I have really enjoyed learning new skills that will help me progress into my future job as a forensic analyst. It’s great that a local university offers a perfect course for my needs.

Daniel

Overview

Computer forensics and security are dynamic and growing areas of computing. As cybercrime continues to rise, so does the need for computing professionals to nurture the skills to defend against and investigate it.

You'll study specialist computing forensics and security issues alongside broader computing topics, using a variety of the most up-to-date tools and techniques. With significant demand for skilled graduates in the fields of digital forensics and cybersecurity, this degree brings with it excellent career prospects.

Why study Computer Forensics and Security?

There has never been a better time for you to enter the computer forensics and cyber security profession. A recent report issued by Parliament on Cyber Security Skills and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure identified a UK crisis resulting from a high demand and low supply of talent.

Entry requirements

A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points. GCSE English and mathematics at grade C, or above (or equivalent) is required.

This degree is also available with a Foundation Year for those who do not meet the entry requirements above.

More information about entry requirements.

88-112
UCAS Points

All about the course

During the degree, you'll study specialist computing forensics and security topics, such as tracing online evidence, structure of popular file systems, recovery of digital artefacts and cybersecurity threats alongside broader computing topics.

Each year builds on previous knowledge and understanding to reach an advanced standing in the area and you'll be encouraged to develop as an independent thinker and solution finder.

You'll be working in the Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems along with programming languages such as C#, Bash and Python. A mixture of forensic and security tools such as Autopsy Forensic Browser, EnCase, X-Ways, FTK, XRY, Cellebrite, Metasploit, nmap and Wireshark will be used.

In the final year, you'll undertake a substantive piece of research in the Individual Study module. This will allow you to demonstrate your capabilities across the whole range of activities that you have been taught in the previous years as well as research new elements; this may include development of a small software artefact. You will also study some advanced areas in the field.

You may decide to the take placement option, allowing you to put your classroom knowledge into practice in Computer Forensics/Security in order to consolidate your skills and to enhance your employability prospects. There is compelling research by Jones, Green and Higson (2015) that shows that students who undertake placements also tend to perform more strongly academically on return from their placement in their final year of study.

We have also offered a number of paid summer student internships open to students to apply for. A previous opportunity involved two students who undertook a development internship with us to look at the production of a prototype healthcare system. This was used to demonstrate the capability of such a system to surgical teams in Kent.

We typically organise a small number of optional trips to places such as the National Computing Museum at Bletchley Park, as well as welcoming guest lecturers.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

The course uses elements of the pioneering CDIO (conceive, design, implement, operate) international engineering education model, developed by the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology. CDIO gives you a rich hands-on experience and some of your teaching will be done via real-world inspired projects.

You'll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical labs. You'll typically have around 12 contact hours per week (depending on your module choices) and are expected to also spend about 4 hours each week co-ordinating with team members on group activities. Lab work usually involves working in small groups where you can discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and put theory into practice.

You'll also have regular scheduled meetings, in addition to the above contact hours, with an assigned academic personal tutor.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending timetabled sessions, you'll continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves completing computer-based exercises, preparing for workshops and seminars, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, undertaking coursework assignments or preparing for class tests and examinations and reading journal articles and books. Your module leader will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For your final year Individual Study (dissertation), you'll undertake independent research and will be assigned a supervisor, who will guide you through your first substantial and independent work during regular scheduled meetings.

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours and an additional 25 hours of independent learning per week. In addition, there may be field trips.

For each 20 credit module, your study time will about 10 hours a week plus work on assessments or preparation for examinations. Assessments would normally be expected to take approximately 50 hours for an assignment worth 50% of a 20 credit module. A similar amount of preparation and revision time would be expected for an examination worth 50% of a 20 credit module.

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold Doctoral or professional qualifications (e.g. Member of the British Computer Society or Eur. Ing.). Find out more about the current teaching. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students assist in some teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the majority of lectures and seminars.

How you’ll be assessed

You'll be assessed largely by coursework and project work, though some modules will also have examinations or class tests. Coursework is mainly practically-oriented with appropriate theoretical elements to ensure a well rounded education. Assessments are generally individual, with group work in some modules where this matches the approaches used in industry.

We use coursework assessment methods based on their suitability for specific modules. Formative feedback is provided formally in Year 1 and during the Year 3 individual study, and informally in workshops and seminars.

Methods of assessment used include production of software artefacts, project plans and diaries, essays, reports, ‘investigation-based’ presentations, oral presentations, individual studies/projects, poster presentations, online assessment, logs, examinations and time constrained assignments.

Feedback

You'll receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

50% assessment
38% class test examination
13% debate

Your future career

As well as a breadth of technical skills, you will develop hugely important professional skills to enable you to engage successfully with employers and their business. The option to take a year in industry as part of your degree provides an immersive experience for you to enrich your technical and professional skills further.

Areas of work for the computer forensic/cyber security professional include, but are not limited to digital forensic investigation in law enforcement, the intelligence services (MI5), consultancy, financial services or healthcare. Staff at Canterbury Christ Church have real-life experience in all of these areas and are well placed to advise what practitioner life is really like at the operational end of cyber security work.

You will also have a strong grounding for further study on specialist Masters or Research (MPhil/PhD) programmes. This degree will stand you in good stead to work towards professional qualifications with a number of commercial providers and also those of the British Computer Society.

Our fantastic team is dedicated to making you feel at home and helping you transition into your new university life.

Dr Ian KennedyProgramme director

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - placement year £1,850 N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Apply now

Duration:

3 years

UCAS code:

FG45

Location(s):

Canterbury
Apply via UCAS
Any questions?

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+44 (0)1227 928000

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