IT will be the crime writing course for those who want to develop a forensic grasp of detective fiction.

A new Scottish university course is offering aspiring crime writers the chance to learn how to write detective fiction, as well as learns about the realities of forensic science.

Scotland has long had a history of producing successful crime writers such as Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, and Val McDermid, and even has its own crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland in Stirling.

Now the new MLitt course at the University of Dundee has been established to encourage more post graduate students to learn about the realities of murder and its aftermath.

The University has strong links with crime writing already - Ms McDermid, who has an honorary degree from the institution, has previously worked closely with Professor Sue Black of the university, one of the UK's leading forensic anthropologists.

The MLitt in Crime Writing and Forensic Investigation course will start in September and is designed "for anyone who has always wanted to write a crime novel."

On the course, the university will use experts from its school of humanities, as well as its Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHID) to teach students about aspects of crime, science and the law.

The University said the programme will be the only one of its kind in the UK and will combine modules in creative writing, the history of forensic science and the inner workings of a crime investigation.

The course notes say it will enable writers to "get the skills needed to create an imaginative piece of writing making use of forensic cultures, histories, investigation and evidence" as well as "gain a postgraduate qualification in creative writing on a course that is distinctive in its approach and teaching, highly creative, and designed to fit around your individual writing needs."

Dr Aliki Varvogli, a lecturer on the course, said: "This is a course like no other.

"Students with a passion for all kinds of crime writing will benefit from the world-leading expertise of our colleagues in forensic science, while they will also learn about the history of policing and forensic technologies.

"The crime genre is becoming more accepted as serious literature by critics and the most borrowed books from libraries are crime novels.

"This course is for anyone who has ever wanted to write a crime novel.

"If I wasn't teaching on it, I'd like to take it myself."

One of the co-founders of Bloody Scotland, the international crime writing festival, the author Lin Anderson, said: "Alex Gray [the author] and I both did the Diploma in Forensic Medical Science at the University of Glasgow, so a combination course of creative writing and forensics

sounds fabulous.

"Don't tempt me to sign up."

Professor Tracy Wilkinson, from CAHID, said: "We're really looking forward to working with our colleagues in Humanities to offer this exciting new programme, which combines the expertise in creative writing and forensic science at our university."

Other academics teaching the course will be Dr Lucina Hackman, a Certified Level 1 Forensic Anthropologist accredited by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

She is also a registered expert practitioner in forensic anthropology on the forensic expert database of the National Crime Agency.

At this year's Bloody Scotland festival, Professor Black will be on stage with crime writer James Oswald at

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival picking their way through the entrails of his new Inspector McLean mystery.