Master’s studies

Syllabus for Master Programme in Forensic Science

Masterprogram i forensisk vetenskap

Entry Requirements


Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be in molecular biology, biomedicine, chemistry, biology, or a similar field of study that includes at least 15 credtis in chemistry and biochemistry as well as 15 credits in cell biology, molecular biology and genetics. Also required is knowledge and practical experience of laboratory experiments in life sciences.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Decisions and Guidelines

The programme syllabus was adopted by the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy on 2018-04-24. The general goals for second-cycle higher education in the Higher Education Act (Chapter 1 Section 9) apply.

Aim

The programme will develop students’ ability to independently integrate and make use of knowledge from their first cycle studies. It will moreover, develop students’ ability to deal with complex phenomena, issues, and develop students’ potential for careers that place demands on independence or for research and development careers.

The Master programme is to provide further insights and deeper knowledge in the main subject of forensic science. The student must acquire methodological skills and in-depth subject insights as well as a capacity for independent critical thinking. The programme is to provide in-depth knowledge and understanding of applications of basic biomedical knowledge in the legal system. This includes knowledge of human genetics, criminal investigation, forensic genetics, forensic medicine, law and psychology, forensic chemistry and analytical chemistry.. The programme prepares students for third-cycle programmes and careers in the law enforcement, research, teaching, public authorities, and industry. Course goals for courses included in the Master programme are presented in course syllabuses.

Learning Outcomes

Beyond what is required for an approved degree at the first cycle, a student with an approved degree at the second cycle must:

  • be able to independently carry out investigations and apply and evaluate his/her results on a scientific basis.
  • be able to summarise the state of knowledge in forensic science and adjacent areas regarding methods, findings, and possible applications, critically and correctly in English.
  • have in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of analytical methods and research methodologies in the forensic and related field.
  • be able to independently choose appropriate methods of analysis and perform various biological and chemical tests.
  • be able to independently improve existing routine analyses and develop new methods for use in forensics and related areas.
  • be able to independently take responsibility for and lead examinations on a scientific basis and to evaluate and report findings from these studies.
  • have the neccessary knowledge about the legislation that regulates the field.
  • be able to cooperate effectively with team members as well as other societal bodies.

Layout of the Programme

The programme comprises 120 credits (higher education credits) on the advanced level. The courses assume basic knowledge of genetics, cell biology, molecular biology, classical chemistry and analytical chemistry from the Bachelor level. The student is expected to work in an independent manner and take responsibility for their own learning.

Semester 1
Medical Genetics, 7.5 credits
Forensic Science and Crime Technology, 7.5 credits
Forensic Genetics and Medicine, 15 credits

Semester 2
Law, Psychology and Forensic Expertise, 15 credits
Forensic Chemistry, 15 credits

Semester 3
Analytical Methods for Forensic Science, 15 credits
Elective period, 15 credits

Semester 4
Degree Project 30 credits, alternatively 45 credits (including elective period)

Instruction

Throughout the programme, studies are schedule-based with instruction including lectures, laboratory work, group instruction, interactive web-based material and demonstrations. The student will be trained in creativity and problem solving in the different course components

Attendance is compulsory for the following components:

  1. Lectures containing demonstrations or whose contents complement compulsory course reading
  2. Group instruction
  3. Seminars
  4. Laboratory work
  5. Study visits

Degree

Master of Medical Science with Forensic Science as the main field of study.

Other Directives

Examination
Passing grades on all compulsory components and passing grades on examinations are required to pass the course.

Laboratory components not satisfactorily completed may only be completed the next time the course is given and only if there is a place available.
A student receiving a failing grade on an examination has the right to take a new examination four more times (= a total of five examinations). After five failed examinations the student may lose his/her place in the programme. What count as examination opportunities are the occasions when the student takes the examination. Thus, submission of a blank examination paper counts as an examination opportunity. In advance of the fourth examination opportunity, the student must submit a written application to the director of studies/course director. The director of studies/course director must analyse the situation together with the student and, if necessary, offer support measures for the purpose of optimising the student’s preparation for the examination.

Grading is based on a 3-point grading scale: Fail—Pass—Pass with Distinction.

Entry requirements for admission to the next year of studies
For admission to Year 2, compulsory components from Year 1 must be completed, together with passing grades worth 37.5 credits from Year 1. Following an approved leave from studies, all courses from the preceding semesters must have been passed. The programme has a fixed structure, which means that courses must be taken in the established order.

For admission to the Degree Project, a minimum of 60 credits from the programme must be completed.

Exemption from entry requirements may be granted for special reasons. It is the responsibility of each student who does not meet the entry requirements to apply for exemption in good time.

Approved leave from studies
Approved leave from studies is not granted during semester 1. Leave from studies during semesters 2-4 is handled by the study counsellor. and can be approved for a maximum of one year. Applications regarding leave from studies longer than one year or extension of a current approved leave from studies are handled by the Programme Committee.

General rules for approved leave from studies, resumption of studies, and application for a later part of the programme
Application for approved leave of studies, resumption of studies, and admission to a later part of the programme must be submitted to the office no later than 15 April ahead of the autumn semester and 15 October ahead of the spring semester. This also applies to students wishing to begin a course during the latter part of a semester. If the application is submitted later, the applicant will be given lower priority for resumption of studies. If the application is submitted late or if it is shown that the student has devoted most of the leave from studies period to activity justifying another priority group, the decision may be reviewed. A certificate to verify this priority must be attached to the application. If studies are not resumed at the proper time, this will be regarded as a termination of studies.

Resumpton of studies
When the application period expires on 15 April or 15 October, respectively, all students who are qualified will be ranked first in their respective priority group.

Priority groups

  1. Military service, illness, parental leave (corresponding to parental insurance)
  2. Research
    1. Dissertation at a medical faculty
    2. Admission to PhD studies at the Medical Faculty at Uppsala University
    3. Full-time research during the leave from studies
  3. Unpassed examinations
  4. Other (work, travel, other studies, etc.)
  5. Students whose application for leave from studies or application to resume studies was submitted late.