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

    How do you want to study?

    Duration:

    4 years

    UCAS code:

    FG4F

    Location(s):

    Canterbury
    Apply via UCASBook an Open Day

    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.

    Our foundation year option enables you to join the Computer Forensics and Security course even if you don’t have the formal qualifications or experience to meet the entry requirements. It equips you with the knowledge to move into formal degree study, setting you up for future success.

    Why study Computer Forensics and Security with Foundation Year?

    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. BREXIT and COVID19 has resulted in an increase in Cyber crime activities.

      All about the course

      During the foundation year, you'll gain the skills needed to study at degree level and you'll learn about key aspects of computing:

      • programming concepts
      • working with hardware
      • working with software
      • computing in society
      • mathematics or advanced mathematics.

      You'll also carry out a programming project.

      If you currently have a pass at GCSE in mathematics, or equivalent, you may take the Advanced Mathematics module which, on successful passing of the foundation year, would mean you are eligible to progress onto your chosen degree (Computer Forensics and Security, Computer Science, Business Information Systems, Computing, or Software Engineering).

      If you do not currently have a GCSE in mathematics (or equivalent), you must take the Mathematics module. If you are not confident in your mathematics capability, but do have a GCSE mathematics or equivalent, you may take the Mathematics module. Students who take this module can progress to the Business Information Systems, Computer Forensics and Security, Computing, or Software Engineering degrees only (i.e. not computer science).

      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.

      All through the course, you'll gain experience through hands-on learning from on and off campus and on-line learning. You will collaborate on group projects, typically sourced from industry or akin to problems in industry. Your groupwork will be supported through the use on-line tools and on-line project management solutions. You'll also develop skills enabling you to:

      • work effectively and supportively in diverse and inclusive groups
      • communicate effectively in groups and one to one
      • apply project management to group-work
      • apply principles of commercial management and consideration of wider issues.

      Each year builds on previous knowledge and understanding to reach an advanced standing in the area and you'll be supported and 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 will have the opportunity to take in your third year a placement, providing you meet the requirements; can identify and secure a placement opportunity, with the support from the computing team. A placement will provide you with the further opportunity to develop your skills as a practicing computing professional, a personal development plan and evidence of your abilities for your future employers. 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 guest speakers and computer security conference these will typically be on-line.

      Entry requirements

      Qualification type

      Grades

      A Levels EEE
      BTEC PPP
      Access Pass 45 Credits
      International Baccalaureate 24 points
      Combinations A combination of qualifications totalling 32 UCAS points minimum

      Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

      For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

      More information about entry requirements.

      32
      UCAS Points

      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 that 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.

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

      Dr Ian KennedyProgramme Director

      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.

      Fees

      The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

        UK** Overseas***
      Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £9,250 £14,500
      Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £14,500

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

      * The tuition fees of £9,250 / £14,500 relate to 2022/23 only. Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

      **Home (UK) Fees

      The fees above are for the 2022/23 academic year but may be subject to change following any announcements by the UK Government (approved by Parliament) regarding maximum Undergraduate tuition fee caps for 2022/23.

      In addition, the University reserves the right to increase all full-time and part-time Undergraduate tuition fees mid-course, in line with any further inflationary increase in the Government tuition fee cap which is approved by Parliament. The University will publish information about any changes to tuition fees on its website.

      ***Overseas Fees (including EU fees):

      Undergraduate Overseas tuition fees for International students are not subject to the Government’s regulations on maximum tuition fees.

      Students with an Overseas fee status will be eligible for an International student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500, which will be applied to all Full-time Undergraduate courses with a tuition fee of £14,500.

      Students with an EU fee status will be eligible for the EEA Transition Scholarship. Further details can be found here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/fees-and-funding/international-student-fees-and-funding

      Diamond Jubilee Scholarships and Bursaries

      To celebrate 60 years of transforming lives through education new cash bursary and scholarship opportunities are available for students starting a degree in September 2022. See full details.

      Regulated by the Office for Students

      The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

      Apply now

      Duration:

      4 years

      UCAS code:

      FG4F

      Location(s):

      Canterbury
      Apply via UCAS

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