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C04393v1 Master of Philosophy in Forensic Science

Award(s): Master of Philosophy in Forensic Science (MPhilForSc)
CRICOS code: 098062J
Commonwealth supported place?: No
Load credit points: 96
Course EFTSL: 2
Location: City campus

Notes

This course is not offered by direct entry. Admission is via Internal Course Transfer with faculty approval.


Overview
Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Recognition of prior learning
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Other information

Overview

The Master of Philosophy in Forensic Science provides students with a unique opportunity to undertake original research and gain in-depth knowledge in their chosen area of forensic science. Students have access to staff that are leading researchers and experts in their field. Undertaking this course allows students to explore their research potential and develop research skills. It is designed to provide a scholarship pathway to the PhD program.

This course is designed to expand students' knowledge and practice of forensic science alongside developing science management and leadership capabilities, culminating in a substantial research project in Year 2. The course contains compulsory core and elective practice-focused forensic science subjects across a range of disciplines from the crime scene to the laboratory. Professional subjects covering a range of skills crucial to all professional scientists – such as project and laboratory management, advanced scientific communication, ethics, innovation and science business models – complete Year 1.

Year 2 comprises a substantial research component, giving students an opportunity to undertake original, cutting-edge research. For students with suitable achievement levels, this provides a direct pathway to a PhD, and carries points that can be used in the scholarship application process.

Course aims

The course aims to produce adaptable forensic scientists who are proficient with modern professional practice and technology, and have strong general professional skills such as scientific communication, critical analysis, and project management. With a substantial research component, students develop their research skills, which can be utilised either in industry R&D or as the initial foundations of a research career.

Career options

Depending on the area of specialisation, graduates may pursue employment with organisations such as the Australian Federal Police, state policing agencies, ASIO, CSIRO, ANSTO, customs, immigration, and private forensic agencies. Career options include criminalist, trace evidence specialist, forensic toxicologist, DNA specialist, scene-of-crime officer, team leader in investigations, fire investigator, fingerprint analyst.

Graduates may also proceed to a career in research through entry to a PhD.

Course intended learning outcomes

1.0 Develop a professional identity through engagement with scientific knowledge to demonstrate depth, breadth, application and interrelationships of relevant discipline areas.
1.1 Demonstrate an advanced proficiency and knowledge of forensic science practice, including the detection, collection, analysis, and interpretation of traces, using current and emerging processes or technologies.
1.2 Illustrate the integration of forensic analyses and interpretation with the policing and legal systems for the purposes of investigation, forensic intelligence, or case resolution.
2.0 An ability to hypothesise, apply the scientific method and solve problems, incorporating evidence-based knowledge acquisition, deduction, inference and induction to contest and test current scientific knowledge through critical evaluation and data analyses.
2.1 Apply discipline knowledge and interpretation processes to reconstruct realistic crime scenarios or infer linkages between crime phenomena.
2.2 Independently research, synthesise, and critically appraise forensic and enabling science knowledge to address complex scenarios or develop new processes.
3.0 A capability to autonomously and collaboratively acquire technical, practical and professional skills within the context of work integrated learning and apply these in ethical ways to meet the current and future needs of society.
3.1 Demonstrate high level technical competence in the exploitation and presentation of forensic traces using technology and procedures that translate directly to professional practice, both individually and in interdisciplinary teams.
3.2 Develop and integrate professional ethical conduct through work-integrated learning and/or research.
3.3 Discuss the impact and role of forensic science in addressing current and future challenges faced by law enforcement, the legal system, security, and the wider community.
4.0 A capacity for innovation and creativity beyond formal educational contexts through the development of reflective practices as self-directed learners, motivated by a curiosity to find solutions to current societal issues.
4.1 Critically evaluate forensic science practice and knowledge.
4.2 Apply forensic science and professional skills with a high degree of personal autonomy.
4.3 Demonstrate initiative and innovative thinking through research and/or creative problem solving applied to new case scenarios, situations, or challenges in professional forensic science practice.
5.0 Communicate effectively and professionally across all domains (written/oral/visual/graphical) to a range of audiences using appropriate media.
5.1 Demonstrate advanced skills in case documentation, using various methods to record and communicate observations and evaluation of traces throughout all stages of an investigation.
5.2 Present complex ideas theoretical knowledge, conclusions, expert opinion, and the justification of professional decisions effectively to expert, scientific and non-expert audiences.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed a UTS recognised bachelor's degree, or an equivalent or higher qualification, or submitted other evidence of general and professional qualifications that demonstrates potential to pursue graduate studies.

This program is normally available to students who have commenced in the Master of Forensic Science (Extension) (C04392) or Master of Forensic Science (C04391), and demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and research potential. Admission is via internal course transfer. Prospective students must liaise with their program director to organise a supervisor and project.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64; or CAE: 176-184.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.

Recognition of prior learning

Students enrolled in this course may be eligible for recognition of prior learning of up to 24 credit points if the subjects previously studied are deemed by UTS: Science to be equivalent to those specified for their course.

To be considered for recognition of prior learning, subjects must normally have been completed no more than five years prior to the commencement of this course.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered on a two-year, full-time basis.

Course structure

The course requires 96 credit points of study, comprising 24 credit points of professional stream subjects, a 24 credit points of core subjects, and a 48-credit-point intensive research component.

The intensive research component of the course is a research project that extends over the final year and normally takes the form of an experimental, analytical or theoretical investigation. Candidates may also be required to undertake one or more critical reviews of the literature in designated areas and to attend classes or workshops devoted to advanced coursework. The results of the project are presented in an oral seminar and in a written thesis, both of which are formally assessed.

Course completion requirements

STM91292 Core subjects (Forensic Science) 24cp
STM91284 Professional stream (Science PG) 24cp
STM91296 Forensic Science Thesis 48cp
Total 96cp

Course program

The following examples show typical full-time programs for students commencing in Autumn or Spring sessions.

Autumn commencing, full time
Year 1
Autumn session
60901 Advanced Communication Skills in Science   6cp
65019 Foundations of Forensic Science   8cp
Select 10 credit points from the following:   10cp
60110 Leadership in Science 8cp  
60107 Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation 8cp  
60105 Ethics in Human Research 2cp  
60102 Ethics in Animal Research 2cp  
60108 Laboratory Management 4cp  
60116 Risk Assessment and Management for Science 2cp  
60106 Research Proposal Writing 2cp  
60118 Work Health and Safety for Science 8cp  
60109 Professional Science Document Writing 2cp  
60119 Science Business Models and Intellectual Property 4cp  
Spring session
65009 Forensic Inference and Interpretation   8cp
60117 Understanding Data and Statistical Design   6cp
Select 2 credit points from the following:   2cp
60102 Ethics in Animal Research 2cp  
60105 Ethics in Human Research 2cp  
60106 Research Proposal Writing 2cp  
60109 Professional Science Document Writing 2cp  
60116 Risk Assessment and Management for Science 2cp  
Select 8 credit points from the following:   8cp
65006 Advanced Chemical Criminalistics 8cp  
65007 Biometrics and Identification Sciences 8cp  
65015 Forensic Science Research Internship Project A 8cp  
Year 2
Autumn session
60122 Forensic Science Thesis 1   24cp
Spring session
60123 Forensic Science Thesis 2   24cp
Spring commencing, full time
Year 1
Spring session
60901 Advanced Communication Skills in Science   6cp
65019 Foundations of Forensic Science   8cp
65009 Forensic Inference and Interpretation   8cp
Select 2 credit points from the following:   2cp
60102 Ethics in Animal Research 2cp  
60105 Ethics in Human Research 2cp  
60106 Research Proposal Writing 2cp  
60109 Professional Science Document Writing 2cp  
60116 Risk Assessment and Management for Science 2cp  
Year 2
Autumn session
60117 Understanding Data and Statistical Design   6cp
Select 10 credit points from the following:   10cp
60110 Leadership in Science 8cp  
60107 Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation 8cp  
60105 Ethics in Human Research 2cp  
60102 Ethics in Animal Research 2cp  
60108 Laboratory Management 4cp  
60116 Risk Assessment and Management for Science 2cp  
60106 Research Proposal Writing 2cp  
60118 Work Health and Safety for Science 8cp  
60109 Professional Science Document Writing 2cp  
60119 Science Business Models and Intellectual Property 4cp  
Select 8 credit points from the following:   8cp
65008 Crime Scene Investigation and Management 8cp  
65010 Forensic Toxicology and Drug Analysis 8cp  
65015 Forensic Science Research Internship Project A 8cp  
Spring session
60122 Forensic Science Thesis 1   24cp
Year 3
Autumn session
60123 Forensic Science Thesis 2   24cp

Other information

Further information is available from:

UTS Student Centre
telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
or +61 2 9514 1222
Ask UTS

Further information regarding honours, including available projects and the application process, can be found at:

UTS: Science, Honours