Exciting new Master’s degree in Forensic Sciences offered by UCT

University of Cape Town is launching a new MSc (Med) (Biomedical Forensic Science) in 2012. This is a first for any South African University and a qualification sorely needed in South Africa. Graduates will be part of a selected group of Scientists with advanced training, laboratory and legal expertise who can manage and develop forensic laboratories as well as conduct high impact research.  As is well-known, there is a dearth of forensic scientists in the country and while the state forensic science laboratories are trying to cope with the workload, the staff seldom has the time or the training to conduct high quality scientific research.  There is a definite need to establish forensic research units in the various disciplines that constitute the complex field of forensics. Tertiary institutions are ideally suited to conduct such high impact research and train these much needed scientists.

The programme UCT will be launching in 2012 is an integrated, multidisciplinary Master’s course and will address the lack of post graduate trained forensic scientists as well as provide the foundation for research in this field from a South African perspective.

Admission requirements: BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Microbiology, Biology or Physical Anthropology, Human Genetics or an approved alternative 4-years BSc (or equivalent) or expert in field (RPL)

Length: 2 years Full Time or 4 years Part Time


• To equip students with advanced scientific knowledge, laboratory and legal expertise and leadership skills at an MSc level. • To equip students with research skills to contribute to the national and international body of research in laboratories, death and crime scenes.


Forensic Pathology: cause of death; theories of crime and victimisation; criminal justice system; expert witness testifying.

Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology: retrieval and study of human remains;  decomposition of soft and hard tissue; archaeological protocols;identification of age, sex and biographic features of human skeletons.

Forensic Toxicology: appropriate toxicological specimen collection; transport, preparation, analysis of most major toxic agents; reporting on findings.

Molecular Forensics: DNA analysis of crime scenes; quality assurance in molecular forensic laboratories; knowledge to provide expert molecular testimony; microbial pathogenesis and bioterrorism.

Applied Forensic Science: integrate and apply knowledge gained to case simulations from a crime or death scene through to the courtroom appearance.

Quantitative Research Methodology: prepare research proposals; use quantitative methods; cooperate as a team in research protocol development.

Minor Research Dissertation: select a topic in which he/she has a particular interest.

Click here for more information, or if you interested in applying for this MSc, please contact Dr Marise Heynsat UCT on marise.heyns@uct.ac.za or tel (021) 406 6604.

9 Responses to “Exciting new Master’s degree in Forensic Sciences offered by UCT”

  1. Peter says:

    I am a masters degree holder in Physiological sciences at WSU (SA), I would like to apply for the 2016 academic year. When is the closing date and how do one apply. Lastly I would like to know if there are any bursaries available.

  2. aneasthesia says:

    thank you UCT fir the new course,am a finalist Bsc. Forensic science student in kenya and would like to do masters in either molecular forensics or forensic toxicology…may i know if there are any scholarships or sponsorships you offer please.

  3. Kiruga says:

    I am a Kenyan in my last year of a BSc (Forensic Science) which sounds pretty much like the bachelor-equivalent of the MSc you are offering. Where can I get more information on your course? Fees, other requirements? from Kiruga

  4. Omenogor Smith says:

    Am interested in this discipline,how do i apply cuz am in my final BSc.Microbiology hope 2 get d necessary info.Thanks in advance.

  5. Awoyyemi Abayomi O says:

    This is awsome, but when will the next admission (2012/2013)commense for(international) master students?

  6. Awoyyemi Abayomi O says:

    This is awsome, but when will the next admission commense for(international) master students?

  7. Ronny says:

    I think this is a great thing that finally S.A has a forensic science masters degree being offerred in UCT.I will be very glad to be part of it, since I am currently doing my fourth year in B.Sc (med.sci).

  8. Suvina says:


    I am very interested in this course. Im going to be doing my 3rd year of my Bsc in Chemistry and Biochemistry next year. I would like to know what would be a better honours degree for the new forensic course that is being offered. Would it be better to do honours in Chemistry or Biochemistry and does UCT offer both of these and what is the duration of the honours?

    Thank You