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All you need to know about MSc Forensic Science


All you need to know about MSc Forensic Science

Last updated: 14 May 2020

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INTRODUCTION

The Master of Science (MSc) in Forensic Science degree is a comparatively new two-year post-graduate course in the criminal science subject Forensic Science. Forensic Science is the branch of criminal science which deals with the application of advanced scientific methods and strategies to solve crimes and legal issues that are carried out through the use of advanced diagnostic techniques, innovative testing kits, advanced instruments and tools, and unique chemicals and enzymes. The course is usually undertaken after a three- year BSc graduate degree program and prepares candidates for application, surveillance, and research-based careers in criminology, investigation, and police departments. The course provides in-depth knowledge about the applications of Forensic Science and emphasizes on the theoretical and practical concepts and the fundamentals of testing and diagnostic strategies and their various applications and uses. It involves the basic concepts of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. Important theories and basic applications are taught that help to analyse, identify, and infer critical points that are required to identify and capture criminals, identify genetic relationships, analyse crime scenes, carry out toxicology tests, and carry out handwriting analysis. Candidates are trained to apply their understanding and strategically use subject knowledge to catch criminals, analyse crime scenes, and perform laboratory diagnostic and analytical tests.

The course enhances personal skills like communication, leadership, strategic thinking, attention to detail, teamwork, logic, presentation, and analysis; and professional skills like planning and execution, problem-solving, critical thinking, research, analytical thinking, and reasoning.

SCOPE OF MSC FORENSIC SCIENCE

MSc Forensic Science graduates have multiple opportunities in the fields of Research, Science, and Criminology. Opportunities can be found in:

Students can contribute as Scientists in national laboratories and organizations like:

  • Indian Criminology & Forensic Science Association 
  • Indian Institute of Science
  • Indian Institute of Technology
  • National Institute of Criminology & Forensic Science (NICFS)
  • National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)
  • Forensic Science Society of India (FSSI)
  • Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre
  • All India Institute of Hygiene & Public Health
  • Indian Forensic Organisation
  • Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT)

Students can become Research Associates in research institutes like:

  • Institute for Plasma Research (IPR)
  • Bose Institute
  • Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL)
  • Anand Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Department of Science & Technology (DST)
  • State Forensic Science Laboratory
  • Consortium Scientific Research (CSR)
  • Directorate of Forensic Science services (DFSS)
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)

Students can become Research Assistants in laboratories and institutes of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) like:

  • Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB)
  • Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute (AMPRI)
  • Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB)
  • Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI)
  • National Institute of Science (NIS)
  • Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT)
  • Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB)
  • North - East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST)
  • Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS)
  • National Institute For Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST)
  • Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR)
  • Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC)
  • National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR)

Students can contribute in agricultural research services

Teaching positions in secondary and higher secondary schools, degree colleges, engineering colleges, and universities

Tutoring in Biology and Chemistry for reputed coaching institutes

Professional certifications in specializations like:

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Computer/Digital Forensics
  • Criminal Justice
  • Advanced Biological Chemistry
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Genomics and Proteomics
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Counselling
  • Forensic Nursing
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Criminal Scene Investigation and Management
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fermentation Technology
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Crime and Intelligence Analysis
  • Criminalistics

ADMISSION AND ELIGIBILITY

Colleges and universities offer admission on the basis of two main modes of admission:

  • Merit - colleges invite for Application Forms. Interested candidates can apply once the applications are open through entrance examination, group discussions, and personal interview
  • Management - students can go for Direct Admission

Important considerations for admission:

  • Marks in Bachelor’s degree
  • Qualification in competitive entrance examinations

Important points to consider for eligibility to do MSc Forensic Science:

  • Minimum 50% aggregate marks in Bachelor’s degree from any University in India or abroad recognised by UGC/AIU
  • Compulsory subjects – Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and English
  • Candidates who are in the final year of their studies and writing their final year examination with 50% aggregate marks in all the semesters/years of Undergraduate Examinations
  • Ratio based on both entrance exam score (85%) and academic record (15%) is considered for admission

COURSE CURRICULUM

The entire program of MSc Forensic Science is divided into two years with each year split into two semesters. In the two-year duration, 16 Theory papers and 7 Practical papers are covered with additional skill-enhancing programs and workshops. The course consists of:

  • The fundamental concepts, principles, and applications of Forensic Science
  • Important subjects and topics included: 
    • Bioinformatics
    • Biological Chemistry
    • Data Mining
    • DNA Extraction and Isolation
    • DNA Profiling
    • Environmental Forensics
    • Fingerprint Analysis
    • Forensic Accounting
    • Forensic Ballistics
    • Forensic Biology
    • Forensic Chemistry
    • Forensic Data Analysis
    • Forensic Law
    • Forensic Photography
    • Forensic Physics
    • Forensic Serology
    • Forensics Techniques
    • Forensic Toxicology
    • Genetic Engineering
    • Genomics
    • Handwriting Analysis
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Instrumental Methods – Biological, Chemical, and Physical 
    • Investigation Techniques
    • Molecular Biotechnology
    • Organic Chemistry 
    • Preservation
    • Proteomics
    • Questioned Documents
  • Practical classes consist of:
    • Dry Laboratory Techniques
    • Wet Laboratory Techniques
    • Scene Investigations
    • Dissertation
  • Electives are included for further specialization
  • Guided Dissertations and Projects for practical exposure
  • Certification and Foundation Courses for holistic development
  • Study Tours to reputed national laboratories, research institutions, and industries, under the supervision of the department
  • Seminars
  • Lectures by experienced faculty and scientists
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials and Brainstorming Sessions

QUALIFYING ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS

In order to get admission through Merit into reputed colleges in India, qualification in entrance examinations is important. The examinations may be national, state, and institution-specific. These examinations:

  • Are NOT mandatory but may be required for certain colleges/universities to be considered for the Merit category
  • Consist of objective type questions with MCQs
  • Syllabus includes 4 main sections:
    • English Grammar and Comprehension
    • Quantitative Reasoning
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Numerical/Graphical Analysi 
  • A maximum of 4 options will be given to aspirants
  • Negative marking may be present

FUTURE PROSPECTS

After successful completion of MSc Forensic Science course, students have many opportunities:

  • Research Associate in national and international research laboratories
  • Teacher, Professor, or Lecturer in schools, colleges, or universities
  • Research Scientist
  • Public and Private companies and MNCs
  • M.Phil. in Forensic Science
  • Ph.D. in Forensic Science
  • Diploma in subjects like Criminal Forensics, Forensic Toxicology, Crime Scene Investigation, or Forensic Pathology

INTERNSHIPS AND PROJECTS

The course curriculum of MSc Forensic Science includes opportunities for students to obtain practical exposure. Summer internships, dissertations, and project provide a strong foundation for a career in Research. Points to remember:

  • Students are trained to write a clear scientific report that includes a theoretical background, experiment description, presentation of methodology, analysis of results, careful interpretation and evaluation of data, and conclusion
  • The Research Project is an opportunity to get hands-on training and laboratory exposure

In the final evaluation, class assignments, end-semester exam results, internships, and project reports are taken into account for a candidate to earn their MSc Forensic Science degree.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Multiple career opportunities are available in public and private academic institutions, medical start-ups, hospitals, research laboratories, intelligence bureaus, private detective agencies, pharmaceutical companies, police departments, manufacturing companies, forensic science laboratories, defence/army corporates, law firms, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), MNCs, and medical industries.

Potential career roles:

  • Teacher
  • Research Scientist
  • Lecturer/Professor
  • Toxicologist
  • Corrections Officer
  • Research Analyst
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Consultant
  • Online Tutor
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • Compliance Officer
  • Forensic Science Project Mentor
  • Lab Assistant
  • Training Manager
  • Cyber Forensic Expert
  • Auditor
  • Research Associate
  • Research Scientist
  • Investigative Officer
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Quality Control Manager
  • Research Biochemist
  • Legal Counsellor
  • Clinical Research Associate (CRA)
  • Law Expert
  • Clinical Data Manager
  • Medical Coder
  • Regulatory Affairs Associate
  • Scientific Laboratory Technician
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Lab Technician
  • Medical Representative
  • Business Development Manager
  • Crime Reporter
  • Safety Specialist

POPULAR RECRUITERS

Graduates can find employment in many public and private companies.

Popular recruiters are:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Research Centers
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Baxter Research
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
  • Zydus Cadila
  • Accenture
  • Cipla Inc.
  • Biocon
  • Intelligence Bureau (IB)
  • Dr. Reddy Laboratory (DRL)
  • Boston Scientific Corporation
  • Cognizant
  • Bioceramics Limited
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Central Govt. Forensic Sciences Labs
  • Reliance Life Sciences
  • Wipro
  • Syneos Health
  • Wildlife Institute of India
  • Capgemini
  • Novartis
  • National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science
  • Tata Consultancy Services Limited

SALARY PACKAGE

Fresh graduates can easily get jobs in popular scientific research companies. Job positions start as Trainee and gradually proceed to Senior Associate/Scientist. With more career exposure, project experience, skills, and certifications, a salary hike of about 20% to 25% is guaranteed together with additional benefits and bonuses. The average salary after MSc Forensic Science ranges between 3 LPA to 10 LPA. The lowest salary expected (for a fresh graduate) is between 2.5 LPA to 3 LPA and with work experience increases to 15 LPA to 20 LPA.

CONCLUSION

MSc Forensic Science is a very popular yet new and upcoming criminal science course in India. The two-year MSc Forensic Science post-graduate course is designed to prepare students for a career in investigative research. The curriculum consists of strong theoretical concepts, practical experiments, and skill-building programs that create a balance between academics and practical exposure. This degree is available for students all over India and admission is subject to eligibility criteria. Multiple internships, project, and career opportunities are available in various departments, business sectors, and professional fields. Graduates are prepared for ANY type of job opportunity in the future.

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