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BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing & Security

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  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    G550
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing & Security is ideal if you are particularly interested in a career involving computer forensics and/or computer security. Computer forensics and computer security is an expanding field, covering not only computers but other computing systems such as mobile devices, satellite navigation systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This course will give you the skills and knowledge that is necessary to excel in the security and/or forensics industry.

On this course, you are supported by academics with considerable experience in the security industry. The Cyber Security Research Group (BUCSR) are actively engaged in cutting edge research, and you will be encouraged to participate in a range of co-creation and co-publication projects, drawing on the expertise and knowledge of not only the staff within our department, but also other colleagues from across the university and experts from other institutions in the UK and Europe.

Our innovative approach to your learning opportunities will see you engaging in a series of practical, industry focused tasks, aimed at ensuring you graduate with the full range of relevant, up-to-date skills necessary to succeed in the cyber security profession. What's more, this course is accredited by the British Computing Society (BCS). To be awarded Chartered IT Professional status from BCS you will need to complete a year of further learning beyond graduation and meet other criteria, details of which can be found on the BCS website.

We understand that computing is a diverse subject and that it can be difficult to know what area you’d like to specialise in at this stage in your career. That’s why all of our courses within the computing framework share a common first year, giving you the time to really explore the subject before deciding on a specialism. There are courses that allow you to keep a relatively wide focus, as well as degrees that provide a greater level of specialism, giving you plenty of flexibility when it comes to which direction you want your career to take.

This course forms part of BU's framework of computing alongside the following other courses:

You only need to apply for one of the courses in the framework. If you change your mind and would prefer to study a different course within the framework, you will have the opportunity to change your final degree title during your study with us.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

4 years full-time with a minimum 30-week placement or 3 years full-time. You will be enrolled onto the 4-year degree, but can opt out of the placement year

Accreditations:

The British Computer Society

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components) or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Principles of Programming: Covers the fundamental skills required to implement software solutions. Lab sessions will focus on the application of concepts to real-world problems, and you will test and debug a given program using a suitable strategy.
  • Computer Fundamentals: Enables you to understand the concepts and terminology of computer systems and computer security. You will do this through group based lab exercises where you will collaborate with other students focusing on problem based learning. This unit sets the foundations for you to further develop your knowledge of computing and cyber security.
  • Data and Databases: Develop your knowledge and practical expertise in the application of database design techniques, as well as your understanding of data processing.
  • Networks and Cyber Security: Learn the fundamentals of networks and how to secure them using security controls such as firewalls and intrusion detection & prevention systems. Understand how evolving technology, such as the cloud and IoT, impacts many organisations and how it facilitates their network security.
  • Application of Programming Principles: Having completed the Principles of Programming unit, you will use your knowledge to gain an insight into more complex system development. Lab sessions will allow you to complete team based exercises.
  • Business Systems Analysis and Design: Learn and understand the role that computer systems play within organisations, and the value they provide to stakeholders. You will have the opportunity to design, construct, and evaluate interactive systems to meet an organisation’s needs.

Year 2

Core units

  • Digital Forensics Fundamentals: Introduces you to the science of digital forensics and provides technical skills to manage a digital crime scene. Practical sessions will focus on developing skills to recover digital evidence from hard drives.
  • Ethical Hacking & Countermeasures: Will provide you with opportunities to develop skills in ethical hacking, and associated security techniques and practices. Practical sessions help you gain insight (via practice) of the relationships between security and social and technical techniques used to compromise that security.
  • Enterprise Security and Privacy: This unit provides a detailed picture of the security and privacy issues surrounding an enterprise, i.e. an entity that incorporates business, information and technology and where its value is greater than the sum of its parts. We will cover a number of services found in a modern organisation and an emphasis will be given to services outsourced in a cloud environment. This emphasis is motivated by the fact that cloud security has been ranked as the greatest challenge of business engagement with cloud service provision.
  • Project Management & Team Working: You'll gain experience of working in a team on an IT systems development project, which will prepare you for work placement in Year 3.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): You will be given state-of-the-art skills and understanding on the need for real-time monitoring and analysis of network hardware and software data feeds in order to provide security intelligence, rapid incident response, and data driven compliance reports.
  • Tools & Technologies of Data Science: Understand the challenges of Big Data analysis, including ethical, legal and professional implications. Gain knowledge of the most significant computing tools and technologies for dealing with Big Data: Hadoop and noSQL databases, MapReduce programming and other algorithm parallelization approaches.

Year 3

You'll complete a minimum 30-week industrial work placement which can be carried out anywhere in the world. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Year 4

Core units

  • Advanced Digital Forensics: This unit builds on the knowledge of Digital Forensics Fundamentals and will introduce you contemporaneous issues and challenges of digital forensics. It will provide the competence to identify the history of events that lead to incidents and reconstruct attacks that organisations often face.
  • Security by Design: Today security is still an afterthought instead of a vital element in system design, often being considered after the realisation of a threat. This unit provides you with the opportunity to ‘build security into’ both the design and specification of secure systems, and the broader socio-technical context within which they are situated.
  • Individual Project: You will pursue a topic of your choice, demonstrate your ability to study independently and work toward the realization of an artefact that focuses on cyber security and/or digital forensics. The project is a significant piece of work, and will provide invaluable transferable skills. 

Option units

  • Business Continuity Management: You will be introduced to the wider topic of resilience, which is the ability of an organisation to keep functioning during and after an attack, incident or natural disaster.
  • Cyber Situational Awareness: Cyber security managers should be capable of constructing and understanding the threat landscape in their organisations. Cyber situational awareness is an interdisciplinary, evolving complex topic requiring co-ordinated synergy between technical capabilities and human competencies. The aim of this unit is to provide the learner with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage cyber situational awareness as a main component in the development of a Security Operations Centre.
  • Cybercrime, Forensic Law & Practice: Examine the subject from the criminal angle and investigate the history and causes of cybercrime through the experiences of victims and law enforcement. You will also consider the technologies that stand behind certain cybercrimes, namely malware (viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, etc.), email spamming and denial of service (DoS) attacks, and consider how to handle a digital crime scene.
  • Information Assurance: This unit will introduce you to the management of risk and trust in Information Strategies, Operations and Systems. You will critically evaluate information assurance and security plans, select and execute relevant assurance techniques, as they apply in distributed and non-distributed environments.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

This is a very hands-on course and in addition to timetabled lectures and seminars, our students have 24/7 access to dedicated facilities which include the latest hardware and software tools, e.g. for virtualisation, physical and virtual networking, programming, Linux, Windows 7, Android development, as well as dedicated general-purpose facilities. We are members of Microsoft DreamSpark. 

Year 1 – 33% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 407 hours
  • Independent learning: 793 hours

Year 2 – 23% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 380 hours
  • Independent learning: 820 hours

Year 3 – Placement year

Final year - 11% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 162 hours (estimated)
  • Independent learning: 1038 hours (actual)

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 71% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams. Our computing courses are very practically based, and therefore assessed in a manner appropriate to the subject. Many units will require you to work as part of a team.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

View the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing & Security.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

The experience that you will gain during your placement is invaluable in helping to make informed decisions about your future career path, as well as enhancing employment prospects upon graduation. What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market. Many of our students find that they are offered permanent jobs after graduation by their placement companies. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

Many new graduate positions are taken by people who have already had work experience as part of a course. Employers increasingly expect would-be recruits to have some kind of work experience, without which they are unlikely to be considered, regardless of their qualifications.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30 weeks. We have a dedicated placement support team to to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • Aston Martin
  • Dyson Appliances Ltd
  • IBM
  • Barclays Bank
  • British Aerospace.

Your application

Background and experience

For this course we are looking for applicants who are:

  • Analytical
  • Technical
  • Practical
  • Creative.

This is a predominantly technical framework, especially in the first year, which is common to all the degree titles in the framework, and in the second year core units. Therefore you will need to have a deep and abiding interest in computing and IT, and in the use of computer technologies to create effective and efficient solutions that meet the needs of the end users.

You will need to be hard-working and committed to your studies, be a good team player, and able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: General Studies

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiry team to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiry team. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 112 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104-112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Principal Subjects

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires 112 tariff points
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 28-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Highers: 104-112 tariff points from a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-level or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components) or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through  Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

Foundation Certificate for Computing
 

Careers

This degree will provide you with a broad range of technical computing knowledge, as well as allowing you to specialise in the forensic aspect of computing, covering investigation and IT security. This will make you a diverse professional who is equipped to take on a variety of roles once you graduate.

Our graduates are highly sought after, with 88%* in a professional/managerial position within six months of completing their course. According to a recent report by the Economist, BU is ranked 3rd for boosting graduate salaries in Computer Science. In 2014, our graduates earned an average of £33,500: £7,224 more than the expected earnings. There are a number of career paths open to you, but those specialist to forensic computing and security include:

  • Police forensics investigator
  • Forensics consultant
  • Security adviser for business continuity
  • Information security analyst
  • Security systems analyst.

This course is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and you will also have the chance to complete Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification courses during your degree, making use of the facilities and resources at the BU Cisco Certified Local Networking Academy.

Industries worked in

  • Cyber security
  • Technology
  • ICT
  • Forensic computing.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Meet our staff

Professor Vasilis Katos

The Head of the Department of Computing & Informatics, Vasilis is a certified Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) and has experience as an Information Security Consultant. He has served as an expert witness in Information Security for a criminal court in the UK.

Dr Alexios Mylonas

Alexios is the program leader for BSc (Hons) Forensic Computing and Security. His teaching and research focuses on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. Before starting his academic career he was a security consultant working within VeriSign's PKI Trust Network.

Huseyin Dogan

Dr Huseyin Dogan is a Senior Lecturer in Systems Engineering and Human Factors. Course manager fo rall the undergraduate computing programmes, Huseyin has eight years' experience working for BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre and Military Air & Information. Dr Dogan is co-leading the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research group.

Michael Jones

Michael has extensive experience with a number of UK higher education institutions. Dr Jones's main research interests are in the development of tools and techniques to support learning in the area of digital investigations. 

Read more about the expertise of other members of the Department of Computing & Informatics, and register now to come along and meet some of them.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

14.11.17

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees

£790

30/9/17

Changes to all core and option units for students starting in September 2018 onwards

Course details

See Programme Specification for details
03/03/2017

Change the assessment of the Information Assurance unit from 50% examination and 50% coursework to one single 100% coursework element (5,000 words)

Programme specification 50% examination, 50% coursework
06/09/2017

104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements

The entry requirements for this course are 104-120 tariff points from 3 A-levels.

06/09/2017

GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

2018 entry requirements

This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

What employers think

Detective Superintendent Mark Callaghan

Cyber-crime is a fast growing area with criminals exploiting the speed, convenience and facelessness of the internet to commit a range of criminal activities.

What our students say

Harrison South

This course is focused on the real world, how you’re going to be able to apply it in a practical sense.

Hear from our staff

Dr Christos Gatzidis

It’s important not to disregard the impact of a BU education on an individual such as attention to deadlines, professionalism, facilitation of organised teamwork, and many others.

Facilities & opportunities

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Cyber Security Unit

Find out how our expertise in the field of cyber security could enhance and improve your business.
British Computer Society logo

British Computer Society

This course is accredited by the BCS. You have the opportunity to be awarded Chartered IT Professional status from BCS which will require a further year of study beyond graduation. Further details can be found here.

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open day walking courtyard

Open Days and tours

Discover what makes our Open Days and tours so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

Purbeck House common room

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.