University of Strathclyde
Glasgow Graduate School of Law
The MSc is a one-year conversion course offering candidates the opportunity to qualify as scientific and court-going forensic scientists, as well as making them eligible for all industrial posts where problem-solving analyses are required. It covers the areas of criminalistics (mathematics, splash patterns/particulate material distribution); forensic chemistry (fibres, explosives, glass, paint, soil, etc); toxicology; drugs of abuse (cannabis, heroin, cocaine, etc); body fluid analysis (blood, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions, etc); hair and fibre (natural and manmade) analysis; and questioned documents. The particular emphasis placed on scenes of crime appraisal and the presentation of evidence in the witness box requires candidates to become expert analysts and develop communication skills of a high order in their written and spoken work. Students become familiar with all common separation techniques, including: thin layer, high pressure liquid and gas chromatography; modern spectroscopic methods including infra-red, ultraviolet-visible, and fluorescence; microscopic procedures including polarising, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy; blood grouping methods including antigenic systems; and enzyme polymorphic electrophoretic methods employing isoelectric focusing, as well as developments in ELISA. DNA analysis forms a central role in body fluid characterisation.The nine-month Postgraduate Diploma course runs parallel to the MSc course.