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Undergraduate study
Computer and Digital Forensics

Computer and Digital Forensics BSc (Hons)

The BSc (Hons) Computer and Digital Forensics at Teesside University is ideal if you are interested in forging a career in computer security and forensics. Experts in computer and digital forensics have a key role to play in investigating, preventing and detecting crime, and countering terrorist threats.

 

FG45 BSc/CDF

Course routes:

 

Course overview

Accredited Foundation year Work placement

Digital forensics is a field undergoing significant growth - the real challenge for law enforcement is keeping up with the rapid pace of technological development. Mobile phones, iPads and the internet are being used to perpetrate crimes and terrorist activities, creating billion-pound losses, and threatening national and international security.

This course prepares you for the challenges law enforcement agencies face in keeping up with the rapid pace of technological development. It really is the future of crime.

Experts in computer and digital forensics have a key role to play in investigating and preventing and detecting crime, and countering terrorist threats. You learn about file formats, data recovery techniques, networking and routing, communication protocols and security, cryptography, reverse engineering and investigative techniques. You use industry computer forensic tools such as X-Ways, Magnet AXIOM, UFED Cellebrite, and Passware. You learn the techniques and processes that allow you to recover, trace and capture digital data, and gain experience in preparing and presenting data as evidence in court. You study in our state-of-the-art digital forensic laboratory, which is equipped with the same high performance forensic workstations and industry-standard forensic software typically found in a police digital forensic unit.

Top reasons to study this course at Teesside:

  • Industry links: work on live industry briefs, competitions and hackathons with companies including Cisco, Cubic Transportation Systems, Sage, TUI, Atombank, HMRC and Waterstons.
  • British Computer Society (BCS) academic membership: get free BCS membership to accelerate your career path with CV builder tools, e-learning courses, mentorships programmes, jobs boards and volunteering opportunities.
  • Career-ready: our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.
  • Quality teaching: 100% of BSc (Hons) Computer and Digital Forensics students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2023, tees.ac.uk/source).

Download pdf Order prospectus

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Campus Network Design and Security

Study network design solutions and current trends in network design including the increased demand for bandwidth and wireless solutions. Get hands-on experience using key network simulation software. You also cover security threats, their solutions, assessing and managing security risk, legal requirements, and social and ethical issues.

This is a 30-credit module.

Digital Forensics

Study core threshold concepts in forensic computing and earn the skills you need to be a digital forensic technician. You learn and develop a skillset based on industry professional practice requirements. You consider investigation principles and develop your knowledge of how computers store data.

This is a 30-credit module.

Intelligence and Digital Investigation

You study the principles of digital intelligence, digital investigations, digital crime and the underlying principles of cyber crime. And you look at where you can find digital sources of evidence and intelligence. You also look at their structure, content and value to an investigation, as well as the surrounding legal and ethical implications of using this information. Finally, you consider relevant approaches to examining and interpreting intelligence sources.

This is a 30-credit module.

Secure Computers and Networks

Cover a full range of computer and network security issues. Study systematic approaches to managing security risks, identification and authentication, elementary cryptography, network technology and relevant security issues. Learn about the basic network technology including deploying routers, switches, firewalls, cabling and servers as well as communication protocols and topologies. And understand how they're used and how they function in the real world.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Year 2 core modules

Enterprise Project

You develop a solution, proposal, product or service in response to an enterprise challenge set by industry partners or business clients.

Working in small teams, you determine the project aims, objectives, roles, tasks, deliverables, schedules and documentation. You take a professional approach, informed by innovative industry practice, to deliver a successful project that meets the set challenge.

You develop a solution, proposal, product or service, pitching it to academics and industry experts. You reflect on the project process as a whole and review sustainability, diversity, ethical and legal issues, and evaluate team members’ performance.

This is a 30-credit module.

Internet Crime Investigation

Examine the principles of investigating crimes committed using the internet. Learn to investigate topics such as examining online activity, cyber crime and electronic social engineering. And consider how to investigate a person’s online and digital presence to get valuable intelligence leads from the data you examine. Focus on digital imagery and social media, and the data you can leverage from these technologies.

Develop practical skills and theoretical knowledge that can help you work in open-source intelligence, victim identity investigations, online child sexual exploitation investigations, and other child protection roles.

This is a 30-credit module.

Mobile Forensic Investigations

Learn how to investigate data on mobile devices including digital imagery, social media and an individual’s online footprint. Develop your knowledge of the principles you need to examine mobile devices and their attached storage media, and other portable digital devices. And learn how to effectively investigate cases involving these devices.

This is a 30-credit module.

Operating System Forensics

You study common desktop operating systems and how digital data is stored within them. Develop the knowledge and skills you need to analyse storage media, operating systems and file systems, using common underlying principles to carry out investigations. You also study common operating and file system-specific artefacts as sources of evidence or intelligence in a digital forensic investigation.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Computing Project

Produce a substantial artefact related to the computing field, and write a report and commented walk-through video, with supervision from our academic staff.

You are guided to develop your work-discipline and your professional outlook. Taking full responsibility for your project, carry out an in-depth exploration of a chosen subject area that demonstrates your ability to scope the project, plan, research, analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply and execute what you've already studied. Consider its risks, security and sustainability as well as the legal, social, ethical, equality, diversity and inclusion issues.

You develop your professional skills in time management, communication, problem solving and critical thinking.

This is a 60-credit module.

Digital Forensics: Crime Scene to Court

Explore the digital forensics lifecycle, from crime scene through to the courtroom. You get an insight into the complex investigative approaches associated with examining digital evidence. You consider how practitioners approach a digital investigation, exploring investigative strategies, techniques and best practices for acquiring, analysing, interpreting and reporting digital evidence.

You work in groups to create a digital forensic problem scenario containing mock evidence and a problem brief outlining what's been done. Each group swaps scenarios and, as individuals, you examine your allocated case and report on your findings. You see the complexity of digital data and investigations, and mimic real-world investigative processes and procedures.

There is a professional practice theme throughout which includes the relevant codes of conduct, quality standards and accreditation to give you the key information and skills you need in a forensic practice career.

This is a 30-credit module.

Emerging Technologies and Advanced Digital Forensics

Digital forensics is a constantly changing discipline. You explore current issues and emerging trends and technology, and how they impact on digital forensic professional practice. Learn advanced digital forensic techniques so that you are employment-ready and can horizon scan throughout your career.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You gain the knowledge, understanding, experience and practical skills appropriate to computer and digital forensics through a range of independent and self-directed teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops (including oral presentations and poster sessions), laboratory work, computer laboratory-based sessions, group projects and research projects.

You experience a number of contact teaching and assessment hours, you spend time on your own in self-study time to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to ten hours of learning and assessment (contact hours plus self-study hours). During one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment

Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment (VLE) site.

How you are assessed

You may be assessed through:

  • formal exams including 'unseen' exams
  • court/case reports
  • evidence portfolios
  • technical reports
  • computer-based assessments
  • problem-solving exercises
  • oral presentations and technical interviews
  • collaborative project work
  • preparation and display of posters
  • planning, conduct and reporting of project work<.li>


You also have the opportunity to present evidence in our on-campus court room.




Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

96-112 points plus maths GCSE grade 4, Level 2 Key Skills (Application of Number) or Level 2 Functional Skills.

If you have Level 4 credits in a related subject from previous study, then credit transfer towards your new course may be possible.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator. If your qualifications are not listed, contact our admissions team as we may accept alternatives.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Winter and Summer University modules.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Graduates can gain employment in a wide range of companies, government organisations, security services and the financial sector to name just a few. There are opportunities with forensic science agencies, the police and HM Revenue & Customs, as well as in computer security and forensic intelligence. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work with Cleveland Police, North Yorkshire Police, Greater Manchester Police, and Sapphire.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser

 
 

Professional accreditation

The Forensic Science Society This course has been accredited by The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Other course routes

Foundation year

Study this course with a foundation year if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1.

BSc (Hons) Computer and Digital Forensics (with Foundation Year)

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements

Full-time

Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: FG45 BSc/CDF
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 6 years if entering in Year 1, 4 years if entering in Year 2
  • Attendance: Timetable governed - please contact our admissions office
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 

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    Husnain Imran

    Husnain Imran

    BSc (Hons) Computer and Digital Forensics

    I use the skills I learned at university in my everyday work and will continue to use them throughout my career.

    Meet Husnain

     
  • Employer quote

    Simon Janes, Operations Director, Computer Forensic Alliance1

    ... we interviewed nearly 30 people for this position and the two Teesside University graduates stood out head and shoulders above everyone else.

     
 
 
 

ExpoTalent 2020

See highlights from Teesside University’s ExpoTalent 2020 – showcasing the next generation of talent from our School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies.

 

Get in touch

UK students

Email: scedtadmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 738801


Online chat (general enquiries)

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


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