MSc Computer Forensics

Computer forensics is a rapidly expanding area, leading to an increasing demand from industry for qualified forensic examiners. Our MSc Computer Forensics degree will prepare you for a career in computer forensics and IT security, either at a technical or managerial level.

The University of South Wales is the only university in Wales to gain the prestigious certification from GCHQ, the UK Government’s Communications HQ, for its Masters course in Computer Forensics. You will be taught by an internationally recognised team from the University’s Information Security Research Group and external speakers contribute to delivering the latest expertise and developments. The University is also recognised as a Centre of Excellence for information security and computer forensics by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

Study Mode
2017
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
2018
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Treforest A
Part-time 2 Years September Treforest A

Forensic computer analysts may be involved in a range of investigations, such as online fraud, digital espionage, counter-terrorism, possession of illegal imagery and information theft. A typical investigation would involve identifying and securing computer equipment, followed by the application of forensic methods and specialist computer programmes in pursuit of evidence. Tasks include recovering data from digital media, analysis of records to establish the location of a device, uncovering data trails, careful documentation of the investigation, presenting findings and acting as an expert witness in court.

  • Computer Forensics and Crime Investigation (20 credits)
    To synthesise knowledge of the tools, techniques and practices associated with computer forensics. To develop the student’s ability to apply computer forensics principles to a range of problems.
To evaluate, analyse and synthesise different solutions to a range of computer forensic issues.

  • Forensics Techniques and Data Recovery(20 credits)
    To cover at an advanced level a number of both practical and theoretical principles regarding Computer Forensics and data Recovery for a range of different sources.

  • Network Security (20 credits)
    To enable students to evaluate, synthesize and validate the identification of security issues and their associated impacts against devices and protocols that make up networks and distributed systems.

  • Security Management (20 credits)
    To provide a knowledge of the tools and techniques available to secure and manage, in a meaningful manner, an information system.
To develop the students’ ability to manage the security of an information system at a strategic, tactical and operational level.

  • Incident Management and Incident Response (20 credits)
    To evaluate, analyse and synthesize the capability to perform incident management and incident response.

  • Project Management and Research Methodology (20 credits)
    To understand current developments in project management, its techniques and tools, and to determine and use appropriate ones in contexts where there are many interacting factors.

  • MSc Project (60 credits)
    To provide the opportunity for students to employ autonomy and originality in the application of their computing, award and research skills to a complex problem. To provide an opportunity for the student to investigate a topical, award relevant issue of their choice in some depth. To produce a justified solution to a significant problem that is informed by a critical review of research. To further develop the student's investigative, research, writing and presentation skills as a self-directed, autonomous learner.

Teaching

Full-time students will typically spend 12 hours in classes each week. If you choose to study part-time, this is reduced to around six hours each week. You will study through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, seminars and projects.

Assessment

You will need to spend a significant amount of time working independently, reading and preparing for assessments. While the style of coursework may vary, research-style papers or essays of around 4,000 words in length are typical. You will also work on a significant research project and a major project of your choice, where strong independent thinking, critical analysis and project management skills will be important.

Accreditations

The University of South Wales' MSc Computer Forensics degree gives full exemption from the examination requirements of the British Computer Society and is BCS accredited to Chartered Information Technology Practitioner (CITP) level.

Facilities

Our facilities are at the cutting edge of computer development, meaning you’ll use the latest technologies in high-spec labs. There’s a Digital Investigation Lab, which is a computer forensic facility typical of those used by law enforcement agencies to analyse computer files and digital media for use as evidence in court. The University of South Wales has become part of a project to train the next generation of computer security experts. You could join the fight against cyber crime in our National Cyber Security Academy and become part of the next generation of cyber security experts. You'll study in our Secure Operations Centre which has been designed to emulate the workplace.

Lecturers

This course is designed for graduates with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent. Entrants should normally be graduates in a computing or related area and have very good IT skills. The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £6000 
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU:  £670  per 20 credits.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

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 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.

Funding

As part of the to the National Cyber Security Programme, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is providing bursary funding for adults looking to retrain and start a new career in cyber security. The bursaries are for GCHQ certified courses only. USW has been working with DCMS and anticipate bursaries being available for our GCHQ certified MSc Computer Forensics course. Full criteria will be published shortly but the bursaries will be for career transitioners rather than students coming straight from undergraduate courses. Bursaries will be for tuition fees only. More information and expressions of interest should be sent to andrew.bellamy@southwales.ac.uk, course leader for Computer Forensics.

Apply directly to the University for this course.   

Admissions statement 

You will have had the opportunity to develop skills that strongly relate to the role of a forensic computer analyst or an information security analyst. These include problem solving, a systematic approach to work and an awareness of security standards and legislation.

Graduates of the MSc Computer Forensics degree will be well equipped for employment, including working for the police, security services, commercial sector, or organisations that specialise in computer security.

Our Careers and Employability Service

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.