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MSc Forensic Toxicology

MSc Forensic Toxicology

Forensic Toxicology students have the opportunity to develop their analytical skills, understand how toxicology testing is used in legal cases, and learn from specialists in the area.

The Course

Forensic toxicologists use modern analytical procedures to isolate, identify, and quantify drugs, endogenous compounds, and poisonous substances in biological samples.

This programme is designed to provide extensive training in the theory and practice of forensic toxicology and is taught by research-active academics and practitioners with specialist expertise. The content of the course is aligned to guidance from the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists on best practice in professional training and development in the field.

Teaching aims to put the theory of forensic toxicology into the context of different case types, including criminal, workplace drug testing, sports doping, family law, and death investigation. Students have the opportunity to learn about the processes involved in providing high-quality forensic toxicology evidence, starting from the chain of custody through to the case strategy, preparation of biological samples and advanced instrumental analysis, to interpretation and presentation of evidence.

The specialist skills and technical knowledge that students can acquire may be transferable to roles in laboratory research, clinical drug monitoring, clinical chemistry, law enforcement, customs and excise, and investigatory agencies in the private sector.

The Course

Forensic toxicologists use modern analytical procedures to isolate, identify, and quantify drugs, endogenous compounds, and poisonous substances in biological samples.

This programme is designed to provide extensive training in the theory and practice of forensic toxicology and is taught by research-active academics and practitioners with specialist expertise. The content of the course is aligned to guidance from the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Forensic Toxicologists on best practice in professional training and development in the field.

Teaching aims to put the theory of forensic toxicology into the context of different case types, including criminal, workplace drug testing, sports doping, family law, and death investigation. Students have the opportunity to learn about the processes involved in providing high-quality forensic toxicology evidence, starting from the chain of custody through to the case strategy, preparation of biological samples and advanced instrumental analysis, to interpretation and presentation of evidence.

The specialist skills and technical knowledge that students can acquire may be transferable to roles in laboratory research, clinical drug monitoring, clinical chemistry, law enforcement, customs and excise, and investigatory agencies in the private sector.

The composition and delivery of the programme is different for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, laboratory practicals, research, and one-to-one learning. Following the taught element of the programme, students will be expected to complete a research project in an area related to forensic toxicology.

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

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (Core)
Find out more

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (Core)

In this module students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the fate of toxins within the human body and the analysis of biological specimens.

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 aim to further add to this experience and strengthen the opportunity for employment in this highly competitive field.

Laboratory problems will be less directed and aim to further develop skills in teamwork and independent learning. Students are also expected to develop skills in interpretation of results and presentation in court, as expected for a professional forensic toxicologist within the present legal system. New method development will be backed up by consideration of research developments across all aspects of the field.

Analytical Data Analysis (Core)
Find out more

Analytical Data Analysis (Core)

This module aims to develop students' knowledge of the value of statistical data in analytical science and how this data can be used to design experiments alongside extracting meaning from data acquired from analytical experiments. The module will also aim to provide knowledge of statistical software and how to best utilise it to achieve reliable and meaningful results and their presentation in a wide range of professional contexts.

Bioanalytical Methods and Sensor Technologies (Core)
Find out more

Bioanalytical Methods and Sensor Technologies (Core)

This interdisciplinary module introduces the biology, physics, and chemistry behind some the most common and emerging sensors used in analytical science and their mode of action. The special challenges of bioanalytical methods provides a modern context for specific sensor development and case studies will be presented from forensic, pharmaceutical, and healthcare contexts for development of sensors.

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods (Core)
Find out more

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods (Core)

This module is designed to develop specialist knowledge in the principles of separation science and hyphenated methods of analysis, principally mass spectrometry. The programme introduces instrumental fundamentals, design of experiments, sample preparation and derivatisation. Including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

Specialist knowledge is reinforced by the ‘hands-on’ practical component and includes use of the research instrumentation for collecting and analysing data, troubleshooting, method development/enhancement. The practical sessions involve following written experimental protocols, working in a small group, and working to deadlines.

Forensic Toxicology (Core)
Find out more

Forensic Toxicology (Core)

This module is designed to introduce the main drugs and poisons, biological samples, case types, and laboratory techniques in forensic toxicology. This includes the pharmacology of controlled drugs, prescription, and over-the-medications. Students can also acquire knowledge of key forensic concepts such as chain of custody, quality control, and presentation of data. Practicals will focus on sample handling, case strategy, and decision-making in forensic toxicology casework.

Method Development and Validation (Core)
Find out more

Method Development and Validation (Core)

This module comprises two main components:

The first aims to develop fundamental knowledge concerning strategies for sampling, data analysis, reporting, quality assurance and quality control, numerical and IT skills, and safety in relation to analytical science.

The second will provide the general introductory principles and a theoretical understanding of a range of instrumental analytical techniques and their applications. The module aims to provide the background knowledge needed for an understanding of the various principles discussed in greater detail in other modules.

Research Project (Core)
Find out more

Research Project (Core)

This module provides students with opportunity to apply chemical knowledge and laboratory skills to an extended practical research study. This is designed to further develop professional skills including the use of online literature and chemical data searching, the ability to critically review relevant published literature, and written and oral presentation of research activities.

Professional and Personal Development (Core)
Find out more

Professional and Personal Development (Core)

This module aims to aid systematic personal and professional development in a specialist area of chemistry to enhance employability. This is achieved through development and execution of a personal learning plan designed using a process of self-reflection around five development themes: personal development; professional skills development; technical skills development; research interests; and career development.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Assessment methods used on this course may include coursework, examinations, presentations, and practical sessions. Details of the methods used will be provided in a module handbook given to students at the beginning of the academic year.

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

Students will have the opportunity to complete a research project in an area related to forensic toxicology.

Research in the School of Chemistry includes four relevant themes, although collaboration and cross-disciplinary research between these occurs at all levels:

Forensic Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry
Biological Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry

Find out more at:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/chemistry/research/

 2020/21 Entry*
Home/EU £7,700

Home/EU
(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

£6,160
International £16,000
International
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
£14,000
   
 Part-time Home/EU £43 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

 

Loans

A Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.

Scholarships

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 £49, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2,940.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/postgraduateprogrammes/feesandfunding/].

Other Costs

For each programme you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some programmes provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

With regards to textbooks, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or online 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.

First or second class honours degree in chemistry or a closely related discipline (forensic chemistry, pharmaceutical science, pharmacy, forensic science, biochemistry) or substantive equivalent experience.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

The composition and delivery of the programme is different for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, laboratory practicals, research, and one-to-one learning. Following the taught element of the programme, students will be expected to complete a research project in an area related to forensic toxicology.

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

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (Core)
Find out more

Advanced Forensic Toxicology (Core)

In this module students have the opportunity to develop 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 aim to further add to this experience and strengthen the opportunity for employment in this highly competitive field.

Laboratory problems will be less directed and aim to further develop skills in teamwork and independent learning. Students are also expected to develop skills in interpretation of results and presentation in court, as expected for a professional forensic toxicologist within the present legal system. New method development will be backed up by consideration of research developments across all aspects of the field.

Analytical Data Analysis (Core)
Find out more

Analytical Data Analysis (Core)

This module aims to develop students' knowledge of the value of statistical data in analytical science and how this data can be used to design experiments alongside extracting meaning from data acquired from analytical experiments. The module will also aim to provide knowledge of statistical software and how to best utilise it to achieve reliable and meaningful results and their presentation in a wide range of professional contexts.

Bioanalytical Methods and Sensor Technologies (Core)
Find out more

Bioanalytical Methods and Sensor Technologies (Core)

This inter-disciplinary module introduces the biology, physics and chemistry behind some the most common and emerging sensors used in analytical science and their mode of action. The special challenges of bioanalytical methods provides a modern context for specific sensor development and case studies will be presented from forensic, pharmaceutical and healthcare contexts for development of sensors.

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods (Core)
Find out more

Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods (Core)

This module is designed to develop specialist knowledge in the principles of separation science and hyphenated methods of analysis, principally mass spectrometry. The programme introduces instrumental fundamentals, design of experiments, sample preparation and derivatisation. Including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

Specialist knowledge is reinforced by the ‘hands-on’ practical component and includes use of the research instrumentation for collecting and analysing data, troubleshooting, method development/enhancement. The practical sessions involve following written experimental protocols, working in a small group, and working to deadlines.

Forensic Toxicology (Core)
Find out more

Forensic Toxicology (Core)

This module is designed to introduce the main drugs and poisons, biological samples, case types, and laboratory techniques in forensic toxicology. This includes the pharmacology of controlled drugs, prescription, and over-the-medications. Students can also acquire knowledge of key forensic concepts such as chain of custody, quality control, and presentation of data. Practicals will focus on sample handling, case strategy, and decision-making in forensic toxicology casework.

Method Development and Validation (Core)
Find out more

Method Development and Validation (Core)

This module comprises two main components:
The first will provide fundamental knowledge concerning strategies for Sampling, Data analysis, Reporting, Quality assurance and Quality control, Numerical and IT skills, and Safety in relation to analytical science.
The second will provide the general introductory principles and a theoretical understanding of a range of instrumental analytical techniques and their applications. The module aims to provide the background knowledge needed for an understanding of the various principles discussed in greater detail in other modules

Research Project (Core)
Find out more

Research Project (Core)

This module provides students with opportunity to apply chemical knowledge and laboratory skills to an extended practical research study. This is designed to further develop professional skills including the use of online literature and chemical data searching, the ability to critically review relevant published literature, and written and oral presentation of research activities.

Professional and Personal Development (Core)
Find out more

Professional and Personal Development (Core)

This module aims to develop systematic personal and professional development of a student in a specialist area of chemistry to enhance employability. This is achieved through development and execution of a personal learning plan designed using a process of self-reflection around five development themes: personal development; professional skills development; technical skills development; research interests; career development.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Assessment methods used on this course may include coursework, examinations, presentations, and practical sessions. Details of the methods used will be provided in a module handbook given to students at the beginning of the academic year.

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

Students will have the opportunity to complete a research project in an area related to forensic toxicology.

Research in the School of Chemistry includes four relevant themes, although collaboration and cross-disciplinary research between these occurs at all levels:

Forensic Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry
Biological Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry

Find out more at:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/chemistry/research/

 2020/21 Entry*
Home/EU £7,700

Home/EU
(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

£6,160
International £16,000
International
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
£14,000
   
 Part-time Home/EU £43 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

 

Loans

A Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.

Scholarships

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 £49, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2,940.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/postgraduateprogrammes/feesandfunding/].

Other Costs

For each programme you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required. Some programmes provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation, and general living costs.

With regards to textbooks, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or online 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.

First or second class honours degree in chemistry or a closely related discipline (forensic chemistry, pharmaceutical science, pharmacy, forensic science, biochemistry) or substantive equivalent experience.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study:

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

Hillary Hamnett Image

Dr Hilary Hamnett

Programme Leader

Hilary received her MChem and DPhil degrees from the University of Oxford, followed by an MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde. She has seven years of experience analysing and reporting forensic toxicology cases in England, Scotland, and New Zealand, and has written journal articles and book chapters related to drugs and toxicology, including drugs and driving, new psychoactive substances, and carbon monoxide poisoning. She is also a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Contact: hhamnett@lincoln.ac.uk


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to prepare students for a career in forensic toxicology. The specialist skills and technical knowledge that students have the opportunity to acquire may be transferable to roles in laboratory research, clinical drug monitoring, clinical chemistry, law enforcement, customs and excise, and investigatory agencies in the private sector. Students may also choose to pursue advanced study at doctoral level.

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 programme, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and online 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 http://bit.ly/1lAS1Iz.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to prepare students for a career in forensic toxicology. The specialist skills and technical knowledge that students have the opportunity to acquire may be transferable to roles in laboratory research, clinical drug monitoring, clinical chemistry, law enforcement, customs and excise, and investigatory agencies in the private sector. Students may also choose to pursue advanced study at doctoral level.

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 programme, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and online 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 http://bit.ly/1lAS1Iz.


Facilities

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

Students have access to the University’s Joseph Banks Laboratories and Janet-Lane Claypon Building, which offer specialist laboratory and teaching spaces. High-specification forensic toxicology equipment is available including mass spectrometry and chromatography.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.


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.