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Computer Forensics and Security
Undergraduate course
BSc (Hons)

Computer Forensics and Security

International Scholarships available

Overview

Computer forensics involves the analysis of digital devices such as hard drives to identify and investigate their contents. Computer security involves using knowledge of computer systems and networks to protect businesses and users from malicious attacks.

This course combines these two fields of national importance and will teach you practical investigative and 'hacking' techniques. You will develop the skills to undertake rigorous forensic analysis and implement robust security mechanisms.

This is a hands-on course where you will learn through doing, gaining an in-depth knowledge of how to hack a computer to be able to protect it. You will learn where a computer hides data and how to recover information from a device.

This course offers the opportunity to take a ‘sandwich’ year – a year of paid employment in industry which will build your skills and experience. This is usually taken between the second and third year of your degree, typically making your course four years in total. Students who choose the sandwich route find it helps with both their studies and getting a job after graduation. It can build your confidence, contacts, and of course your CV. Leeds Beckett advertise lots of placement opportunities and provide support in helping you find the right placement for you.

Our partnership with global communications technology giant Avaya brings the company’s cutting-edge expertise to the heart of Headingley Campus. You will have direct access to the Avaya Breeze, Avaya Aura and Avaya Equinox platforms as you explore the real-time optimisation of new middleware. This facility forms the company’s regional base, meaning you will be part of a community that includes potential employers who use Avaya’s products, enabling you to start building your professional network while you study.

Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University demonstrated strength in five emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including computer science.

Accredited by:

We have designed this course in line with leading industry standards and we are committed to offering you hands-on experience in order to gain the practical skills that will prepare you for working in the profession. You will be taught by an academic team who are still active in industry, giving you the chance to benefit from the latest changes in the profession. We will also give you the opportunity to interact with external forensic and security experts and gain an insight into what the industry is really like.

We have active links with the security industry and work closely with organisations to try and find work placement opportunities for you. We have great relationships with police forces, local and national security companies and major law firms.

The University encourages entrepreneurship and will review any proposals to assist you in creating your own security-based company.

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

This course offers the opportunity to take a ‘sandwich’ year – a year of paid employment in industry which will build your skills and experience. This is usually taken between the second and third year of your degree, typically making your course four years in total.

Students who choose the sandwich route find it helps with both their studies and getting a job after graduation. It can build your confidence, contacts, and of course your CV. Leeds Beckett advertise lots of placement opportunities and provide support in helping you find the right placement for you.

90.4%
Student Satisfaction
Student satisfaction*
*National Student Survey 2018

Course Features

  • Professional accreditations
  • Placements
  • Sandwich year
  • Specialist facilities
  • Real-life projects
  • Study abroad option
  • Expert careers service
  • 24/7 Library
  • University accommodation
  • TEF Silver Award
Play CCTE End of Year Show 2018 Video
CCTE End of Year Show 2018
Play BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics & Security - Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer Video
BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics & Security - Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer
Play Life in Leeds Video
Life in Leeds
 

Entry Requirements

72
POINTS REQUIRED
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.

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.
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.

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.
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

Learn to perform forensic analysis and implement computer security mechanisms into any business. You will be able to analyse systems for evidence of breaches in line with evidential standards. 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.
Your six core modules will introduce you to key areas of computing. You will develop knowledge of computing technologies and develop essential skills in the use of computer systems along with associated security issues.
Overall workload
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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.
Indicative assessment proportions (based on 2018/19)
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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

You will study five core modules and one option module. Your studies will be contextualised in the Team Project module which will provide an opportunity to learn and apply project management techniques and to experience a development role within a realistic team environment.
Overall workload
Clock icon
232 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
968 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.
Indicative assessment proportions (based on 2018/19)
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.
40%
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.
60%
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.

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.

The next step in 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.

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:

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.

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.

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

This course offers the opportunity to take a ‘sandwich’ year – a year of paid employment in industry which will build your skills and experience. This is usually taken between the second and third year of your degree, typically making your course four years in total.

Students who choose the sandwich route find it helps with both their studies and getting a job after graduation. It can build your confidence, contacts, and of course your CV. Leeds Beckett advertise lots of placement opportunities and provide support in helping you find the right placement for you.

You will complete specialised modules including option modules that will enable you to pursue areas of particular interest. Your Production Project will see you research, plan and produce an in-depth piece of work.
Overall workload
Clock icon
181 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
1019 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.
Indicative assessment proportions (based on 2018/19)
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.
30%
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.
20%
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.
50%
Core Modules

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.

Gain a hands-on, in-depth view of the nuances of the analysis of alternative sources of digital evidence, beyond that of the standard computer. These sources include satellite navigation systems, mobile phones and networked environments.

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:

Look at the ways in which data can be investigated and interpreted. You will develop the analytical skills needed to interpret complex data. Please note: either this module or Incident Response & Investigation must be chosen.

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.

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.

Emlyn Butterfield
Emlyn Butterfield
Course Director
Emlyn has a number of years' experience as a digital forensic analyst, working as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases. He has analysed mobile devices and computers providing expert advice to both prosecution and defence teams in court cases.
Our courses are for people who love computers and want to follow a challenging and interesting career. Every day brings new challenges in the world of computer forensics and security - you're always trying to stop the bad guy.
Play CCTE End of Year Show 2018 Video
CCTE End of Year Show 2018
Play BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics & Security - Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer Video
BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics & Security - Emlyn Butterfield, Senior Lecturer
Play Life in Leeds Video
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.

Educational visits - The cost for these trips covers travel, accommodation and subsistence. The price varies year by year and attendance is optional.

Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

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.

Educational visits - The cost for these trips covers travel, accommodation and subsistence. The price varies year by year and attendance is optional.

Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

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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