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Computer Security
Undergraduate course
BSc (Hons)

Computer Security

International Scholarships available

Overview

With the emergence of internet-only companies and the increasing use of digital devices, protecting digital data and maintaining privacy has become an important issue. This course will teach you how to secure computer systems and networks and to test the security of existing systems.

You will develop your knowledge in three vital areas of security: offensive security, including penetration testing; defensive security; and the promotion of good practice, including the training of individuals and companies in the latest techniques and procedures designed to prevent digital security breaches. You will hack into systems in order to learn how to protect them using a variety of security practices, including passwords and usernames, firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

You will have access to a range of facilities that will allow you to put your learning into action. You will develop your practical skills within our sandbox network - a highly controlled lab environment where you can test your hacking and defensive skills, and explore malware.
You will be taught by a small team of passionate expert lectures who have a wealth of experience in academic research and in industry. Senior Lecturer Emlyn Butterfield has a number of years' experience as a digital forensic analyst, working as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases.

As part of our new Cybercrime and Security Innovation Centre teaching staff from your course are working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police to develop new ways of fighting the growing problem of cybercrime. This partnership will give you unparalleled access to cutting-edge research and industry contacts, in turn giving you an invaluable insight into the real-world applications of computer security.

You will have the opportunity to join the Ethical Hacking Society. The society explores the very latest developments in digital security and hosts regular talks from industry experts to further inform your learning and sharpen your expertise. You will also have the opportunity to attend conferences where you will be able to network with professionals and enhance your career prospects.

We understand that full-time study does not suit everyone. That’s why we offer courses which give you the opportunity to decide where, when and how you can get involved in learning. Studying a distance learning course offers the convenience and flexibility to make education work for you. Whether you’d like to fit your studies around childcare, develop your skills while working or, quite simply, want to learn from the comfort of your own home, we can help you gain a qualification at a time and pace that suits your lifestyle.

Like our students on campus, you will have the same excellent teaching and learning resources, however you’ll find these online instead of in a lecture theatre. Not only are all the modules taught online, but you will also have access to an online community and more than 140,000 books and journals in our online library.

Visit our Distance Learning Website

Course Features

  • Placements
  • Sandwich year
  • Specialist facilities
  • Real-life projects
  • Study abroad option
  • Expert careers service
  • 24/7 Library
  • University accommodation
  • TEF Silver Award
Play School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017 Video
School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017
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Life in Leeds
 

Entry Requirements

CLEARING
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

CLEARING ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Places available on this course through Clearing. Please call us on 0113 812 3113 to discuss your qualifications, skills and experience. We are interested in hearing from students who are passionate about the subject and we will assess your application on a range of factors including, but not limited to, your performance in examinations and assessments.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.

International Baccalaureate

24 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Mature Applicants
Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website.

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

CLEARING ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Places available on this course through Clearing. Please call us on 0113 812 3113 to discuss your qualifications, skills and experience. We are interested in hearing from students who are passionate about the subject and we will assess your application on a range of factors including, but not limited to, your performance in examinations and assessments.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.

International Baccalaureate

24 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Verify your qualifications
If you are an international student, we can help you to compare and verify your qualifications. Please contact our International Office on +44 (0)113 812 1111 09.00 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs / 09.00 to 16.30 Fri GMT or email internationaloffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Need to improve your English Language skills?
Don't worry if you don't have the level of English required for your chosen course. We offer a wide range of courses which have been designed to help you to improve your qualifications and English language ability, most of which are accredited by the British Council. Check your English and find out more about our English courses.


More questions?
No matter what your questions, we are here to answer them, visit our International website to get more information and find out about our online open days.

Careers

Josh Price

Careers

Josh Price

BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics

“The support I received from my lecturers was amazing and they opened my eyes to a career in forensics. The opportunity to do a work placement in my second year was really exciting.

Teaching and learning

Develop your understanding of computer security, with an underpinning knowledge of forensics and the broader computing area. You will be well-versed with the two subject areas and be in a position to perform forensic analysis and/or implement computer security mechanisms into any business or organisation.

The tabs below detail what and how you will study in each year of your course. The balance of assessments and overall workload will be informed by your core modules and the option modules you choose to study – the information provided is an indication of what you can expect and may be subject to change. The option modules listed are also an indication of what will be available to you. Their availability is subject to demand and you will be advised which option modules you can choose at the beginning of each year of study.

You will explore the core frameworks of computing technologies and develop essential skills in the use of computer systems along with the associated security issues.
Overall workload
Clock icon
290 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
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910 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Examination This could include a timed examination, take-away paper, formal presentation or viva-voce examination or a set exercise, quiz or multiple choice test.
15%
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
33%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
52%
Core Modules

Explore the foundations of computer forensics and security by studying evidential processing, basic analysis techniques, and the commands and process used within a security assessment.

You will be introduced to the fundamentals of computer programming, including variables and data types, understanding sequence, selection and iteration, basic algorithms, and structured programming and reuse.

You will develop, deploy and evaluate a website, enhancing your knowledge of current standards, languages, emerging technologies, internet protocols and web security.

Extend the basic knowledge of programming you have gained on the fundamentals module by focusing on the concept of object oriented programming and its associated design techniques.

Discover the stages involved in the development of database systems and acquire database modelling and implementation skills. You will also examine the ethical and professional issues associated with the database development process.

Examine the principles involved in making information sharing possible, efficient and secure. You will gain an understanding of the techniques that networking protocols use to achieve successful communication, including error detection and recovery, multiplexing and security protection.

Undertake a minimum of three specialised modules in Computer Forensics & Security, which allows you to further progress your understanding of process and analysis techniques. The choice of option modules allows you to diversify, adding extra avenues to your employability upon graduation.
Overall workload
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224 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
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976 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
57%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
43%
Core Modules

The next stage in your understanding of digital forensics, this module will examine the various legal aspects of forensics and explore the tools and file systems that are available for analysis.

Building on your understanding of digital security, this module will examine various security mechanisms, both physical and policy based, and give you practical experience of hacking and prevention.

Develop an in-depth practical understanding of the analysis techniques and tools used by forensic examiners.

Look at the major business challenges and threats that are introduced when an organisations network is connected to the public internet. You will discover how hackers access online networks and how firewalls and VPNs can be used to provide security.

Further your professional and entrepreneurial skills by working within a small group to design, develop and present a solution to a real or case-study based problem.

Option modules may include:

Build on your experience of designing and implementing databases and apply your database application development and programming skills to build robust applications.

Explore the design and development of dynamic websites. You will examine the design process alongside an introduction to server side web development, enabling you to build a well designed, interactive site.

Focus on advanced programming techniques and study concepts including exception handling, defining interfaces and use of collections. You will also look at other topics such as analysis of algorithms.

Study three masters-level specialised modules in Computer Forensics & Security, which focus on advanced topics in these fields. You will also undertake a major dissertation project which encompasses significant research, planning and the production of a product.
Overall workload
Clock icon
167 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
Clock icon
1033 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Examination This could include a timed examination, take-away paper, formal presentation or viva-voce examination or a set exercise, quiz or multiple choice test.
10%
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
60%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
30%
Core Modules

Enhance your knowledge of how to manage information security, and detect and respond to security incidents. You will learn security monitoring techniques, methods for recovering from security breaches and investigation methods to identify the specifics of what has occurred.

Develop your practical and theoretical experience of a wide range of security defences, exploring security schemes and techniques for protecting and confining users, programs, systems and networks.

The culmination of your course, the production project allows you to study an area chosen by you in significant depth. You will develop a product, ideally for an external client, and evaluate both the product and your own performance throughout the process.

Option modules may include:

Take a practical perspective on the domain of data and database development and management. You will seek to justify and implement appropriate modelling, design and programming strategies that satisfy the requirements associated with a range of modern data/database applications.

Focus on current developments, standards, tools and technologies within the area of internet application systems. You will learn to build professional web-based systems using a variety of current techniques.

Extend your programming skills and knowledge to a more advanced level and develop transferable programming and design abilities which will permit you to confidently work within industry.

Investigate the architectures, platforms and techniques available to build applications for mobile devices.

Explore the latest developments in intelligent systems, and particularly, the ways in which they are applied or could be applied in various contexts, including smart cities, health, business and manufacturing.

Investigate, identify and evaluate available technologies to minimise the energy consumption and environmental impacts of computing resources within an organisation.

Cliffe Schreuders
Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders
Reader
Cliffe is Senior Lecturer in Computer Security and Director of the Cybercrime and Security Innovation (CSI) Centre. Cliffe teaches on computer security topics, and is passionate about providing our students with the opportunity to put theory into practice. He leads a number of externally-funded research projects, has a strong publication track record, enjoys programming to create novel solutions to challenging problems, and is a proponent of open source development and free culture.
Everyday life involves digital devices - we are surrounded by technology which enables cybercrime. We work closely with local partners, including West Yorkshire Police, to identify and help solve the issues they face when tackling cybercrime and gathering digital evidence.
Play School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017 Video
School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017
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Life in Leeds
 

Fees & funding

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £9250. The amount you will pay may increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation.
See further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our Bursaries and Scholarships.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • All software used on the course if a student version is available

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • Accommodation / travel / commuting costs incurred during any placements
    (Payments for these costs should be negotiated as part of the placement itself, or considered as any other normal outgoing while working would be. Placements are usually paid)

Course-specific optional costs

  • A laptop running Windows 10
    (Laptops can be borrowed from the university for free should you choose not to purchase your own and all computer labs at the university run Windows 10)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £12000. The amount you will pay is fixed at this level for each year of your course.
See further information on fees and finance on our Financing Your Studies webpage.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • All software used on the course if a student version is available

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • Accommodation / travel / commuting costs incurred during any placements
    (Payments for these costs should be negotiated as part of the placement itself, or considered as any other normal outgoing while working would be. Placements are usually paid)

Course-specific optional costs

  • A laptop running Windows 10
    (Laptops can be borrowed from the university for free should you choose not to purchase your own and all computer labs at the university run Windows 10)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

Facilities

  • IT Labs
    IT Labs

    The University is home to a number of modern specialist IT labs equipped with all the up-to-date hardware and software our computing students could need.

  • Library and online resources
    Library and online resources

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

  • Headingley Campus
    Headingley Campus

    Our historic Headingley Campus is set in 100 acres of parkland with easy access to Leeds city centre.

  • Gym and Sports Facilities
    Gym and Sports Facilities

    Keeping fit is easy at Leeds Beckett - our fitness suites are easy to get to, kitted out with all the latest technology and available to all sports members.

Location

Headingley Campus

Headingley Campus

Home to our first-rate sporting facilities – Headingley Campus has a rich and diverse history having played to visitors such as Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. Set in 100 acres of parkland, with easy access to Leeds city centre, many of our buildings look out onto our grassy acre – a perfect place for hanging out, playing games and catching up with friends on long summer days. Headingley Campus has modern sport science laboratories, animation and music studios and the latest computing labs, as well as one of our libraries, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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