Forensic Science: Become trained in expert witness and courtroom skills, legal and practical aspects of evidence and gain an understanding of pre-trial duties, courtroom procedures, lawyers’ requirements, and the preparation and structure of the expert witness’ report. This unit will be delivered through a combination of lectures, training in court room skills and practical exercises involving simulated forensic investigations. This unit is shared with students on similar courses, and the simulations are tailored to each degree. So for example toxicologists will comment on a scenario of alcohol and drug abuse, archaeologists will excavate a simulated murder case and anthropologists undertake the only simulated mass grave exercise currently offered as part of a UK Masters programme.
Forensic Toxicology: A comprehensive overview of forensic toxicology, providing you with knowledge and understanding of the complex issues involved with analysing drugs and poisons in human tissue and the ways they affect the human body. You'll study how poisons enter the body, are metabolised and eliminated, the types of samples used in forensic toxicology and consider their importance to different case types, sample collection methods and preservation. You'll also study the range of analytical methods used for detecting drugs and poisons and the factors affecting the interpretation of analytical results.
Laboratory and Research Skills: An introduction to a range of academic skills essential for becoming a successful researcher in the modern research environment. You'll learn transferable skills in designing a research project, developing the right methodology, writing a research proposal, collecting and analysing data and presenting your work at conferences and in scientific journals.
- Extended Research Project: Undertake a more extended and involved piece of research, leading to a publishable research paper. The extended research project will allow you to develop research methodologies, data collection and interpretation.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for MSc Forensic Toxicology by Research.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
Background and experience
For Forensic Toxicology by Research we are looking for applicants who:
- Have a keen interest in toxicology
- Are keen to actively learn through laboratory and case oriented problem solving
- Are keen to apply the skills they gain from the course to real working environments in analytical and interpretative toxicology e.g. forensic and clinical toxicology
- Can demonstrate an ability to think around complex problems
- Can demonstrate an academic interest and ability in sciences relevant to toxicology by having suitable science qualifications.
We are looking for students who are keen to develop their intellectual skills by gaining a sound scientific understanding of forensic and analytical toxicology. We particularly encourage applications from people who have an enthusiasm for developing practical laboratory and research skills such as knowledge of extraction techniques, HPLC, GC/MS etc. that are considered to be key attributes by many employers. Students on this degree course will typically have a wide range of interests and have strong science backgrounds.
Selection is based on paper application and references - applicants are not normally required to attend for interview. Visits to the department to speak to tutors and postgraduate students engaged with the course can be arranged, usually via University Open Days.
For more information, take a look at our post graduate how to apply pages.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking upon this course are:
- Possession of a 2:1 degree or equivalent in either forensic science, chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacology, biochemistry or biomedical sciences.
- For post-experience and professional qualifications, there may be additional entry requirements set by the association or institute that ultimately administers the qualification in question. The qualification description on the course information pages should tell you what these are but please get in touch with the askBU Enquiry Service if you are in doubt.
If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.
Upon completion of this course, you will possess the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to continue into an academic career or secure employment in a career in forensics. The emphasis on core practical skills will give you extra marketability in the professional arena, providing you with a route into a successful and rewarding career.
As a Forensic Toxicology by Research graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as:
- Forensic toxicologist
- Clinical chemist
- Academic researcher.
Industries worked in
- Forensic toxicology
- Law enforcement
- Academic research.
If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.
Meet our staff
Head of the Department of Archaeology, Anthropology & Forensic Science, Professor David Osselton is also the course leader for MSc Forensic Toxicology by Research.
Prof. Osselton worked at the Home Office Forensic Science laboratories, and at Aldermaston as Head of Research in Alcohol, Drugs and Toxicology. Subsequently, he was appointed Head of Toxicology for the Forensic Science Service where he was responsible for developing toxicology services in addition to undertaking casework and providing advice to Government departments on drug testing. Prof. Osselton has been involved in a number of high profile cases for the defence and prosecution both in the UK and overseas. He is internationally known for his research interests in toxicology and lectures widely at conferences around the world.