This course, which uniquely combines forensic genetic and conservation genetic elements within one of the largest forensic science academic departments in the world, runs in conjunction with other well established and popular MSc courses. Students will learn the fundamentals of molecular genetics, population genetics and phylogenetics that underpin the disciplines of forensic and conservation genetics and develop both theoretical knowledge and practical application.
Small cohort sizes will allow the use of a diverse range of assessments and the provision of considerable student support. Teaching will be carried out using a combination of lectures, tutorials, practicals, computer workshops and self-directed study. In addition to six taught modules, students will undertake a three-module research project which will develop laboratory and research skills. Depending on availability, students may also have an opportunity to visit and gain field experience at the Maasai Centre for Field Studies in Kenya.
The minimum entry requirement is an honours degree of 2.2 or above from a UK university (or its equivalent) in an appropriate discipline eg, biology, zoology, animal conservation, forensic science, genetics. Typically, our students have a 2.1 degree or higher qualification.
Research Methods: Trains students in a wide range of skills including technical documentation, project management, library use, data analysis and retrieval, and writing and research skills.
Forensic Genetics I: Introduces the principles, methods, and techniques of molecular biology that are relevant to DNA profiling.
Forensic Genetics II: Familiarises students with current DNA profiling techniques and the analysis/interpretation of DNA profiles. Students will develop a critical understanding of the procedures involved in DNA profiling through the analysis of mock cases.
Evaluation of genetic data: Centres on the statistical analysis and interpretation of genetic data, and on the evolutionary and population genetics that influence the frequencies of these markers.
Laboratory Management and Quality Assurance: Students work in a small group and develop protocols and quality assurance procedures for a consultancy in their specialist field. They will also undertake simulated casework and present their findings.
Conservation Genetics: Provides students with an insight into fundamental concepts of conservation genetics and the application of appropriate genetic analyses of wildlife conservation and wildlife forensic science.
Research Project: Every student will undertake a research project, which will utilise and develop many of the skills learnt on the course. The project will be entirely based within the University or in an approved collaborating institute.
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