Most crime scenes have traces of different types from a perpetrator. A genetic, chemical or toxicological analysis can play a critical role in an investigation and may lead to a conviction in a court trial. The advanced and constantly improved methods for analysing evidence material make forensic science a growing field of knowledge. The Master's Programme in Forensic Science will enable you to meet the increasing need for academic competence and research, and at the same time the knowledge can also be used within many other fields.
Why this programme?
The aim of the Master's Programme in Forensic Science is to give a broad as well as deep knowledge within the field of forensic science. Several of the laboratory exercises in the programme are connected to criminalistics and based on novel research. The methods are, however, generally used in many other areas apart from forensic science, for example the food industry, medicine, pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring and the biotech industry. You will be trained in critical thinking and analysis of information and results, which are important skills in all scientific areas. The programme is a broad education with close ties to research.
The programme gives you an in-depth understanding of applications of biological and chemical analyses within the legal system. This includes knowledge of human genetics, criminalistics, forensic genetics, forensic medicine, law, psychology and analytical chemistry.
During the programme you can expect to:
learn to independently carry out examinations and apply statistical methods and evaluate your results
have access to excellent laboratory facilities
acquire forensic competence and research.
The Master's Programme in Forensic Science received the highest possible quality credential in the latest evaluation by the Swedish Higher Education Authority.
Student profile You have a strong foundation in biology with chemistry courses, or a chemistry background that includes molecular biology. You have good knowledge in molecular biology or human genetics and organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry. During your Bachelor's studies you also gained experience in laboratory work.
You have an analytical mindset and are able and willing to express your thoughts and views. Talking and writing in English is not a problem for you and you expect a mutual exchange with your peer students in an international environment with different experiences and knowledge. You want a broad international education that can lead you in many directions including for example the forensic area, molecular biology, toxicology or analytical chemistry.
A future PhD education is a possibility you have thought about and you will value the opportunity to get in closer contact with current research. You also appreciate the possibility to apply your knowledge with an internship in the industry, within an authority or abroad. You would like to keep your options open for now.
The programme leads to a Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Forensic Science as the main field of study.
How did you choose your programme?
I studied my Bachelor’s in biochemistry already thinking of specialising in something related to forensic science. As there were not many options in my country I applied to various universities in the UK and Uppsala. I was told Uppsala University had a very good reputation and decided on this program when I got accepted.
What was it like to be an international student?
In Uppsala, the rate of international students was quite high, same within the programme so I never felt excluded or left outside of anything. Everybody, especially students and academics, know and talk English without a problem. However, knowing Swedish makes communication way easier outside of the university and student environment.
What was the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
I think every person may have different opinions on this, but for me, the best part was the possibility to meet people with very different backgrounds, cultures and opinions and learn from them. It was and still is mind-opening. Uppsala has also everything one can need: activities, nightlife, very beautiful nature, so one is never bored!
Do you remember your first impression of Uppsala? Please tell!
When I arrived in Uppsala I felt like it was a place I could get used to living in. It is big, covers all the needs one can have but at the same time feels like a small town where you can take long walks in peace. All areas of the city are different and may fit the interests of every different kind of person.
Describe what a normal day is like for you?
My day usually starts at 7:00 with breakfast and reading a book. Then I take my bike and make the way to BMC to work. During the programme, we would have scheduled classes or laboratory. If we would have individual study time, then I would instead go to any of the libraries to do my work. Carolina Rediviva or Blåsenhus are very good options for silent study but if you need some noise and talk to be able to focus the nation houses tend to also have study places during the day.
What was your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
My idea has always been to be able to work in science, in my field which is biochemistry, but I didn’t want to do basic science. Forensics seemed a field that would give me the most change in work with many different methods and assays from a point of view that would be directly connected to its application to society.
Describe the student life!
My student life was mainly based at the student nations. Uppsala has 13 different student organisations which offer different kinds of activities and nightlife. I got involved in Kalmar Nation due to its artistic and musical orientation. It allowed me to meet new people who are nowadays my best friends and to learn to do many different things I otherwise would have never been able to.
Three quick questions: What is your favourite place in Uppsala?
On summer days I love biking or taking long walks along the river and bathing upstream where the river is less wide and the vegetation very green and beautiful.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
It is a difficult question to answer but hopefully still being able to work inside the forensic sciences field here in Sweden. I have come to really like life here.
Where is the best place to study?
When I studied the Master’s programme I used to go to Carolina Rediviva. If you get there early enough in the morning you may be able to find a seat with good views up on the last floor of the library. When the spring and summer come studying in a garden is very much recommended though!
During the first year, you will attend five courses that give you broad knowledge of forensic work, from the time a crime has been committed until a verdict is reached in court. The first semester you will learn about crime scene investigations, medical genetics and forensic medicine. During semester two, you will learn about chemical analysis methods of evidence, the legal system and evaluation of evidence in criminal cases. The courses are organised by researchers with expertise in their fields, with invited lecturers from the police and the National Board of Forensic Medicine.
In parallel with the courses throughout the first semester, you will participate in a lecture series in professional training, which includes presentation techniques, research ethics and cultural intelligence.
Year two begins with further in-depth studies of analytical chemistry, followed by an elective period. During this period, you can choose to either take a 15 credit course of your choice or extend your degree project from 30 to 45 credits. You can carry out the degree project at, for example, a forensic laboratory, company, university or a government agency. It can also be done abroad and in many different subject areas (the subject is not limited to forensic science).
Courses within the programme
Semester 1: Medical Genetics, 7.5 credits Forensic Science and Criminalistics, 7.5 credits Forensic Genetics and Medicine, 15 credits
The Master's Programme in Forensic Science is given in an international and small group (approximately 20 students), and the instruction includes lectures, project work, laboratory work, group instruction and demonstrations.
Lectures are mixed with laborations and you will work with compilation of information from laboratory work, evaluate scientific articles and learn to critically review scientific texts and your own results. Your achievements will be assessed by examinations, seminars and projects.
Attendance is compulsory at all scheduled sessions including demonstrations, group instructions, seminars, laboratory work and demonstration of an autopsy.
The programme is given entirely in English and requires full-time studies in Uppsala.
The programme prepares you for forensic work within the police authority or at forensic laboratories. For example, you can work with DNA analyses, fingerprints, shoeprints, tool marks or toxicological analyses.
With broad and deep knowledge in biology and chemistry, you can also work in many other areas such as the academia, the food industry, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and with environmental work. Our alumni work, for example, as laboratory engineers, chemists, quality assurance officers and life science consultants. Many students also choose to pursue a PhD after graduation.
About a third of our alumni work at Swedish or foreign authorities as, for example, forensic experts, a quarter work in academic research and a fifth in the private sector. A majority find their first job before or within six months after graduation.
Career support During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. an Application Summary Sheet; 2. document(s) and/or letter(s) of recommendation certifying your previous experience.
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 credits in chemistry and/or biochemistry as well as 15 credits in cell biology, molecular biology and/or genetics. Also required is knowledge and practical experience of laboratory experiments in life sciences.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on an overall appraisal of:
the quantity and quality of previous university studies with emphasis on grades in relevant fields,
a statement of purpose describing your interest in the programme,
a summary in English (maximum one page) of a research project, or similar, performed during the Bachelor's studies and
relevant work experience.
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.