Forensic Chemistry

You will focus on the use of instrumental analysis to identify and characterise pieces of evidence. Skills ranging from sample collection, presumptive testing, synthesis, mass spectrometry will be developed, optimised and applied. Other subjects include statistics and toxicology

Courses and training sessions

The programme includes modules in Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Mass Spectrometry, Forensic Toxicology and Statistics. You will receive hands-on laboratory training in Mass Spectrometry.

You will also participate in a specially designed Synthesis and Analysis of New Pharmaceutical Substances practical that combines synthesis and profiling with GC-MS, which is very important in Forensic Investigation.

Also, speakers from the international forensic working field will give guest lectures in relation to work field orientation.


In addition to the modules and training sessions, you will carry out a research project. You will work in small groups to stimulate the exchange of ideas and co-operation. Once you have carried out literature research and produced a practical project proposal, you will spend at least 10 full working days in the laboratory. i.e. twenty 4-hour time blocks.

Examples of past research subjects

  • metal and organic traces in gunshot residue
  • illicit drug laboratory waste dumping
  • colorants in accelerants
  • dating of blood stains.


The Forensic Chemistry programme is worth 30 ECTS credits in total. This is equivalent to a study load of 30 times 28 study hours, or 20 calendar weeks.

This exchange programme is part of the Forensic Laboratory Investigation major, which in turn is part of the Bachelor of Chemistry at the Avans School of Life Sciences and  Technology in Breda, the Netherlands.