University sparks interest with fire investigation course

The course – an MSc in Fire Investigation – is being run for the first time at the University in October, in collaboration with West Midlands Fire Service.

Over the course of the programme, students will learn how to gather evidence at fire scenes, how to determine what caused a blaze and how to write up insurance and coroners reports.

Entrants will be able to get hands-on, investigating simulated fire scenes at the Oldbury facility of the West Midlands Fire Service.

There they will be able to undertake a full investigation, looking at fire spread, burn and smoke patterns, evidence of accelerants and discuss the effects of fire and of human behaviour at fire scenes.

The course, which is either 12 months full-time of two years part-time, is open to anyone but entrants will be expected to hold at least an upper second-class honours degree in a subject appropriate to the course, such as a science qualification or engineering.

There is also the possibility for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to the MSc.

Completion of the course could lead to a number of career choices, including crime scene investigation or fire investigators working either independently or for fire services.

The course – which starts in October - is being run by Dr Raul Sutton, Head of the Forensic and Molecular Science Department at the University of Wolverhampton.

He said: “The University of Wolverhampton is one of only a few places in the country running this course, so it is a really good opportunity for students.

“Unfortunately, fires are always going to happen. There will always be a need to investigate these as the consequences of fires are extensive damage to persons and property.

“The mixture of theoretical and practical teaching and experience on the course means that students will be able to learn about techniques and try them out on an actual fire scene, giving them experience as well as knowledge.”

To apply for the course, visit http://www.wlv.ac.uk/ and, using the course finder on the left of the page, select “postgraduate” courses and look for “fire scene investigation”.

ENDS

For more information please contact Chris Jones in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: Friday 23 August 2013

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