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.
- Take the foundation year route to improve your skills and confidence if you feel you are not quite ready to join the honours degree directly
- Undertake a full digital investigation project to understand how computer forensics can become an integral part of business decision-making
- Gain comprehensive knowledge of computer science together with specialist skills in investigating a range of digital devices, computer misuse and computer security
- Build your practical know-how by harnessing the latest industry software, including Encase
- Choose an optional industrial placement year as part of your course – a great experience which will set you apart in the graduate job market
- Enhance your career prospects thanks to our educational partnership with Cellebrite: you can gain accreditation as a Cellebrite Certified Logical Operator (CCLO) and Cellebrite Certified Physical Analyst (CCPA)
- Draw insights from our inspirational guest lecturers representing various professional bodies including the British Computing Society
- Prepare for a rewarding future in fields such as digital forensic investigation, intelligence gathering and analysis, incident response and computer system management
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.
First steps to success with a foundation year
Taking a foundation year first is an ideal choice if you have the potential and ambition to study this BSc (Hons) programme but lack the formal entry requirements or feel you are not quite ready to embark on a full honours degree right now.
It is also a smart move if you have changed your mind about your career direction since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
The foundation year will cover general concepts in areas such as computational mathematics and programming fundamentals. It will also help you develop essential scholarship skills for technologists, including writing reports and giving presentations.
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.
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.
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.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2.
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.
£9,250 per year
£13,250 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
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.
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
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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.