BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics (including Foundation Year)

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.

The course is BCS accredited and has been designed in line with industry and law enforcement. The course will develop your skills in forensic investigation management and incident response for law enforcement and within organisations post-attack, as well as professional court report writing and court cross examination testimony in our Moot Court.

This course is subject to validation.

UCAS Code Study Mode
2024
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
FG45 Full-time 4 Years September Newport City C

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.

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.

Lecturers

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

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. 

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

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.

International Entry Requirements

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.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course

 

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees


  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

Funding

Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

Apply directly to the University for this course.   

Admissions statement

Employment prospects are excellent. Digital Forensic careers are often available in 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

  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Government Intelligence Agencies
    Private Forensic and Security Consulting Companies
  • Digital Forensic Investigator
  • Incident Response Analyst
  • Malware Analyst
  • Information Security 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.

View or download the guide.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate. 

This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisors, in person, over the phone, or even Teams and through email via the “Ask the Question” service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our careers service has dedicated teams. A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.