Key facts

Location:

Stoke-on-Trent Campus

Mode of attendance: Full-time / Placement
Duration: 3 years, 4 years (with a foundation year) full-time; 4 years placement
UCAS code: F142, F418 (with a foundation year), F141 (with a placement year)
Academic year: 17 September 2018 – 7 June 2019

Introduction

Our Forensic Computing degree covers areas like fraud investigation, litigation and auditing, as well as the wider field of computing hardware and software.

*The BSc (Hons) with a foundation year is subject to validation.

Our Forensic Computing degree covers forensic techniques that will enable you to investigate a range of digital media – from mobile phones, to PCs and smart devices of all types. Throughout the course, you will learn how to combine theory with practice as we prepare you for future work as a forensic investigator or analyst.

The course is ideal for those who want to work with private companies that specialise in forensic work with the police or in security-related industries. The University has a partnership with Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Police Forensics Division to support the delivery of the course – to give our students an exciting opportunity to be involved with digital forensics practitioners.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing

Work placements

If you choose to complete one of our sandwich courses with a work placement between the second and final years of the course, our placement staff will work with you to identify a suitable location for your work placement. Please also note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your work placement, and for any accommodation costs.

Course content

You will have the opportunity to take the EC-Council Ethical Hacker Certification, to gain the skills you need for careers in forensic computing. You will have access to our industry standard facilities that include the latest forensic hardware as well as dedicated labs to carry out your research projects. Our lab has its own private internal network, containing some of the latest equipment and software and is designed to emulate the conditions found within digital analysis laboratories.

Our student-led research group – Digital Forensics & Cyber Security – gives you the chance to develop your research skills, to propose and carry out research projects. You may also get to publish work in journals and at conferences.

We encourage students to undertake a placement year, with previous students working for a variety of organisations such as GCHQ, police high-tech crime units and cyber security businesses.

Modules

This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course.

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Before you can register on some optional modules, you may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules. Some module combinations may not be allowed.

Foundation Year

Semester 1
Module title
Introduction to Professional and Academic Skills Compulsory
Introduction to Web Technologies and Database Systems Compulsory
Introductory Mathematics Compulsory
Introduction to Software Development and Computer Systems Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Introduction to Professional and Academic Skills Compulsory
Introduction to Web Technologies and Database Systems Compulsory
Introductory Mathematics Compulsory
Introduction to Software Development and Computer Systems Compulsory

Year 1

Semester 1
Module title
Introduction to Digital Investigation Compulsory
Fundamentals of Computing and Maths Compulsory
Data Storage and Software Development Compulsory
Networks for Forensic Computing Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Introduction to Digital Investigation Compulsory
Fundamentals of Computing and Maths Compulsory
Data Storage and Software Development Compulsory
Introduction to Security Technologies Compulsory

Year 2

Semester 1
Module title
Digital Forensics - Tools Compulsory
Digital Forensics - Systems Compulsory
Biometrics in a Security Environment Compulsory
Ethical Hacking Optional
Advanced Programming Languages for Computer Systems Optional
Systems Programing with C++ Optional
Semester 2
Module title
Digital Forensics - Tools Compulsory
Digital Forensics - Systems Compulsory
Biometrics in a Security Environment Compulsory
Ethical Hacking Optional
Advanced Programming Languages for Computer Systems Optional
Systems Programing with C++ Optional

Year 3

Semester 1
Module title
Final Year Project I Compulsory
Research Methods for Computing Compulsory
International Aspects of Digital Forensics Compulsory
Professional Forensic Computing Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Final Year Project I Compulsory
Final Year Project II Compulsory
International Aspects of Digital Forensics Compulsory
Professional Forensic Computing Compulsory

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.