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BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics (including Foundation Year)

BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics (including Foundation Year)

Overview:

Digital Forensics plays a significant part in the investigation and analysis of criminal and corporate crime. Learn the skills and knowledge needed to work in Digital Forensic Units (DFUs) and Incident Response teams on this state-of -the-art course, gaining specialist skills and knowledge as you develop the practical and professional skills desired by employers in digital forensics, law enforcement and the wider corporate and cyber security sectors.

On this practical and award winning Digital Forensics degree, you’ll learn how to acquire, analyse and interpretate data recovered from computers and digital devices under law and regulatory compliance. You’ll learn in state of the art, dedicated cyber labs, including our Security Operations Centre (SOC) and Crime House training facility, with cutting-edge resources – the tools, workstations and networks used by industry for secure investigation and analysis of evidence.

Typical A-Level Offer
DD (This is equivalent to 48 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass (this is equivalent to 48 UCAS points)

Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma and obtain a minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points.

Additional Requirements
The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSE’s including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

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Entry Requirements

The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2024. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. 

Context Offers:

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university.

Other qualifications and experience:

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible. 

WHAT YOU WILL STUDY

This course is designed for those with a keen interest in digital crime, cyber security, criminal investigation, law enforcement and incident response in the criminal and civil industry sectors

Foundation Year: Digital Forensics

The Foundation Year is common to all Cyber awards and is designed to give students a flavour of each of the specific disciplines. The material is designed to bridge their knowledge to enable them to progress to Level 4 on completion of Level 3.

  • Digital Forensics & Computer Security 
  • Fundamentals of Secure Programming
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Foundation of Mathematics for Cyber
  • Cyber Project

Year One: Digital Forensics

Year one of the course is designed to provide an introduction to many of the key computing concepts. Students learn technical skills relating to a range of topics that are built upon subsequently. Learning and assessments consist of a variety of practical and theoretical-based elements.

  • Programming
  • Professional Practice and Employability 
  • Network Configuration
  • Information Security & Governance
  • Cyber Security Tools and Practices
  • Computer Systems & Security

Year Two: Digital Forensics

Year two of the course is designed to further extend the knowledge and skills gained in the first year with much more focus on the various disciplines of digital forensics. Employability of students is further enhanced with more attention to professional skills. For example, during the Team Project Evidential Practice module, students work in groups to deliver a digital forensic service that mimics real-world processes and expectations mirrored in industry.  

  • Forensic Digital Evidence 30
  • Digital Crime Scene Management 20 
  • Cyber Crime Research Project 10 
  • Compliance and Risk Management 20 
  • Securing Data with Cryptography 20 
  • Post-Incident Analysis 20

Year Three: Digital Forensics 

Year three is designed to further extend the knowledge and skills gained in the previous year as well as to develop knowledge and practical skills in more specific areas of digital forensics. The Individual Project allows students to investigate and develop skills in a relevant topic of their choosing, providing an opportunity for students to specialise in an area that they wish to focus their career or to expand their horizons by exploring a related topic that has captured their imagination and which they wish to examine further.

  • IY3D609 Digital Forensic Techniques 40 
  • Cyber Professional in Practice 10 
  • Secure Operations & Incident Management 30 
  • IY3D610 Cyber Dissertation Project 40

Teaching

You will spend 12 hours of lectures, tutorials, and practical sessions each week. You will also spend four hours per week, per module, on coursework, general reading, and other preparation. You’ll be trained in courtroom skills and learn how to give evidence in a court of law from the Bond Solon legal training consultancy. You will also learn how to collect, write, and present evidence under cross-examination in our mock courtroom. Upon successful completion of the Bond Solon course, students receive a certificate from Bond Solon on “Excellent in Report Writing, Written Evidence”. Additionally, industry leading digital forensic software will be used throughout the course that will develop these core skills for industry.

COURSE DETAILS

Placements

To improve your employment prospects, we also strongly recommend you spend up to a year working in industry at one of a variety of organisations in the UK or abroad, through USW Placements. This can often lead to employment opportunities with your placement company.

The University has excellent relationships with industry, with students undertaking placements with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Home Office Scientific Development Research Branch (London), GCHQ, Qinetiq, Cy4or, financial services, international banks, the Office for National Statistics, digital forensics companies and various government departments. We also have strong links with security agencies, incident response organisations handling cyber-attacks and local police forces.

Facilities

Our facilities are at the cutting edge meaning you’ll use the latest technologies in high-spec labs. There’s a Digital Investigation Lab, which is a digital forensic facility and a Secure Operations Centre (SOC) typical of those used by law enforcement agencies and corporate organisations to analyse digital files and media for use to support corporate and criminal investigations.

The University of South Wales has become part of a project to train the next generation of Cyber Security experts. You are able to join the fight against cyber-crime in our National Cyber Security Academy and become part of the next generation of Cyber Security Experts. Among the methods used to achieve this are the use of leading digital forensic software is used, industry engagement within modules, additional networking and the emulation of the working environment. This will replicate the responsibilities you will experience in the real world from law enforcement and within corporate organisations.

You’ll have amazing opportunities to interact with industry organisations like Splunk, South Wales Police DFU, Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and Gwent Police, potentially gaining work experience with them too and will have the opportunity to gain industry-recognised certifications in Expert Witness report writing and forensic software packages plus the experience of courtroom cross-examination. You can also take part in our exciting Capture the Flag competitions on campus and globally.

Additional Costs

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country-specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured, please contact us.

CAREERS

Employment prospects after graduating from USW cyber are excellent. Information Security, Penetration Testing, Digital Forensic careers, to name just a few, are often available with managed security operations centres, law enforcement agencies, corporate organisations, incident response organisations, military and government intelligence agencies, and private security and consulting companies with the rise in demand set to continue.

Possible Career Paths

  • Penetration Tester
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Secure Operation Centre (SoC) operative or analyst
  • Cyber Governance, Risk and Compliance officer
  • Law enforcement Digital Forensic Investigator
  • Military Cyber Security Personnel
  • Government Intelligence Agencies
    Private Forensic and Security Consulting Companies
  • Digital Forensic Investigator
  • Incident Response Analyst
  • Malware Analyst

Computing and Cyber Employability Guide

Our Employability Guide has all the information you need to help you prepare for a career in computing and cyber.

From hands-on work experience and industry links to our passionate academics and different study routes, we have you covered.

Hear from USW graduates as you learn about how you can get your career started, including how you will develop in-demand skills using all the latest software and technology.

Fees

Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!
 

£7,250

You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.
 

£4,250

You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.
 

£5,500

You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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