Most crime scenes have traces that can be important evidence in a crime scene investigation. A genetic, chemical or toxicological analysis can play a critical role in an investigation and may lead to a conviction in court. The advanced and constantly improved methods for analysing evidence material make forensic science a growing field. The Master's Programme in Forensic Science will enable you to meet the increasing need for academic competence and research, but 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 you 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 food industry, medicine, environmental monitoring and 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 thus a broad education with close ties to research.
The programme gives you in-depth understanding of applications of biological and chemical analyses within the legal system. This includes knowledge of medical genetics, criminalistics, forensic genetics, forensic medicine, law, criminology and analytical chemistry.
During the programme you can expect to:
learn to independently carry out investigations, apply statistical methods and evaluate your results.
have access to excellent laboratory facilities.
aquire forensic competence and knowledge about current 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. During your Bachelor's studies you gained experience from laboratory exercises so, at least, you are comfortable working in the lab. You might even have some practical experience working in the field after graduation but not so long that you have forgotten your broad theoretical base and study techniques. Now you want a broad international education that can lead you in many directions including for example criminalistics, molecular biology, toxicology or analytical chemistry.
You are extremely motivated and have confidence in your own ability and knowledge. You have a naturally analytical attitude and are able and willing to express your thoughts in both writing and speaking. Talking and writing in English is not a problem for you and you expect a mutual exchange in an international environment with different experiences and knowledge.
A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about and you would value an opportunity to get in closer contact with current research by working in a research group while doing your Master's studies. Starting to work right after graduation is also something you are considering so you also appreciate the possibility to apply your knowledge in an internship in the industry. You like to keep many options open for now.
The programme leads to a Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Forensic Science as the main field of study.
Semester one of the Master's Programme in Forensic Science starts with a course in medical genetics where you will learn about genetic inheritance, how genetic diseases arise and how they are diagnosed, as well as the techniques used in genetic analysis and research. This is followed by a course in forensic science and criminalistics where lecturers from the Police and law enforcement will provide you with insights into their work and methods.
Then follows the course Forensic Genetics and Medicine, where you will learn how forensic medical investigations and analyses are performed. You will gain knowledge about forensic DNA analyses as well as ancient DNA investigations. You will participate in laboratory work and learn how to make use of databases and statistics for evaluation of DNA results. You will also participate in a seminar series on professional training for all Master's students at the medical faculty during this semester.
Semester two starts with the course Law, Psychology and Forensic Expertise. In this course, you will deepen your knowledge in how the legal system works, from the time a crime has been committed to the final verdict. You will learn about cognitive psychology, interrogation techniques, evaluation of eye witness statements and expert witness reports. You will also get hands-on experience by working with evaluation of forensic evidence in a real innocence case.
The first year is concluded with the course Forensic Chemistry, which will provide you with insights into the different criminalistics analyses based on analytical chemistry. You will also practice various methods for analysing traces from crime scenes, using traditional and new analytical technologies.
During semester three you will add depth to your knowledge in analytical chemistry in the course Analytical Methods in Forensic Science. The theme of the course is toxicology, and how toxic substances can be detected in biological samples. You will also carry out an individual project that you will present orally and in writing.
The second part of semester three is an elective period of ten weeks. Here, you can choose to carry out a literature project in forensic biology, take a course of your choice or use the time to extend your thesis project to 45 credits.
In semester four you will end the programme with an individual degree project, which can be carried out in a police laboratory, in a company, at a university, or a governmental agency. You can also carry out your degree project abroad and choose your topic from a wide range of different areas (the topic is not restricted 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.
You will work with compilation of information from laboratory work, evaluate scientific articles and learn to critically review methods and your own data. 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.
A compulsory seminar series with lectures about, for example, presentation techniques, research ethics and bioethics is given during the first semester.
The programme is given entirely in English and requires full-time studies in Uppsala.
The Master's Programme in Forensic Science is intended for those wishing to broaden and deepen their earlier knowledge in biology and chemistry with an orientation towards topics within forensic analysis. The broad competence in biology and chemistry prepares you for work with criminalistics, but also within many other areas.
The programme provides you with additional knowledge in human genetics, molecular biology, toxicology and analytical chemistry, which paves the way for careers in forensic laboratories, food industry, environmental monitoring and biotechnology industry.
The programme further prepares you for continued PhD studies (research level).
Career support When you are about to finish your studies and want to start planning for your next step in life, you are welcome to UU Careers for support and guidance. You are also welcome to a variety of career activities and events all through your stay at Uppsala University. Of course, the services are free of charge. Learn more about UU career support.
Among the applicants fulfilling the entry and programme-specific requirements, there will be a selection based on their qualifications specified in a merit template. After you have completed your application online at universityadmissions.se, download and fill out the programme-specific merit template. The merit template and all supporting documentation must then be uploaded on universityadmissions.se by 1 February.
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 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
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies with emphasis on grades in relevant fields;
a statement of purpose; and
a summary in English (1-2 pages) of a degree project t, or a similar project performed during the Bachelor's studies.
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.
The Student Portal provides logged-on students access to course and programme pages, study results, e-transcripts, information from the student unions, file area, webmail, and more. In order to log on, you must have applied for a student account. The course and programme pages in the Student Portal can be seen without being logged on here. The pages contain basic information plus those features that the department has chosen to make accessible.