Note: This course is not available in 2024.

Course overview


This course enables students to undertake a combined PhD (in their chosen discipline) and Master of Forensic Science.

Course title
Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Forensic Science
Award abbreviation
PhD, MForSc
Course code
Course type
Combined postgraduate (coursework only and thesis only)
Not available in 2024
Administered by
Faculty Office - Science; Graduate Research School

Course details

Intake periods
Beginning of year only
Attendance type
Full- or part-time (Student visa holders should read Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 for more information.)
Credit points required
A standard full-time load is 24 points per semester.
Standard course duration
4 years
Time limit
8 years
Delivery mode
Locations offered
UWA (Perth)
Domestic fee type
Available to international students
Yes. For information on international student fees see 'Student Procedures: Fees'. (Enquiries:
Visit the fees calculator.

Prospective students should see the Future Students website for details on admission requirements, intake periods, fees, availability to international students, careers information etc.

No study plans found for this course. See study plans for more information.

Course structure

Key to availability of units:
Semester 1
Semester 2
summer teaching period
not available in 2024 – may be available in 2025 or 2026
to be advised

Take all units (42 points):

AvailabilityUnit codeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
S1FNSC5611Ethics and Research Methods in Forensic ScienceNonelectures: 2–3 hours per week; practicals: 1–2 hours per week; seminars: 6 x 2 hours
S1FNSC5612Forensic Anthropology I—Introductory Theory and Method
enrolment in
the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Anthropology 72280
or the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Anthropology 72380
or the Master of Forensic Anthropology 72580
lectures and labs: 40 hours (2–3 hours per week)
 FNSC5613Introduction to Forensic Chemistry
 FNSC5619Forensic DNA Analysis
 FNSC5620Expert Testimony Part 1
 FNSC5623Advanced Expert Testimony Part 1
 FNSC5630Expert Testimony Part 2 (3 points)
 FNSC5633Advanced Expert Testimony Part 2 (3 points)

Take unit(s) to the value of 24 points:

AvailabilityUnit codeUnitnameUnit requirementsContact hours
 FNSC5518Forensic Science and Policing
 FNSC5520Criminal Behaviour
S1FNSC5614Forensic Archaeology—Theory and Method
enrolment in
the Graduate Certificate in Forensic Anthropology (72280) Graduate Diploma in Forensic Anthropology (72380)
or Master of Forensic Anthropology (72580)
lectures/tutorials/practicals/a final examination: 50–60 hours
S2FNSC5615Medicolegal Death Investigation
FNSC8503 Forensic Pathology, FNSC8561 Forensic Entomology
lectures: 2–3 hours per week; labs: approx. 2–3 hours per week.
 FNSC5616Digital Imaging in Forensic Science
 FNSC5617Forensics and Information Technology
 FNSC5618Special Topic in Forensic Science
S2FNSC5626Forensic Anthropology II—Advanced Theory and Method
FNSC5612 Forensic Anthropology I—Introductory Theory and Method
lectures: 9 x 3 hours per week; practicals: 9 x 3 hours per week

See also the rules for the course and the Student Rules.


Note: This course is not available in 2024.

Applicability of the Student Rules, policies and procedures

1.(1) The Student Rules apply to students in this course.

(2) The policy, policy statements and guidance documents and student procedures apply, except as otherwise indicated in the rules for this course.

Academic Conduct Essentials and Communication and Research Skills modules

2.(1) Except as stated in (2), a student who enrols in this course for the first time irrespective of whether they have previously been enrolled in another course of the University, must undertake the Academic Conduct Essentials module (the ACE module) and the Communication and Research Skills module (the CARS module).

(2) A student who has previously achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the CARS module is not required to repeat the module.

(3) A student must successfully complete the ACE module within the first teaching period of their enrolment. Failure to complete the module within this timeframe will result in the student's unit results from this teaching period being withheld. These results will continue to be withheld until students avail themselves of a subsequent opportunity to achieve a passing grade in the ACE module. In the event that students complete units in subsequent teaching periods without completing the ACE module, these results will similarly be withheld. Students will not be permitted to submit late review or appeal applications regarding results which have been withheld for this reason and which they were unable to access in the normally permitted review period.

English Language competency requirements

3. To be considered eligible for consideration for admission to this course an applicant must satisfy the University's English language competence requirement as set out in the University Policy on Admission: Coursework.

Admission requirements

4. To be considered for admission to this course an applicant must have—

(a) had a PhD proposal approved by the Board of the Graduate Research School;


(b) an honours degree of at least 2A level or equivalent and have completed the first year of the course leading to the degree of Master of Forensic Science.

Admission ranking and selection

5. Where relevant, admission will be awarded to the highest ranked applicants or applicants selected based on the relevant requirements.

Articulations and exit awards

6. This course does not form part of an articulated sequence.

Course structure

7.(1) The course consists of units to a total value of 60 points.

(2) Units must be selected in accordance with the course structure, as set out in these rules.

Satisfactory progress

8. To make satisfactory progress a student must pass units to a point value greater than half the total value of units in which they remain enrolled after the final date for withdrawal without academic penalty.

9. A student who has not achieved a result of Ungraded Pass (UP) for the Communication and Research Skills module (the CARS module) when their progress status is assessed will not have made satisfactory progress even if they have met the other requirements for satisfactory progress in Rule 8.

Progress status

10. A student who fails to make satisfactory progress under Rule 8 is assigned a progress status of 'Excluded' unless the Faculty decides otherwise in light of exceptional circumstances.

11. A student who does not make satisfactory progress in terms of Rule 9 is assigned the progress status of 'On Probation', unless they have been assigned a progress status of 'Suspended' or 'Excluded' for failure to meet other satisfactory progress requirements in Rule 8.

Award with distinction

12. To be awarded the degree with distinction a student must achieve a course weighted average mark (WAM) of at least 80 per cent, which is calculated based on —

(a) all units above Level 3 attempted as part of the course that are awarded a final percentage mark;

(b) all relevant units above Level 3 undertaken in articulating courses of this University that are awarded a final percentage mark;


(c) all units above Level 3 completed at this University that are credited to the master's degree course.


13. Applicants awarded admission to the course are entitled to a deferral of up to 12 months, as per the University Policy on: Admissions (Coursework).

Additional rules
Time limit

14. Unless the Faculty on the recommendation of the Director of the Centre for Forensic Science approves otherwise, students must complete the units required under Rule 7 within four calendar years from the date of first enrolment in the combined course.

Submission of research proposal and thesis

15.(1) A student who is permitted to enrol in terms of Rule 4(a) must submit a full research proposal to the Board of the Graduate Research School no later than 31 October in the year of their commencement of candidature if enrolled full-time or within nine months of their date of commencement if enrolled part-time.

(2) A student must, before submission of the thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, complete the Master of Forensic Science component as set out in Rule 7.

Qualification for award

16. A student who completes the units required under Rule 7 and completes the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy will qualify for the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Forensic Science.