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 - Call 01332 592020

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

F49A

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

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) Digital Forensics and Security is an ideal starting point.

Digital 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

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 your first year, you will cover core computing disciplines. This prepares you for in-depth study of specific subject areas in your second and final years, including digital forensics investigation and the security of computer communication.

You can choose to spend your third 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.

Student examining circuitboard
Student examining computer
Student working on computer

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4CC503

Computational Mathematics

This module introduces, and in some cases reviews, the mathematical foundations of computer science.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC505

Foundations of Computer Science

This module explores two related, and yet very distinct, foundations of the practical application of computer science: The first is human-computer interaction; the second is data. Computer systems do not exist in isolation; they are used by human beings for entertainment – such as videogames – and as tools to support human activities, such as mobile telephones or Web browsers. Therefore, the one half of this module explores how computers and computer software are built to entertain and assist humans by drawing upon research and industry practice in human-computer interaction, including interfaces to computer systems, software design, interaction design, product design, and research into the social impact of computing.

Whilst computers are used by humans as tools and entertainment devices, fundamentally they are nothing but data-processing machines. Indeed, in a very broad sense, the only practical application of computer science is to help build systems that manipulate data. Therefore, the other half of this module explores Data, including its definitions and philosophical underpinnings; its representation in computer systems including data types and an introduction to type theory; various techniques for modelling the storage and movement of data.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC509

Introduction to Computer Science

This module introduces students to the concepts, contributors, terminology, sub-fields, and history of computer science, whilst encouraging students to develop academic skills in reading, writing, research, and presentation.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC510

Programming 1

This module introduces students to the fundamental principles, concepts, and practice of computer programming, and develops the skills needed to design, implement, and test simple computer programs. No prior computer programming experience is assumed, and all practical work is done using an industry-standard programming language and software development environment.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC511

Programming II

This module builds on the concepts introduced in Programming I by covering the theory and practical techniques needed to develop usable, robust, and reliable end-user software applications.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC525

Foundations of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics

This module is intended to give students an introduction to the core skills of cyber security and digital forensics. It is divided into equal portions, each covering one of the specialist subject areas of Cyber security. Networks fundamentals: This part provides a basic understanding of networks based on the ISO 7 layer model, and an understanding of sub-netting and special network applications. Security fundamentals: provides a basic introduction into security concepts. Forensic fundamentals: provides a basic introduction to forensics.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC507

Databases

This module explores the concepts, technology, and theory that underpin industrial-strength multi-user database systems. Students will be required to develop the practical skills necessary to design and implement robust and scalable databases, and they will develop critical understanding of the issues related to multi-user database development, such as choosing suitable database management systems and tuning them to achieve acceptable performance.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC508

Digital Forensic Investigation

This module provides students with a basic underpinning of the concepts involved with the contact with a mock crime scene, the investigation of desktop computers and other digital storage devices. The module looks at the theoretical background in terms of the configuration of computer systems and the methods deployed in investigating these. The learning outcome will be enhanced by guest presentations from field experts.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC513

Network Investigation

The online centric environment of the modern world requires a great amount of data being transferred and/or stored in networks. Private and confidential data is exposed on network vulnerabilities for the computer criminals to exploit. This module will provide the student with a blend of practical and theoretical approaches concerning the penetration of vulnerable systems and the digital investigation of networks. Appropriate software tools will be used in order for the students to gain practical knowledge on the investigation of digital evidence that resides on networks.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC518

Team Project

This module is intended to foster employability skills by simulating, as accurately as possible, what it's like to work in a given Computer Science specialism.

This will be done in two successive activities:

  • Students will be introduced to the “world of work” via a simulated work environment – they will be put into teams that represent fictional companies, but which need to produce real products or engage in realistic work-related activity. This will give students the opportunity to safely discover and explore their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and inclinations before embarking on real-world employment activities.
  • Students will engage with a real-world industrial brief to develop a small project – such as software, a Web site, a network design, a forensic analysis of a data set, or some similar real or realistic industrial activity – suitable for entry level employees at a relevant industrial employer.

For example, many programmers work as part of a team on large software development projects. Therefore, students working toward a BSc (Hons) Computer Science award will be assembled into fictional software development companies to develop a realistic project, and will thereby experience the challenges that can occur when trying to develop a complicated development project and deliver it on schedule and with high quality. After completion of the fictional-company project, the same teams will work on a small-scale, but real, work-based development project set by a subject-relevant industrial employer, such as a software company.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC542

Mobile Forensics

Mobile devices are increasingly becoming an essential part of our daily lives for professional, leisure and personal activities. In use worldwide, we have witnessed an exponential growth in their computing, connectivity and storage capabilities in the last decade, turning them into a powerful and sophisticated personal computer. New features and apps have been introduced at a steady pace within a fiercely competitive market. As a consequence, mobile devices are often used in/for illicit/illegal activities, being an integral part of most cyber-enabled and cyber-dependent crimes, in criminal, civil and corporate investigations. Therefore, forensic investigation of such devices become paramount. This module enables students to gain foundation and skills in mobile forensics through a mixture of theory and practical lab-based exercises.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CJ519

The Problem of Proof

This module is aimed at those who study or work in areas that support the operation of the criminal justice system in proving evidence in court. It considers how legal systems have evolved together with theories of knowledge and certainty to provide an underpinning for our legal systems. It examines the elements that must be proven in crimes and the reasons why the law requires this. It considers what must be proved and what can be taken for granted, unless challenged. It looks at the integrity of investigations, both ethical and practical to see how certainty is achieved through legal rules relating to process and procedure and considers how things can be proved and the level of expertise and certainty needed to achieve it. Finally, it considers the relationship between the subject expert and the legal expert and how they work together to achieve justice.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CJ519

The Problem of Proof

This module is aimed at those who study or work in areas that support the operation of the criminal justice system in proving evidence in court. It considers how legal systems have evolved together with theories of knowledge and certainty to provide an underpinning for our legal systems. It examines the elements that must be proven in crimes and the reasons why the law requires this. It considers what must be proved and what can be taken for granted, unless challenged. It looks at the integrity of investigations, both ethical and practical to see how certainty is achieved through legal rules relating to process and procedure and considers how things can be proved and the level of expertise and certainty needed to achieve it. Finally, it considers the relationship between the subject expert and the legal expert and how they work together to achieve justice.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline. During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC502

Advanced Digital Forensic Investigation

Digital forensic investigations unfold the digital trail of evidence and try to present potential explanations of how a related incident occurred. Building on the knowledge gained in the pre-requisite module. The students will familiarise themselves with formal methodologies and policies. They will perform a full digital forensic investigation and learn how to maintain the chain of custody in this practical in nature module. It will involve the preservation of evidence to media examination and presentation of findings in a court hearing. The digital media investigation will involve different devices from hard disks to memory sticks and mobile phones.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC508

Information Security and Assurance

This is a research-based, capstone module which focuses on the issues involved in understanding about security standards and formal procedures and strategies within an organisation. This is relevant to computer forensics investigators and information technology experts. It will provide the opportunity to research issues relating to security policies and strategies in the organisational environment. The concepts are fundamental to all organisations, from SME to large organisations. The structure of the module provides the students with the opportunity to integrate all aspects of their studies during the course of their degree, together with their experiences during their placement year (where relevant). Particular focus is placed on the use of critical thinking to evaluate and resolve enterprise development issues, and the application of rational of methods for selecting technologies when presented with a variety of choices.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC530

Server Infrastructure

The content of this module is concerned with the setup, the management, the security and the administration of server infrastructure in a network. Different servers, technologies and administration environments will be discussed, as with the mechanisms necessary to manage, secure and troubleshooting them. You will be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of how server infrastructure can be built, maintained, managed and secured.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC543

Multimedia Security

Because of the recent development and success of Internet along with the rapid advances in digital technologies it is very easy to reach, copy, duplicate and distribute the digital media without any degradation in quality. Therefore, there has been growing concern about the protection of the intellectual property rights for digital media including music, image and video. This course offers fundamental coverage of theoretical foundations of digital media security which becomes increasingly prominent in digital environment as well as the practical implementation of media security systems. The course includes data hiding, digital watermarking, authentication, fingerprinting/tracing and digital rights management.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC995

Independent Studies

This module enables students to demonstrate the ability to independently develop a substantial piece of work related to their specialism. It can be either a significant piece of research following a recognised research methodology, or it can be a significant “design and development” project to create, test and evaluate an innovative solution in computing. Students will be supported and mentored by a member of academic staff, but the project will be defined and implemented by the student.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

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.

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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.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

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
PortfolioN/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.

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

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
PortfolioN/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

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

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

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Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Call our Clearing hotline on 01332 592020 and explore your options.

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Careers

This rapidly growing discipline gives you exciting opportunities in many areas of computing including systems management, systems investigation and law enforcement.  You will be given comprehensive training so that you can develop a wide range of skills, which could help you get into a variety of careers in forensics, security or computing.  Career paths you could follow include digital forensic investigation, intelligence gathering and analysis, incident response, eDiscovery, computer system management in government agencies, police forces, forensic service companies, and industry.

O'Reilly Prize 2016

The O'Reilly Prize is supported by the O'Reilly publishing company for the best articles written by students studying the Enterprise Systems and Information Security and Assurance modules in their final year for the BSc IT and the BSc Computer Forensic Investigation. This year the winners were Georgia Vicars (BSc IT) and Finn Brassington-Edwards (BSc Computer Forensic Investigation) pictured here with the then Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, Prof N Antonopoulos, and module lecturer, Richard Self.

Contact us

EnquiryEmailPhone
Professor Yong Xue y.xue@derby.ac.uk +44 01332 591808

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.

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† Additional information about your studies

4 years with a placement year

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.

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