Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

Digital forensics and security have become crucial functions in most business organisations today. If you want a career tackling one of the most pressing issues facing our society, the BSc (Hons) Computer Forensic Investigation with Foundation Year is an ideal starting point.  

You can also take the BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics and Security without a foundation year. Find out more.

Computer forensics is the investigation of computers and other digital devices to extract evidence which may point to particular misuse or criminal activity. Our BSc (Hons) will give you vital insights into all the latest developments in this important area.

Why you should study Computing at the University of Derby

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

A fast-growing career field

To undertake criminal investigations, authorities today are faced with the challenge of sifting through huge volumes of electronically-stored data on computers, mobile phones and many other storage media.

Large public bodies such as the NHS are increasingly interested in forensic computing procedures and their reliance on high-profile, nationally-deployed information systems attracts strong public scrutiny.

With such challenges in mind, this course is uniquely designed to cover the investigation and legal aspects of computer forensics, the skills needed to investigate a variety of digital devices, computer misuse and computer security.

Throughout you will draw on current specialist knowledge about modern techniques used to investigate computer systems, and will learn how to apply these skills to a range of problems. Above all, this course will help you to develop analytical skills which are absolutely vital in any investigative scenario.

Build your skills and knowledge

During the first stage of the honours degree, you will cover core computing disciplines. This prepares you for in-depth study of specific subject areas in the subsequent stages of the course, including digital forensics investigation and the security of computer communication.

You can choose to spend a year on a work placement, which allows you to put all of the theory you have learnt into practice – and to earn a wage for a year. We offer a plethora of support for students keen to enhance their employability through internships and placements while they are studying and to secure graduate roles. For more information, please contact our 

In your final year, you will complete an Independent Study with a clear emphasis on forensic investigation. You will also undertake a full digital investigation and examine how computer forensics can be an integral part of making business decisions.

O'Reilly Prize

Supported by the O'Reilly publishing company, a prize is awarded for the best articles written by students studying the Enterprise Systems and Information Security and Assurance modules in the final year of our BSc (Hons) IT and BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics and Security courses.

What you will study

You'll study modules such as:

  • Preliminary Mathematics
  • Scholarship for Technologists
  • Technology Project (double module)
  • Introduction to Computational Mathematics
  • Programming Fundamentals

You will study modules such as:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Programming I
  • Foundations in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics
  • Foundations of Computer Science
  • Programming II

You will study modules such as:

  • Digital Forensic Investigation
  • Mobile Forensics
  • Databases
  • Network Investigation
  • The Problem of Proof
  • Team Project

Optional placement year

You will study modules such as:

  • Independent Studies - double module
  • Advanced Digital Forensic Investigation
  • Server Infrastructure
  • Multimedia Security
  • Information Security and Assurance

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

There are three modules per semester, each delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Our labs are equipped with specialist hardware and software, which are vital for the course. A lot of lab-work-based tutorials will involve the use of this dedicated equipment.

Learning from industry

We have developed a number of links with industry. From time to time, this will mean that there are opportunities to attend lectures delivered by practitioners from various professional bodies and the British Computing Society (BCS).

"The Department of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics understands the computer forensics community's requirements because specialists in the field have assisted in developing this course to ensure that it is as relevant as possible."

Simon Steggles, Managing Director of Disklabs. Find out more about Disklabs.

How you are assessed

Assessment is almost entirely via coursework. A small number of tests in the first and second years are computer-based. In the final year, there are no examinations but one third of the assessment is based on your personal project.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


This rapidly growing discipline delivers exciting career opportunities in many areas of computing including systems management, systems investigation and law enforcement. 

The comprehensive training and wide-ranging skills you gain on the BSc (Hons) Computer Forensic Investigation open doors to variety of careers in forensics, security or computing.  Career paths you could follow include digital forensic investigation, intelligence gathering and analysis, incident response, eDiscovery and computer system management in government agencies, police forces, forensic service companies and industry.

Contact us

Virginia Franqueira +44 01332 592442

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

You might also like