The BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics will give you the skills to manage a forensic case and perform detailed technical analysis of computer-based evidence. Data stored on digital devices reveals what we do and where we have been. Authorities can use this information to identify and convict people who break the law. This means that skilled professionals who can gather and interpret digital data are in high demand, and this BCS-accredited Computer Forensics course produces such professionals.
You’ll study the computer forensic process, tools and procedures, computer forensic and digital evidence, criminology, cryptography, information security, and computer crime. By graduation, you’ll be able to manage a forensic case and perform technical analysis of computer-based evidence. The University is also recognised as a Centre of Excellence for information security and computer forensics by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
Key areas of study include:
You will have 16 hours of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions each week. You will also spend four hours per week, per module, on coursework, general reading and other preparation.
You’ll be trained in courtroom skills and learn how to give evidence in a court of law from the Bond Solon legal training consultancy. You will also learn how to collect, write and present evidence under cross-examination in our mock courtroom. Upon successful completion of the Bond Solon course, students receive a certificate from Bond Solon on “Excellence in Report Writing, Written Evidence”.
You will also have the opportunity to achieve AccessData Certified Examiner status as part of your studies, which is an industry-recognised qualification.
Assessment methods include examinations, coursework and problem-based exercises taught using real-life scenarios.
This degree gives full exemption from the examination requirements of the British Computer Society and is BCS accredited to Chartered Information Technology Practitioner (CITP) level.
We have our very own Digital Investigation Lab. This computer forensic facility is typical of those used by law enforcement agencies and commercial organisations to analyse computer files and other digital media for use as evidence in the courtroom.
We have recently opened a Cyber Security Suite. The facility houses a suite of computer labs, a seminar room, a dedicated server room equipped with the latest high-powered kit, and a brand new forensic investigation lab where you can run a diagnostic of a computer hard disk under digital microscopes.
There is also a range of high-specification computer labs and an ongoing investment programme to ensure that our facilities stay at the forefront of computing developments.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
Grade C and BC at A Level
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level
60 credits overall to include 45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 15 Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Employment prospects are excellent. Computer forensics jobs are often available in law-enforcement agencies, military and government intelligence agencies, and private security and consulting companies and the rise in demand is set to continue.
To improve your employment prospects, we also strongly recommend you spend up to a year working in industry at one of a variety of organisations in the UK or abroad. This can often lead to employment opportunities with your placement company.
The University has excellent relationships with industry, with students undertaking placements with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Home Office Scientific Development Research Branch (London), GCHQ, Qinetiq, Cy4or, financial services, international banks, the Office for National Statistics, computer forensics companies and various government departments. We also have strong links with security agencies and local police forces.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.