerPoint. Contact time includes workshops, group discussions and problem-based learning exercises.  Approximate total contact hours for the taught modules is 390 hours.

You are also expected to undertake 810 hours of team and individual study.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Taught modules total 120 credits. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work. Research modules are 60 (MSc) or 120 credits (MRes). Project selection is through student application and interview.


Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework (laboratory competency; presentations, courtroom assessment, strategy planning, critical thinking) and examinations (unseen written essays and short answer questions, use of specialist computer software for forensic genetic reports).    Coursework contributes approximately 45% and examinations approximately 55% to your final mark. Research assessment: experimental plan, journal article, poster and viva (MRes seminar presentation).

Course Accreditation

Accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. 


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Waterloo Campus. 

Regulating Body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 

Extra information

You will also need to have either started or completed a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations.


Year 1

 Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take:

  • MSc – modules totalling 180 credits

  • MRes – modules totalling 240 credits

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Forensic Process (30 credits)
  • Chemistry of Explosives and Drugs (30 credits)
  • Forensic Biology (30 credits)
  • Analytical Chemistry for Forensic Science & Toxicology (15 credits)
  • Forensic Genetics (15 credits)

You are also required to complete a research and dissertation module depending on your choice of study pathway:

  • Extended Research Project MSc (60 credits)
  • Extended Research Project MRes (120 credits)

Part-time Pathway

Year one

  • Analytical Chemistry for Forensic Science & Toxicology (15 credits) 
  • Forensic Genetics (15 credits) 

We regularly review our modules to make sure our programmes are as up-to-date, innovative and relevant as possible. The modules we offer may therefore change. We suggest that you check the course finder for updates:


Optional Modules

Part-time pathway 


• Chemistry of Explosives & Drugs (30 credits)


• Forensic Biology (30 credits) 

Year 2

Required Modules

Part-time pathway

  • Forensic Process (30 credits)
  • Forensic Research Project (60 Credits MSc or 120 Credits MRes) 
Optional Modules

Year two


  • Chemistry of Explosives and Drugs (30 credits) 


  • Forensic Biology (30 credits) 

Entry requirements & how to apply

Forensic Science Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours in Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, or similar combination. Applicants with degrees in chemistry, analytical chemistry, pharmacology or toxicology are required to provide evidence of at least one course unit in biochemistry. Applicants with degrees in biochemistry or molecular biology are required to provide evidence of at least one course unit in chemistry.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

Chemistry and Biology qualifications equivalent to UK A-level are also required (applicants with other qualifications may contact Admissions for guidance). Applicants may also be required to complete an Online Test prior to interview

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Applications will be processed upon receipt. Places are offered either directly or after successful completion of an online test (to test basic chemistry and molecular biology knowledge) and interview.  Overseas applicants are advised to apply by March to allow sufficient time for visa application. Places are ascribed on a first come first served basis. 

Applicants are encouraged to attend the Departmental and University Postgraduate Open Evenings.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checks
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
Reference Yes One reference is required, professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. For 2020/21 academic year, this programme will start in January 2021 instead of September 2020. The programme will close as soon as it is full but no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) applicants after 23rd October 2020 or from UK/EU applicants after 23rd November 2020.


Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £12,750 (MSc, 2020/21); £17,100 (MRes, 2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £26,550 (MSc 2020/21); £35,500 (MRes, 2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £8,550 (Mres, 2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £17,750 (Mres, 2020,21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

    If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Most Forensic Science graduates go on to work in the forensic science sector with forensic service providers within the UK, European and international fields. Others have taken employment with the Metropolitan Police or crime scene departments of other police forces. The degree, with its mixture of analytical chemistry and cutting-edge molecular biology, is also highly regarded in medical laboratories. Some graduates choose to continue to study towards a PhD either at King’s College London or other universities across the country. 




Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.