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EMMS Erasmus Mundus Masters In Forensic Science

EMMS 2 years 4 years School of Chemistry Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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This programme draws on the forensic science expertise of three institutions across Europe with the aim of offering an international perspective of the field.

Jointly run with the University of Córdoba, Spain, and the Institute of Health Sciences Egas Moniz, Portugal, this programme focuses on the latest specialist techniques used by professionals in forensic science roles. The course also benefits from the input of four other overseas institutions with strong reputations in forensic science, namely John Jay College, New York, Texas A&M, West Virginia University and the University of Western Australia.

During your time at the University of Lincoln, you will have the opportunity to advance your technical skills through hands-on practical work in our specialist laboratories and you have the chance to be part of our research culture. You will have the opportunity to interact and work with practitioners from different areas of forensic science.

Please note that self-funded students are expected to cover any travel, accommodation and general living expenses while studying abroad.

Research Areas, Projects & Topics

Research topics include:

  • Forensic Analytical Chemistry
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Fire and Explosion
  • Forensic Anthropology

Example Modules Include:

  • Advanced Instrumental Analysis
  • Principles of Pharmacology
  • Quality Assurance in the Forensic Laboratory
  • Statistics in Forensic Science
  • Project Preparation
  • Research Project
  • Forensic Pathology (optional)
  • Fire and Explosions (optional)

How You Study

You will need to be ready to study in three different countries and be flexible to adapt to different cultures.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours will vary depending on the individual options chosen throughout the programme, however a typically students should expect to receive around 350 contact hours over the course of the programme.

The composition and delivery for the course may break down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, laboratory practicals, research and one-to-one learning.

Postgraduate study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment on this programme is through a combination of coursework, exams, presentations and a dissertation.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

Interviews & Applicant Days

All applicants are interviewed.

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:1 in a science subject.

Key Contacts

Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez
+44 (0)1522 886878


Master's Level

Advanced Forensic Biology (University of Lincoln) (Option)

This module addresses a number of specialist areas in forensic science relating to biological evidence and the analysis of biological molecules including DNA profiling and DNA evidence, forensic applications of non-human DNA typing, authentication of foodstuffs, blood pattern analysis, wound ballistics and bioterrorism.

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (University of Lincoln) (Option)

Students have the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of the fate of toxins within the human body and the analysis of biological specimens that builds upon the knowledge gained from modules previously studied.

Laboratory work will be based upon case work and the development of new methods providing a realistic experience of the role of the forensic toxicologist in legal cases. Use of external practitioners, laboratory visits and specialist equipment aims to further add to this experience and strengthen the opportunity for employment in this highly competitive field.

Laboratory problems will be less directed and so aim to also further develop skills in team work and independent learning. Skills in interpretation of results and presentation in court can be developed as expected for a professional forensic toxicologist. New method development will be backed up by consideration of research developments across all aspects of the field as expected for this level of study.

Advanced Instrumental Analysis (University of Cordoba)

This module is designed to cover the background, instrumentation, practical considerations and overview of relevant applications in forensic analysis of chromatographic, electrophoretic and mass spectrometric techniques.

The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop the analytical skills to select the most appropriate technique for a specific forensic analysis and to understand their suitability and intrinsic limitations for screening and quantification purposes in this area. Theoretical knowledge can be illustrated with representative case studies and laboratory practicals.

Drugs of Abuse (ISCSEM Lisbon) (Option)

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge on drugs of abuse and illustrate the forensic applications of a range of analytical techniques. This module aims to introduce students to the legislation covering controlled substances and to the classification of these substances. Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic aspects of specific drugs of abuse will also be discussed. The module will examine and apply procedures for drug identification and drug quantification.

Environmental Forensics (University of Cordoba) (Option)

Students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the Environmental Forensics field. This course aims provide an overview of the influence of the environment in crime scene investigation and evidence examination. Students will have the chance to gain a better understanding of the most frequent analytical techniques used to determine compounds present in environmental samples.

Fire and Explosions (University of Lincoln) (Option)

Students will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge in the physics and chemistry of fire and explosions, which is needed in order to understand and interpret scene indicators. The module will be centred around the analysis and interpretation of scene items submitted to the forensic laboratory. This will be in the context of case studies and analytical challenges faced by the forensic chemist of which avoidance of cross contamination will be a key aspect in investigation design and reporting of results.

Laboratory skills can be further developed from modules covered earlier in the course and greater emphasis will be placed on students working on problems and developing their team work and independent learning skills. The professional and research literature will be a major information source that will inform module content and provide the context of the role of forensic scientists in fire and explosion investigation.

Food Toxicology (ISCSEM Lisbon) (Option)

This module is designed as an introduction to toxicology of foods and foodborne chemicals and organisms. This module provides students with an opportunity to develop a general understanding of the nature, properties, effects and detection of toxic substances in food, and their manifestation in humans. To this end, fundamental concepts will be also reviewed, such as the pharmacokinetics of the most representative class of chemicals in the context of Food Toxicology.

Forensic Analytical Chemistry (University of Cordoba) (Option)

This module provides the students with the chance to develop a global overview of the steps involved in the development of a forensic analytical process, ranging from evidence collection to presentation of final results to be defended in court. The main aspects included in the module deal with crime scene processing, sample collection and handling, chemical and immunochemical presumptive and on-site tests and the application of different spectrochemical techniques in many forensic fields.

Forensic Anthropology (University of Lincoln) (Option)

This module is designed to introduce the student to the Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology and to provide the opportunity for them to develop the knowledge and professional skills to participate in Forensic Anthropological Investigations. Throughout this module students can be taught the methodologies and procedures of forensic archaeological recovery, analysis and identification of human remains.

Forensic Botany I (University of Cordoba) (Option)

This module aims to provide a specific knowledge on botanical applications in forensic studies. This module describes tracing botanical evidence in forensic investigation and its use in legal proceedings.

There is also an explanation of plant structures that would be used with forensic proposes, identification of botanical remains such as pollen grains, seeds, flowers and wood fragments, in clothes, animal and human mucous, hairs. Concepts and principles are introduced through formal lectures and further developed using laboratory practices.

On completion of this module students are expected to have developed an appreciation of plant structures and a broad understanding of botany in the context of forensic science.

Forensic Botany II (ISCSEM Lisbon) (Option)

The aim of this module is to provide information on the high potential value of the plant evidence and to provide an understanding of the methodologies required to apply plant knowledge in forensic practice. Plants anatomy and its ecological requirements are in some cases species-specific, thus the correct interpretation of botanical evidence can give vital information about a crime scene or the whereabouts of a suspect or victim.

Often, trace botanical evidence can link an object or suspect to the crime scene, as well as rule out a suspect or support an alibi. Identification of poisonous plants, which can be accidentally or intentional ingested or used to cause injuries in others, may play an important role in determining the cause of death. The comparative study of growth rings in trees and aged wood, used in dating events and variations in the environment, can be valuable in estimating the time since death.

Forensic Entomology (University of Lincoln) (Option)

This module aims to evaluate the procedures used to interpret entomological information of value to the court for the interpretation of evidence. It is designed to allow students to critically appraise the entomological evidence gathered.

The main features of importance are the life cycles of selected fly and beetle species, development of an understanding of the morphological characteristics of the life-cycle stages and judgement of the influence of environmental conditions on insect growth and development.

Students may, through undertaking a case study, develop skills in taxonomy, the use of professional insect keys and of using instruments for environmental analysis. They will have the opportunity to learn to interpret and expound the value of the arthropod communities associated with particular habitats.

Forensic Pathology (University of Cordoba) (Option)

This module will aim to provide the necessary background in two of the main fields of Legal Medicine; Thanatology and Forensic Pathology. This include a basic knowledge of human anatomy, pathophysiology of death, cadaveric changes, medico legal documents in relation to death (death certification and autopsy report), forensic versus clinical autopsy, pathology of wounds (including blunt injuries, sexual offences, mechanical asphyxia, injuries in road traffic accidents, electrical fatalities, incised wounds, sudden death investigations, deaths in custody) and collection of biological samples. Such knowledge can have its application in post-mortem investigations and the determination of post-mortem interval.

Method Development and Validation (University of Lincoln) (Option)

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the principles and value of method development and validation. The module will look to draw on the student’s prior knowledge of experimental procedures from previous modules of study. The module aims to equip the student to be able to formulate experimental plans for method development and validation, including the selection of statistical tools to evaluate data generated.

The module also aims to build the student’s knowledge of quality assurance processes, international norms and accreditation. The student will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding from this module to the Masters research project module.

Phylogenetic Analysis in Forensic Investigation (PAFI) (ISCSEM Lisbon) (Option)

The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge on phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide and amino acid sequences and its application in the forensic investigation of criminal transmission of HIV and other pathogenic microorganisms.

The molecular epidemiology and evolution of the microorganisms most frequently involved in this type of crime will be presented and methods to perform sequence alignment, to choose the best nucleotide and amino acid substitution models and to perform tree reconstruction will be covered. The most relevant cases of HIV and HCV criminal transmission will be analysed, in theory and practice, from the bench perspective to the court.

Principles of Pharmacology (ISCSEM Lisbon)

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge that can enable students to recognise the effects resulting from consumption of certain medicinal drugs on human behaviour, cognitive ability, heart, liver or kidney function, and their possible implications in the forensic context, whether resulting from illicit or accidental use of medicines.

Project Preparation (University of Lincoln)

The aim of this module is to develop the students' research, project planning and independent learning skills to enable them to undertake and successfully complete a major research project, therefore providing an opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas within a research context.

The module aims to equip the student to prepare effectively for undertaking an in-depth study of a particular area, which can develop and demonstrate their capacity for the critical appraisal of scientific literature, to construct research questions, aims and objectives, and to formulate an appropriate research framework for the area under investigation including critical appraisal of data collected. The student will be expected to use and apply their knowledge and skills developed in this module in the Masters research project module.

Quality Assurance in the Forensic Laboratory (University of Cordoba)

This module aims to develop an awareness of the relevance quality systems have throughout the forensic procedure. The quality of a specific forensic procedure depends on several aspects, such as the preservation of the chain of custody, which is essential to defend the results achieved in court as analytical evidence and the quality of the results, which guarantee the unequivocal conviction based on the analytical evidence, among other factors.

Research Project (University of Lincoln)

This module aims to give students' the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained during the programme, and develop expertise in a specialist area of interest. Students can further develop, design and implement a research project.

Sensors in Forensic Science (University of Lincoln) (Option)

This module aims to develop knowledge in the physics and chemistry behind the most common sensors used in forensic science and how they work. The module aims to develop knowledge on how sensors are an important part of data acquisition and how these can be used on their own or form part of more complicated devices.

Applications on how sensors can assist in the analysis and determination of drugs and explosive residues will also be taught in this module. Students can learn how short and long range sensing can be used in forensic science to gather information for intelligence and court purposes and their analytical characteristics, which will greatly help to decide the most suitable for different specific applications.

Statistics In Forensic Science (University of Lincoln)

This module seeks to provide knowledge of the value of statistical data in forensic science and how these data can be used to draw valid conclusions that can be provided with the right interpretation of a set of data. The module will be centred in teaching statistical tools to forensic scientists for them to be able to apply these in case studies and experimental design of new analytical methodologies.

The module will also look to develop knowledge of statistical software and how to best utilise it to achieve reliable and meaningful results.
Students can learn how to research literature for new sources of information on new statistical methodologies suitable for use in forensic cases and those basic statistical tools used routinely in forensic investigations.

Toxicological Analysis (University of Cordoba) (Option)

The objective of this module is to provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge developed in other units, related to sample treatments, instrumental analysis, etc., to the toxicological analysis of different specimens in which various types of toxicants could be determined. The module also considers how the information obtained from these analyses should be used to the elucidation of questions that could arise in judicial proceeding as well as to discuss all aspects for investigation of different poisons by analysing the specimens collected from patients to investigate presence of toxicants.

Xenobiochemistry (ISCSEM Lisbon) (Option)

The aim of this module is to study metabolic conversion of xenobiotics, especially drugs of abuse and environmental contaminants. Xenobiochemistry explains the molecular mechanisms - causes - of pharmacological and toxicological consequences of presence of xenobiotics in living organism. Simultaneously, this creates a scientific basis for qualified activity of a Forensic Scientist to understand in silico, in vitro and in vivo how xenobiotics can be study and monitored in a laboratory.


At Lincoln, you will have access to specialist laboratories equipped with apparatus for analytical chemistry, forensic anthropology and archaeology, biomedical science, biology and a broad range of related subjects.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to develop the in-depth specialist knowledge and international experience that can prepare students for employment in forensic science roles around the world.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

   2016/17 Entry*
Home/EU £7,100
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £15,700
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU  £39 per credit point
 Part-time International  £87 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Find out if you are eligible.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.


For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.