Master's Programme in Forensic Science

120 credits

Most crime scenes have traces of a perpetrator. 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 improved methods for analysing evidence make forensic science a rapidly growing field of knowledge. The Master's Programme in Forensic Science will enable you to meet the increasing need for academic competence and research. At the same time, the knowledge can also be used in many other fields.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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, medicine, environmental monitoring, pharmaceuticals, the food industry and the biotech industry. You will, moreover, be trained in critical thinking and analysis of information and results, skills which are important in all scientific areas.

The programme gives you an in-depth understanding of the 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, apply statistical methods and evaluate your results,
  • have access to excellent laboratory facilities and
  • acquire forensic competence and research experience.

The programme is a broad education with close ties to 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 of molecular biology or human genetics and organic, inorganic or analytical chemistry. During your Bachelor's studies, you also gained experience in laboratory work.

You have an analytical mindset and can express your thoughts and views in speech and writing. 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 for example in 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 contact with current research. You also appreciate the possibility to apply your knowledge with an internship in the industry, within authority or abroad.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Forensic Science as the main field of study.

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. In 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 the evaluation of evidence in criminal cases. The courses are organised by researchers with expertise in their respective fields, with invited many 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 credits 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 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

Semester 2

  • Law, Psychology and Forensic Expertise, 15 credits
  • Forensic Chemistry, 15 credits

Semester 3

  • Analytical Methods in Forensic Science, 15 credits
  • Elective period, 15 credits Degree Project, 45 credits

Semester 4

  • Degree Project, 30 credits

The Master's Programme in Forensic Science is given in a small international 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 a compilation of information from laboratory work, evaluate scientific articles and learn to critically review scientific texts and your 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 of biology and chemistry, you can also work in many other areas such as academia, the food industry, environmental monitoring and pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries. 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.