Digital Forensic Investigation

Study options

Award

MSc

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
25 Months
Start date:
20 September 2021

Get ahead of the curve

Use new tech employed to record crime scenes and analyse electronic evidence

Innovative software

Get access to technology employed by police forces

Expert academics

Taught by staff from both criminal justice, forensics and computing

This innovative award focuses upon the use of new technologies to digitally document crime scenes, analyse digital evidence as well as understand concepts of digital law. This emerging area is aligned with the rapidly changing face of forensic investigations around the world.

You’ll gain up-to-date knowledge for a career in this fast-moving area of forensic investigation. By using innovative software you’ll be equipped with the skills needed to collect, document, and interpret digital forensic evidence. In the final term, you’ll undertake an independent research project on a topic of your choice relating to this award.

Using real-world scenarios, you’ll apply theoretical understanding and knowledge to practical exercises in computer laboratories and at our crime scene house.

This award is ideal for professionals or graduates who may not come from a traditional computing science background and wish to obtain a broad range of knowledge and skills required to record crime scenes and analyse digital evidence using new technologies.

You’ll gain up-to-date knowledge for a career in this fast-moving area of forensic investigation. By using innovative software you’ll be equipped with the skills needed to collect, document, and interpret digital forensic evidence. In the final term, you’ll undertake an independent research project on a topic of your choice relating to this award.

Using real-world scenarios, you’ll apply theoretical understanding and knowledge to practical exercises in computer laboratories and at our crime scene house.

This award is ideal for professionals or graduates who may not come from a traditional computing science background and wish to obtain a broad range of knowledge and skills required to record crime scenes and analyse digital evidence using new technologies.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Digital Forensic Investigation

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Digital Forensic Investigation

Part-time study

You can take the full-time route, over 12 months, or a part-time route over 24 months.

Part-time study

You can take the full-time route, over 12 months, or a part-time route over 24 months.

There is no placement as part of this course. However, students may wish to take some form of relevant employment or voluntary work as part of their course. The Staffordshire Forensic Partnership could facilitate work placements for students.

There is no placement as part of this course. However, students may wish to take some form of relevant employment or voluntary work as part of their course. The Staffordshire Forensic Partnership could facilitate work placements for students.

Course content

This award is split between the School of Law, Policing and Forensics and the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts. You’ll take eight compulsory modules, including an independent research project. The postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma form the first two stages of the award.

At the certificate level, the focus is on the crime scene and the collection and documentation of evidence. You will also learn how digital forensics can be used as evidence in the British legal system.

At the diploma stage, you’ll further develop your subject specialist knowledge and skills and you’ll learn about advanced research methods, which are essential for the Independent Research Project module. 

For the MSc stage, you’ll carry out an independent research project in an area of interest or one chosen from a list of specialist topics aligned to industry needs.

This award is split between the School of Law, Policing and Forensics and the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts. You’ll take eight compulsory modules, including an independent research project. The postgraduate certificate and postgraduate diploma form the first two stages of the award.

At the certificate level, the focus is on the crime scene and the collection and documentation of evidence. You will also learn how digital forensics can be used as evidence in the British legal system.

At the diploma stage, you’ll further develop your subject specialist knowledge and skills and you’ll learn about advanced research methods, which are essential for the Independent Research Project module. 

For the MSc stage, you’ll carry out an independent research project in an area of interest or one chosen from a list of specialist topics aligned to industry needs.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Advanced Cybercrime Forensics Analysis 15 credits
Advanced Research Methods 15 credits
Cybercrime Forensic Analysis 15 credits
Forensic Investigation Project 15 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Independent Research Project 60 credits

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for the award are normally: An undergraduate degree (2:2) in Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Forensic Investigation, Policing and Criminal Investigation, Computing, STEM, or a related discipline. 

If students do not have the required qualification but have professional experience, we would encourage you to apply as we consider all applications on their individual merit.  Similarly, if you are unsure whether your degree would be appropriate, please contact our enquiries team who will be able to assist you

The entry requirements for the award are normally: An undergraduate degree (2:2) in Forensic Science, Forensic Biology, Forensic Investigation, Policing and Criminal Investigation, Computing, STEM, or a related discipline. 

If students do not have the required qualification but have professional experience, we would encourage you to apply as we consider all applications on their individual merit.  Similarly, if you are unsure whether your degree would be appropriate, please contact our enquiries team who will be able to assist you

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

GO

Careers

After completing the Digital Forensic Investigation MSc, you’ll be qualified to work in the following roles:

  • Digital forensic analyst
  • Digital investigator
  • Technical manager
  • Intelligence officer

Eager for more knowledge? Upon completion, you’ll be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Our teaching is delivered in the classroom and laboratory and is supported through the Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your learning wherever you are. Taught sessions on this course will include lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, and seminars. You will have the opportunity to work with technical pieces of equipment and software which will equip you with the key skills, understanding, and knowledge needed for employment in Digital Forensic Investigation.

We know that everyone learns differently. So, we use problem-based learning to help you apply your skills. 

For this course, you'll: 

  • Work with others on group work 
  • Delve deeper into subject areas in workshops and practical sessions.
  • Be expected to study independently 

You will also be assigned a supervisor to support you throughout your independent research project. 

Our teaching is delivered in the classroom and laboratory and is supported through the Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your learning wherever you are. Taught sessions on this course will include lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, and seminars. You will have the opportunity to work with technical pieces of equipment and software which will equip you with the key skills, understanding, and knowledge needed for employment in Digital Forensic Investigation.

We know that everyone learns differently. So, we use problem-based learning to help you apply your skills. 

For this course, you'll: 

  • Work with others on group work 
  • Delve deeper into subject areas in workshops and practical sessions.
  • Be expected to study independently 

You will also be assigned a supervisor to support you throughout your independent research project. 

Assessment

There are two types of assessments: practice (also called formative) or formal (also called summative). 

Practice assessments do not count towards your final mark. These are your chance to test your understanding – and learn how to improve for the real thing. 

Assessment is by coursework assignments. Coursework takes various forms including coursework, presentations, and the independent research project. There are no examinations on this award.

For the Independent Research Project, you will need to produce a project proposal, a manuscript for submission to a journal and a literature review, in addition to your laboratory notebook and regular meetings with your supervisor. 

There are two types of assessments: practice (also called formative) or formal (also called summative). 

Practice assessments do not count towards your final mark. These are your chance to test your understanding – and learn how to improve for the real thing. 

Assessment is by coursework assignments. Coursework takes various forms including coursework, presentations, and the independent research project. There are no examinations on this award.

For the Independent Research Project, you will need to produce a project proposal, a manuscript for submission to a journal and a literature review, in addition to your laboratory notebook and regular meetings with your supervisor. 

Learning support

Your lecturers and personal tutor will provide lots of support. However, you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with: 

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking, presentation skills) 
  • Written English (including punctuation and grammar) 
  • Academic writing (including how to reference) 
  • Research skills 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management) 

If you have additional needs, like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Enabling Centre is here to help ensure you reach your potential at Staffordshire University. 

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do in the form of verbal or written feedback. We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.  

We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do in the form of verbal or written feedback. We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.  

Your study time will include independent learning and assessments. It will vary depending on the module you are studying. Reading course material, and using this as the basis of further research, is essential. You can also use online resources to access primary scientific literature to find more detail on a technique and its application to forensic science and your chosen specialism.

Your study time will include independent learning and assessments. It will vary depending on the module you are studying. Reading course material, and using this as the basis of further research, is essential. You can also use online resources to access primary scientific literature to find more detail on a technique and its application to forensic science and your chosen specialism.

Independent learning

Even though this is an on-campus award, you will be required to apply a disciplined approach to independent learning and self-study.

We know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve: 

  • Reading journals, articles and books 
  • Working on independent and group projects
  • Researching in the library 
  • Preparing coursework 

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer or a lab, you’ll have access to it at Staffordshire University. 

Materials to support your learning are delivered through Blackboard, and considerable emphasis is placed on your ability to evaluate the suitability of literature in relation to the tasks you have been set.

Even though this is an on-campus award, you will be required to apply a disciplined approach to independent learning and self-study.

We know it’s important for you to discover things on your own terms. This could involve: 

  • Reading journals, articles and books 
  • Working on independent and group projects
  • Researching in the library 
  • Preparing coursework 

We’ve invested in state-of-the-art facilities to help you make the most of your private study time. Whether you need a library, a computer or a lab, you’ll have access to it at Staffordshire University. 

Materials to support your learning are delivered through Blackboard, and considerable emphasis is placed on your ability to evaluate the suitability of literature in relation to the tasks you have been set.

Staff

You will be taught by professionally qualified staff.

Dr Kirsty Squires

Senior Lecturer

Kirsty is the Course Leader for MSc Forensic Science and MSc Digital Forensic Investigation and primarily teaches in the areas of forensic anthropology and statistics.

Kirsty's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 20 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,085 per course £14,500 per course

For the course starting on 20 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £4,028. per year of study

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software
  • The use of all specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.
  • As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software
  • The use of all specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Text books are available from the library, but some students choose to purchase their own copies
  • Travel costs
  • Printing
  • Any optional field trips
  • Text books are available from the library, but some students choose to purchase their own copies
  • Travel costs
  • Printing
  • Any optional field trips
Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,222 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time 20 September 2021 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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