MSc Computer Forensics
Computer forensics is a rapidly expanding area, leading to an increasing demand from industry for qualified forensic examiners. Our MSc Computer Forensics degree will prepare you for a career in computer forensics and IT security, either at a technical or managerial level.
Our Masters in Computer Forensics is certified by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), who provide support to critical organisations in the UK when dealing with cyber security attacks.
You will be taught by an internationally recognised team from the University’s Information Security Research Group and external speakers contribute to delivering the latest expertise and developments. The University is also recognised as a Centre of Excellence for information security and computer forensics by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
Forensic computer analysts may be involved in a range of investigations, such as online fraud, digital espionage, counter-terrorism, possession of illegal imagery and information theft. A typical investigation would involve identifying and securing computer equipment, followed by the application of forensic methods and specialist computer programmes in pursuit of evidence. Tasks include recovering data from digital media, analysis of records to establish the location of a device, uncovering data trails, careful documentation of the investigation, presenting findings and acting as an expert witness in court.
- Computer Forensics and Crime Investigation (20 credits)
To synthesise knowledge of the tools, techniques and practices associated with computer forensics. To develop the student’s ability to apply computer forensics principles to a range of problems. To evaluate, analyse and synthesise different solutions to a range of computer forensic issues.
- Forensics Techniques and Data Recovery(20 credits)
To cover at an advanced level a number of both practical and theoretical principles regarding Computer Forensics and data Recovery for a range of different sources.
- Network Security (20 credits)
To enable students to evaluate, synthesize and validate the identification of security issues and their associated impacts against devices and protocols that make up networks and distributed systems.
- Security Management (20 credits)
To provide a knowledge of the tools and techniques available to secure and manage, in a meaningful manner, an information system. To develop the students’ ability to manage the security of an information system at a strategic, tactical and operational level.
- Incident Management and Incident Response (20 credits)
To evaluate, analyse and synthesize the capability to perform incident management and incident response.
- Project Management and Research Methodology (20 credits)
To understand current developments in project management, its techniques and tools, and to determine and use appropriate ones in contexts where there are many interacting factors.
- MSc Project (60 credits)
To provide the opportunity for students to employ autonomy and originality in the application of their computing, award and research skills to a complex problem. To provide an opportunity for the student to investigate a topical, award relevant issue of their choice in some depth. To produce a justified solution to a significant problem that is informed by a critical review of research. To further develop the student's investigative, research, writing and presentation skills as a self-directed, autonomous learner.
Full-time students will typically spend 12 hours in classes each week. If you choose to study part-time, this is reduced to around six hours each week. You will study through lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, seminars and projects.
You will need to spend a significant amount of time working independently, reading and preparing for assessments.
While the style of coursework may vary, research-style papers or essays of around 4,000 words in length are typical.
You will also work on a significant research project and a major project of your choice, where strong independent thinking, critical analysis and project management skills will be important.
Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.
Our facilities are at the cutting edge of computer development, meaning you’ll use the latest technologies in high-spec labs.
There’s a Digital Investigation Lab, which is a computer forensic facility typical of those used by law enforcement agencies to analyse computer files and digital media for use as evidence in court.
The University of South Wales has become part of a project to train the next generation of computer security experts. You could join the fight against cyber crime in our National Cyber Security Academy and become part of the next generation of cyber security experts. You'll study in our Secure Operations Centre which has been designed to emulate the workplace.
- Andrew Bellamy, Computer Forensics course leader
- Iain Shewring, Head of Cyber Security
- Gareth Davies
- Mamoun Qasem
- Muhammad Usman
- Ahmed Elmesiry
- David Kidner
- Mark Ware
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.
This course is designed for graduates with a minimum 2:2 Honours degree or equivalent. Entrants should normally be graduates in a computing or related area and have very good IT skills.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
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 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9500
Full-time International: £15100
Part-time UK: £1055 per 20 credits
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: £16000
Part-time UK: TBC
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.
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 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.
USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24
You will have had the opportunity to develop skills that strongly relate to the role of a forensic computer analyst or an information security analyst. These include problem solving, a systematic approach to work and an awareness of security standards and legislation.
Graduates of the MSc Computer Forensics will be well equipped for employment, including working for the police, security services, commercial sector, or organisations that specialise in computer security. You could also progress on to a PhD or computing research degree.
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 Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a 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.