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Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: MSc
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Life Sciences
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Forensic Archaeology is the specialist application of archaeological techniques to the search and recovery of evidential material from crime scenes, often but not always related to buried human remains.

This course is taught by staff with extensive crime scene experience who regularly work on a range of operations and are at the forefront of the professional development of the discipline.

The course will:

  • Provide you with advanced practical, analytical and interpretative skills in forensic archaeology
  • Provide training in discipline skills to enable graduates to pursue careers in Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Prepare students for careers in non-cognate fields through emphasis on team working and application of a wide knowledge base to problem solving

This course combines approaches from different disciplines to provide students with a comprehensive forensic skill set.

It is essential that forensic archaeologists are able to appreciate their role within a wider police investigation and have a detailed understanding of crime scene management procedures.

Forensic Archaeology in the United Kingdom is rapidly developing and recognised as a distinct discipline by the Home Office Forensic Science Regulator. Bradford staff have been actively involved in defining skills matrices for use by the Institute for Archaeologists as part of the process of professional regulation.

Find out more about the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences.

QS World University Rankings 2017


"Learning from tutors who are doing the job you want to do is very inspirational."

Jenny Clifton
MSc Forensic Archaeology & CSI, 2015

Why Bradford?

  • The course is underpinned by modules on English Law delivered by University of Bradford School of Law
  • The course provides hands-on experience utilising simulated complex, multi-scene crime scene scenarios and is based upon direct case experience by the principal tutors working with UK police forces
  • Flexible design means that the MSc award can include either a substantial research dissertation or a period of enhanced professional training
  • The course can be studied full-time over 12 months or by flexible study up to 5 years

Entry requirements


  • 2:2 or above in a relevant discipline, from either the humanities or sciences (e.g. archaeology, anthropology, forensic sciences, law, etc)
  • Other relevant qualifications and past experience will also be considered
  • For North American students, normally a GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 is required, or an equivalent

English language requirements:

IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The taught elements of the programme have a focused structure that covers the key areas within forensic archaeology and is based upon direct case experience by the principal tutors working with UK police forces. There is a strong emphasis on hands-on experience utilising simulated crime scene scenarios.

Students can either chose to undertake a substantial individual research dissertation or students can alternatively take part in a simulated, complex, multi scene investigation that will require high level skills in co- operative working, scene management and information synthesis plus complete substantial research and writing assignments that require advanced level academic writing skills.

  • Professional Development Core (20 credits)
  • Law for Expert Witnesses Core (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Forensic Archaeology and Forensic Anthropology Core (20 credits)
  • Crime Scene Investigation Core (20 credits)
  • Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation Core (20 credits)
  • Forensic Taphonomy Core (20 credits)
  • Dissertation Option (60 credits)

The MSc award can be obtained with enhanced professional training (MSc without dissertation) in which case, the following modules are taken instead of the Dissertation:

  • Advanced Fieldwork Programme for CSI Option (30 credits)
  • Independent Research Papers for CSI Option1 (30 credits)


Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

Graduates from this programme have gone on to work in law enforcement (both as Police Officers and Scene of Crime/Scientific Support), Forensic Science as well as commercial archaeology with enhanced skill sets.


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Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU - £7,960
  • International - £18,480

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

Fully funded Archaeology studentship

We have one Master's Studentship Award available for students starting their course in September 2017.

The award, linked to the AHRC Heritage Consortium, will provide funding to a high quality applicant. The funding will allow you to focus on developing high level skills and competencies for research and professional practice. The studentship, valued at £8,933, will cover the course fee and provide an attractive maintenance award subject to eligibility criteria.

Please see our Scholarships database for details of all available scholarships.

You may also be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.