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Forensic Computing and Security

Forensic Computing and Security MComp

Combine your interest in solving crimes with computing on this fascinating course which involves detecting, preserving and presenting evidence from computers and mobile devices. You’ll develop an understanding of hardware, operating systems and communications software, attention to detail, creative problem-solving and investigative skills and an appreciation of computer threats and counter-measures and relevant legal issues. Forensic analysts require a high level of technical expertise, an understanding of computer-related crime, an appreciation of relevant law, a methodical approach to investigation, and the ability to explain complex technical ideas simply. The skills you will develop on this course can lead to careers in digital forensic analysis or in systems management and computer security.

In the first year, you develop practical skills in software design and development, computer technology and a range of modern applications, and in managing small computer systems. You practise communication skills needed by forensic analysts. The common first year enhances your general computing knowledge and gives you the experience to ensure you have chosen the specialist course most suited to you.

Our common first year allows you to transfer to other computing courses, e.g. Computer Network Technology, Information Systems Design, Internet Software Development, Software Engineering, or Multimedia Development.

IT makes commerce and industry more efficient and effective, but also encourages and hides many crimes. As organisations become more dependent on sophisticated computers and communication to manage valuable data, they become more vulnerable to IT-based attacks. Moreover, the internet crosses international boundaries, making it easier to commit crimes but more difficult to identify and prosecute offenders. Forensic analysts play an important role in investigating and recovering from incidents. They use systematic methods to preserve, collect, and analyse digital evidence to reconstruct or anticipate crimes or abuse of company policies. They use sophisticated tools to investigate and interpret the evidence and present results clearly and fairly. Analysts require a high level of technical expertise, an understanding of computer-related crime, an appreciation of relevant law, a methodical approach to investigation, and the ability to explain complex technical ideas simply.

 


 

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The Forensic Computing degree was a great choice for me. I gained valuable skills and knowledge in computing and the discipline of digital forensics. The learning experience at UCLan was of high quality and covered a wide range of industry relevant skills which prepare you for your first graduate role.

The course focused on core computing concepts (databases, security, hardware, operating systems, programming and networks) and a wide range of modules covering forensic aspects such as data preservation, chain of custody, hardware, digital investigations and analysis techniques. The university also embedded employability skills throughout by giving me many opportunities to focus on some of the softer skills that most employers require.

Armando Nardo

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This course develops the specialist skills and knowledge required by the forensic analyst. This expertise may also lead to careers managing corporate IT resources, or as an information security specialist protecting servers and computers, and tracking intruders on networks. The course prepares you for many careers in computing because it develops a detailed understanding of computer systems, software development skills, logical reasoning, presentation skills, and an understanding of legal issues. This practical course uses the School’s communications and systems labs and a dedicated forensic computing lab, which has a range of analysis tools used by Police and commercial forensic analysts. A team project and a final-year individual project provide the opportunity to apply your skills to complex problems.

 


 

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I decided to take the forensic course mainly due to the broad array of avenues the course would allow me to follow after graduation. While the course concentrates on the forensic principles, this would not be possible to undertake without having knowledge in all avenues of how a computer, network, peripherals and the end user work.

I am currently employed as a business analyst, which I would not have been able to do without the experience gained through the course and for the hard work and dedication the lecturers provide. I enjoyed the course throughout and found it challenging every step of the way. I was attending the course full-time and was also a full-time carer for my wife. I worked part-time and if it wasn’t for the support of the university, my course leader and lecturers I would not have succeeded.

Andrew Irvine

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years, Sandwich: Five years

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    MComp

  • UCAS Code:

    FC10

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Fees 2018/19

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

  • View 2017/18 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Course Overview

Year 1 and 2

  • Introduction to Networking
  • Computer Systems and Security
  • Computing Challenge
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Interactive Applications
  • Programming
  • Systems Analysis & Database Design

  • The Agile Professional
  • Computer Security
  • Digital Evidence and Incident Response
  • Mobile Device Evidence and Investigation
  • Digital Forensic Tools and Standards

One of the following:

  • Advanced Programming
  • Network Management
  • Database Systems

Year 3 and 4

  • Digital Forensic Investigation
  • Penetration Testing
  • Computers, Society and Law
  • Double Project

One of the following:

  • Wireless and Mobile Networks
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Science Communication
  • Internet Application Development
  • Interacting with the Internet of Things
  • Human Computer Interaction and User Experience

  • Digital Security
  • Advanced Topics in Security
  • Information Security Management
  • Critical Analysis
  • MComp Project

Late Applications

Opportunities

You can take a one-year industrial placement after completing your second year. Most placements are UK-based, but we regularly place students in English-speaking workplaces elsewhere in Europe. It is possible to study a year of the course at a university abroad.

This course develops the specialist skills and knowledge required by the forensic analyst. This expertise may also lead to careers managing corporate IT resources, or as an information security specialist protecting servers and computers, and tracking intruders on networks. It prepares you for many careers in computing because it develops a detailed understanding of computer systems, software development skills, logical reasoning, presentation skills and an understanding of legal issues.

Many graduates seek careers as forensic analysts, security professionals or computer system managers, while others will work as software developers. The technical and interpersonal skills developed on the course will help in many graduate-level careers, particularly with the Police and other investigative agencies.

Professional Accreditation

The course has accreditation leading to MBCS, CITP and partial CEng exemption from the British Computer Society, the computing professional body.

Learning Environment

We emphasise practical-based learning using purpose-built laboratories and the University's general computer rooms. Our laboratories allow you to use specialist software and to do things that would not be allowed on a public network, e.g. configuring networks, exploring computer viruses or testing system security. We use the specialist software used by the Police and other forensic investigators. This includes a range of investigative software and multi-processor password cracking software. Where possible, we make software available for your own PC.

You will use an online learning environment to facilitate flexible learning. This environment enhances traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions by providing additional, resource-rich, online materials allowing you to continue learning independently. You will have directed work to do outside timetabled classes.

Visiting fellows from industry will help you develop your skills, and you’ll get the opportunity to undertake a professional expert witness training course.

The course is assessed using individual coursework assignments, group work, presentations and exams, which may be seen or unseen. There is a practical emphasis with the main contribution to your degree classification coming from coursework.

Important Information

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

* Tuition Fees

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.